The century-spanning stories of cycling siblings. The untold tale of TI-Raleigh’s unforgettable kit. An epic charity ride from one end of New Zealand to the other. An imaginative plan to save pro cycling’s future. A misty mountain monument to the Cantabrian Highland cow. And an athletic lass from Bolton socking a nineteenth-century chauvinist in the chops. Could it beany more Conquista?
The cover of Conquista issue 18, by Spanish designers cachetejack, pays tribute to a lady cyclist whose story was published in The Illustrated Police News on July 1st 1899. Taking exception to certain “insulting remarks” from a roadside youth (who had “apparently been imbibing”), she dismounted and delivered a sound thrashing, “using her fists in scientific fashion”. Conquista doesn’t normally advocate violence, but we’re great believers in the scientific method . . .
“They stare at each other across the decades – the dangerous Pélissiers, with their brilliantined hair and their bag of tricks, and the smiling Simons; all teeth, courage and coloured Lycra. Connected by a thread of yellow – a jersey won, another lost almost forever in the high peaks of the Alps – they are two of the great French cycling dynasties, infected with the love of la petite reine like a virus spreading from brother to brother and on down the generations.”
Suze Clemitson delivers a typically compelling account of the intertwined lives and careers of brothers in the professional peloton in He Ain’t Heavy.
We all have our favourite historic cycling jerseys. Nottingham native Holly Blades has a soft spot for the red, black and gold of TI-Raleigh. She tells the story of the team and its kit in the first of a series aimed at unravelling some Threads of History.
Everyone knows that the business model of the typical pro team is a disaster, damning staff to a perpetual search for flighty sponsorships when they would much rather concentrate on the racing. But what’s the alternative? The people at Katusha-Alpecin thinks they have an answer. Scott O’Raw of The Velocast dissects a fascinating attempt to rewrite the rules in The New, New Future.
Few riders divide opinion like Tommy Voeckler. Beloved of the French fans for his unpredictable, instinctive style, elsewhere he is mocked for his self-regard and theatrical gurning for the TV cameras. But no one could fail to admire his heroics in the 2011 Tour de France. James Shepherd tells the story of this, the greatest performance of the (allegedly) unfortunately-nicknamed F*cker.
When star photographer Brian Hodes saw a shimmering peloton of chrome lowrider bicycles cruising through his home town of LA he knew he just had to document them. When he finally caught up with the East Side Riders Club, who use their machines to distribute food parcels to the needy on the streets of Watts, the story turned out to be even more extraordinary than he thought. Editor Trevor Gornall puts the words to Brian’s fabulous pictures in Ride4Love.
September. Damp. Cold. A short, impossibly steep climb. Shivering, bicycle-borne spectators hanging out their kit to dry. A statue of a Highland cow looming out of the mist. The heating on full blast in the press centre. A Scottish stage of the Tour of Britain? No – it’s the 2017 Vuelta a España, the day it went up Cantabria’s fearsome and wholly obscure Los Machucos. Marcos Pereda was there to drink in the scene.
New Zealand’s trio of Ethan Mitchell, Sam Webster and Eddie Dawkins have done everything there is to do in the team sprint, and much more besides. Russell Jones joins them over a four-shot long black to hear their stories of winning rainbow jerseys, savouring an on-track beer at Six Day London and taking on Japan’s finest and most fearsome keirin riders in New Zealand Track Team.
We linger in in the Land of the Long White Cloud to hear from Cameron Nicholls, who set out to ride the length of the country, top to bottom, to raise money for teenage cancer charities CanTeen NZ and Australia. In mid-winter. He encountered torrential rain, aggressive farm dogs, unsympathetic homeowners, life-saving Chinese herbs and lots of logging trucks.
Elsewhere, the lovely folk at The Peloton Brief provide their regular Briefings on life in Girona, and Tom Owen sends us a Postcard, this time from Gran Canaria.