The charmingly chilly roads of the Arctic. The hellishly hostile route up Mont Caro. Heart-breaking stories from the COVID frontline. Female champions who beat male champions. Female champions who became male champions. And magical BMX memories: from pulling rad crossed-up wheelies on the bonnet of your neighbour’s Vauxhall Viva to getting major air, courtesy of "Ramp Mum".
Conquista 28. You (still) don’t get THIS in Cycling Weekly.
To order, click on the link or any of the pictures in this email.
Also available in print here.
It’s easy to romanticise the past. But some things really were as good as you remember.
We Were Rad is a three-year project which aims to tell the story of BMX in the 1980s, when it seemed like every street in the UK played host to impromptu races, daring stunt shows and humiliating faceplants.
We Were Rad’s first product is a limited-edition hardback book which contains just a fraction of the 10,000 photos and hundreds of stories that have been collected from the people who were there.
We got a copy. And it’s fantastic.
Trevor Gornall gets all misty-eyed over the mag wheels, frame pads and trips to A&E.
In issue 27 we introduced you to the unlikely story of Čestmír Kalaš, who – in addition to being an elite-level rider and coach and a full-time electrician – somehow managed to found one of the world’s leading custom cycle wear companies despite living behind the Iron Curtain. In issue 28 Trevor Gornall brings the story right up to date in The Kalas Story – Part Two.
“La championne de Belgique de cyclisme était . . . un champion!”
The issue of transgender athletes rouses emotions like few others. But it is easy to forget that away from the politics and the posturing there are living, breathing human beings who just want to compete. And when they do, some of them – like Willy (né Elvire) de Bruyn (pictured, and the subject of the above headline) – change the world forever.
Suze Clemitson unpicks the tangled threads in Sometimes You Witness History.
Eddy Merckx called Beryl Burton “the boss of all of us.” The Soviet Union sent spies to figure out her training secrets, which mostly involved planting, tending and harvesting rhubarb. She ate like a horse, rode a million miles in training, drove her family up the wall and thrashed all competition out of sight.
Jeremy Wilson’s new biography Beryl: In Search of Britain’s Greatest Athlete has already won admirers and prizes aplenty. And now, in the only review that really matters, Matthew Bailey gives it the once-over for Conquista.
With its mountains, forests and fjords, and an army of fans in fancy dress, the Arctic Race of Norway is perhaps the most spectacular recent addition to the racing calendar.
Marcos Pereda swaps the sun-drenched beaches of his native Spain for the WorldTour’s coldest roadside and asks: why didn't I bring my Big Coat?
No one had a harder time under COVID than the heroic staff of the UK’s National Health Service. While facing the suffering, the deaths and the fear of infection, surprisingly many of them found solace in the saddle.
Writer and photographer Justin McKie asked some of the Frontline Cyclists among the doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and administrators to tell Conquista their stories.
Finally, we welcome Trevor Ward back from his visit to Catalunya, where he cycled all the way up a bloody big hill just so that he could tell you all about what could be your worst nightmare in Mont Caro. Also, look out for a cameo appearance from our regular contributor Marcos Pereda.