You’d be hard pressed to miss the May issue of Procycling, which comes in Giro d’Italia pink and looks ahead to the centenary edition of the corsa rosa.
The cover stars are Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer, whose chances of succeeding Astana team-mate Alberto Contador as Giro champion are assessed by no fewer than seven extremely illustrious foreign winners, including Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, Stephen Roche and Contador himself. They provide some unparalleled insight into the race, but no prizes for guessing which of these icons stated bluntly, “You have to show you’re the strongest, that’s all,” when asked how to blunt the Italian challenge.
The Giro theme continues with two features by well-renowned writer Paul Howard on the race and the state of Italian cycling in general. Paul investigates the cultural significance of the race to Italians and visits an Italian cycling landmark that is being kept afloat by an American football team. The Giro coverage also comprises team and route details, with expert stage analysis from 2004 winner Damiano Cunego and profile maps of all of the key climbs.
We stay in Italy for the latest in our series of features remembering Lance Armstrong’s seven Tour victories. We’ve reached 2004 and, Lance apart, the main focus of attention was Filippo Simeoni. Derided by many, Simeoni is the current Italian champion, but won’t be lining up with his Flaminia team in Venice on May 9. The reason? Well, his dispute that year with Armstrong may have something to do, so Procycling heads to Italy to ask the Italian champion whether he has any regrets and what he’d do if he could turn the clock back.
Earlier this month, news came through that Geneviève Jeanson, not too long Canada’s top rider, had been banned for 10 years for admitting persistent use of EPO. That news stemmed from interviews Jeanson did with journalist Alain Grave, and May’s Procycling also features some explosive extracts from Gravel's biography of Jeanson, charting her rapid rise and controversy-beset fall. Not yet available in English, this is the first chance to read extensive parts of what is a brilliant insight into what became a tragic tale of doping and alleged abuse.
And for those who fancy a trip to Paris for the final day of the Tour de France at someone else’ expense, there’s also the chance to win a VIP trip for two to Paris courtesy of QuickStep.
Procycling is on sale in the UK now and across the rest of the world from early May.