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Dear Velo magazine and VeloNews.com readers,
First and foremost, I want to thank you for your loyalty. As you may know, over the past year, the editorial staff at Velo magazine and VeloNews.com has gone through significant transition.
The past 12 months have been, at times, very challenging. Those challenges forced us, as a team, to look within, and to focus on how to produce the best editorial product for you, our readers.
Like many of you, this editorial team came into the sport reading VeloNews, and as you can imagine, we feel a tremendous sense of responsibility — both to the brand and to its audience.
I’m happy to report that we’ve emerged as strong as ever. And I wanted to put together this letter to share our editorial direction with you along with some exciting news.
Throughout the years and different iterations, this editorial team has always been, and will continue to be, authentic, authoritative and accessible. Velo and VeloNews.com continue to be produced by cyclists, for cyclists. Our editorial and sales teams are proud to understand and embrace the sport of bicycle racing.
And we are, and always will be, focused on quality content over quantity.
If you’re looking for commodity cycling news, thinly veiled translations of foreign-language news stories, glowing four-star product reviews or regurgitated press releases, you probably know where to find them. If you’re looking for true journalism, objective product testing and meaningful analysis, you’ve come to the right place.
If you’ve picked up an issue of Velo magazine over the past six months, you’ve already seen some of the changes that I’m referring to. From special themed issues, such as our Rivalries Issue, Hardmen Issue or Personalities Issue, to our extensive, industry-leading VeloLab bike tests, the print side of our editorial product has never been more engaging, more resourceful or more relevant.
And while those VeloLab tests will soon be archived online, our print and digital offerings continue to be completely different. What you’re reading online is not what is offered in print, and vice versa.
New hires and contributors combine with core editorial staff
As part of our new direction, I’m happy to report the promotion of one key staff member, the recent additions of two talented new staff members, and the additions of several new contributors.
After I was appointed Editor in Chief, in August 2011, I asked former Staff Reporter Brian Holcombe to fill my former position as Managing Editor. Around that time, our Online Editor departed, and after a few months spent interviewing several qualified candidates for the position, it became clear that, in Brian, we already had the best person for the job. Brian took over the role of VeloNews.com Editor on March 20, and the improvement to the site since then has been undeniable. Chapeau, Brian.
Simultaneously, I began searching for a new Managing Editor, and found a fantastic candidate in Chris Case, who started in that role on April 9. Chris is a talented writer, editor, photographer and designer; he singlehandedly ran Trail & Timberline, the quarterly magazine of the Colorado Mountain Club, before joining our team. He holds a Masters degree in Journalism from the University of Texas, sits on the Board of Directors for the American Cycling Association, the local affiliate of USA Cycling in the state of Colorado, and earlier this year he earned silver medals at both the national and world masters cyclocross championships.
Our search for a Managing Editor also yielded an exciting new Staff Reporter in Matthew Beaudin. Matt was the editor of The Telluride Daily Planet for five years, starting at the age of 24. He also races, most often in the single-speed category at cross-country mountain-bike events. Matt’s first day on staff was April 30. He’s a talented and engaging writer; look for his byline during our coverage of the upcoming Amgen Tour of California, and again in July at the Tour de France.
“Velo and VeloNews.com continue to
be produced by cyclists, for cyclists.”
Along with Chris and Matthew, we’ve beefed up our team with contributions from Columnists Dan Wuori and Ryan Newill, European Contributor Gregor Brown and new Contributing Web Editor, Scott Boulbol.
Based in Columbia, South Carolina, Dan Wuori is best known for his witty Twitter observations, and he has penned our At the Back print column since the 2011 Tour de France issue. Most recently, he spent a week in April covering the cobbled classics for Velo and VeloNews.com.
Virginia-based Ryan Newill first contributed to VeloNews in 1999, when, as an Editorial Intern, he was paid primarily in t-shirts and socks. His insightful perspective on the sport of cycling can be found on his well-respected blog, The Service Course. Ryan’s first recurring column for us, on the special appeal of the Giro d’Italia, appears in the June issue of Velo, which hits mailboxes in early May.
An American expatriate based in Italy, Gregor Brown has covered the pro peloton for nearly a decade and is a regular contributor to Cycling Weekly in Great Britain. He just finished a month-long assignment at the spring classics and will be on the ground for the duration of the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France.
Living near Boston, Scott Boulbol has been a freelance writer in the outdoor and cycling industries for over 10 years, and is the author of the book, “The Trailrunner’s Guide to Colorado.” He’s been deeply involved in the racing scene since cheering on Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond at the 1985 Coors Classic and joined the VeloNews.com team in April.
And for all these changes, we’ve maintained the core of our editorial staff and contributors, including our tech department of Nick Legan, Caley Fretz and Lennard Zinn; veteran European Correspondent Andrew Hood; our award-winning art department of Photo Director Brad Kaminski and Art Director Mike Reisel; Contributing Photographers Graham Watson and Casey B. Gibson; and Contributing Artists Dave Brinton and Jef Mallett.
It’s a formidable team, to say the least.
We also continue to work with several pro racers as contributors and online diarists, including Ben King (RadioShack-Nissan), Andrew Talanksy (Garmin-Barracuda), Amber Neben (Specialized-lululemon), Phil Gaimon (Kenda-5-hour Energy), Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) and Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski (Trek-Subaru). And we’ve recently added a compelling new voice from the peloton in Taiwan-based Lee Rodgers (RTS Racing).
As for me, I’ve been with Velo for just over 10 years now. I’ve worked with some of the best in the business, and I’ve learned from them all. I’m proud of the editorial team we have in place, and I’m excited about what the future holds, online and in print.
More announcements and improvements
All that said, in the coming months you will see even more announcements and improvements.
We’re currently producing our annual official Tour de France Guide, and we’re proud to announce that we’ve renewed our contract with French sports newspaper L’Equipe to produce the official North American Tour Guide through 2015. Our 2012 Tour Guide will hit subscribers and newsstands in late May.
Also in May, just as Olympic team selection reaches its peak, we’ll be rolling mountain-bike racing and tech coverage back into the fold, as Singletrack.com content will reside under the VeloNews.com umbrella. The move is a bit of a homecoming for us, as mountain-bike riding and racing is core to nearly every member of our team.
And later this year we’ll celebrate our 40th anniversary in print. That’s right, under different names, and under different ownerships, Velo magazine has been around for 40 years.
We look forward to another fantastic 40 years. Thanks for being a part of it.
Editor in Chief
If you have feedback or constructive criticism, I welcome your input. Please shoot me an email — I read them all.