A British cycling dynasty whose members don’t like to draw attention to their achievements – for fear of “living in the past”. The nameless motorised sidekicks of the six-day scene. An astonishing Grand Tour achievement that no one noticed – not even the team that had pulled it off. A road trip into the wild and remote depths of Spain in celebration of high literature. A race with a thousand starters that you’ve never heard of. And a trip to the World Championships with some antipodean also-rans.
Conquista 21: the introvert’s edition. A bit like all the others then.
“I have ridden with two unbelievable descenders in my life: Sean Kelly and my Aunty Margaret.” Joe Earley (son of Martin Earley and Catherine Swinnerton).
After telling the story of Bernadette Swinnerton in issue 20, Suze Clemitson concludes her history of a remarkable cycling dynasty by telling the tales of younger siblings Catherine and Margaret. Don’t miss part two of Searching for the Swinnerton Sisters.
Only one team has completed all three Grand Tours in the same year without a single rider abandoning. What’s more, they did it three years running. And who better to tell this surprising story than Cillian Kelly, Research Director of the Road Book, pro cycling’s all-new almanack, a massive repository of facts, figures and features (we’re big fans: you can read our review here). Which team was it? Learn more in Liquinvincibles.
Photographer Chris Auld was on the spot to document all the highs and lows of last year’s pro cycling season. In Conquista 21 he shares twelve images that stood out in My Favourite Shots of 2018.
Ernest Hemingway called Spain “the last good country left”. Tom Owen and photographer Matt Grayson rode from Madrid to Pamplona, the two cities most closely associated with the author, across some of the wild and remote areas he loved above all. They tell the story of their adventures in Papa’s Bravas.
The undisputed crowd favourites at six-day events across the world are the Derny Team, those comfortably-built gentlemen of a certain age who bring to the action high speeds, nail-biting racing and a whiff of Castrol R. But where did that strange machine come from, and what sort of a person rides one for a living? Matthew Bailey went to the Lee Valley velodrome to investigate the Six Day London Derny Riders, with the help of Dernymeister Peter Bäuerlein. Drew Kaplan provides some stunning photography.
It was in the 1950s that the dominance of the three great cycling powers began to fade. But the first new national powerhouse of post-war European road racing was an unexpected one. Switzerland’s Ferdi Kübler and Hugo Koblet didn’t have much in common, but their nationality, their timing and their brilliance ensured that theirs were, nonetheless, Two Lives Entwined. James Shepherd tells the story.
Take a line-up of big names, from issue 21’s cover star Robert Millar to Greg LeMond. Dress them in hot pink and sky blue and stick a flatulent ‘Z’ on their chest. What do you get? Well, as Holly Blades puts it, you get “an explosion of pop art in the peloton”. Read the rest of her unique take on a unique team and their unique jersey in Threads of History: Team Z.
Open to all-comers, with over a thousand competitors, on everything from fat bikes to cyclo-cross machines, racing across a six-mile strip of the South Wales sand flats, Battle on the Beach is an event like no other. Matt Ben Stone tries to makes sense of it and provides some stunning photos in Sandy Knee Stars.
At last year’s World Championships, long-time Conquista contributor Russell Jones was granted an incredible level of access to the New Zealand squad. From his privileged position embedded within the team, he brings us the highs and lows of the Kiwi campaign in Fans, Vans and Chilly Bins.
Conquista designer Paul Davy took his camera to 2018’s edition of Paris-Roubaix. The experience left such a deep impression that he decided to share it with the world and publish a book of his images. You can see a small selection in Cobbles for Breakfast.
And of course we have our regulars, as The Peloton Brief brings us more Briefings from Girona and Tom Owen drops us another Postcard, this time from Mallorca.
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