Archive for November, 2013

We’ve Moved

November 27, 2013


We’ve got some very good news for you. The new Rouleur website is live and kicking.

It’s a sleek, handsome place where it is easier than ever to subscribe to the magazine, buy our products and read our features on professional cycling.

There will be new weekly content from the road racing scene, offering the very same timelessness, insight and beauty as the magazine.

A large selection of features from past issues of Rouleur is also being published in full, as well as all the blog content you from this WordPress website too.

Of course, it does mean that this venerable WordPress website will lie untended from December 2013 onwards. It’s had a fine run, receiving over 150,000 hits since launching in the summer of 2009.

We thought we’d pick a selection of the most popular blogs from the past three years for your perusal on the new website.


Last But Not Least
Second-year professional Chris Juul Jensen discusses his difficult and rewarding Classics education after finishing last in the 2013 Paris-Roubaix.

In this extract from Rouleur issue 25, photographer Paolo Ciaberta witnesses Aldo Gios re-building the legendary blue machine ridden to victory in the 1977 edition of Paris-Roubaix by Roger de Vlaeminck.

Rohan Dubash casts his expert eye over the beautiful components and tries not to drool…

The complete feature will be available on the new website.

Viva La Vuelta
Former Garmin professional Christian Vandevelde waxes lyrical on his love for Spain’s national tour.

“Jump On, Lad”
An aspiring 18-year-old cyclist making his professional debut is in trouble. The gap opens. He flicks his elbow. No response.

The uncooperative swine glued to his back wheel? None other than Tour de France winner, Bradley Wiggins, who lends a hand in this charming tale.

The Accidental Death of a Cyclist
A Marco Pantani film is scheduled to come out next year; it could well be cycling’s version of Senna.

Rouleur interviews director James Erskine to get all the details.

Battaglin 1987
Photos of Stephen Roche’s Tour de France-winning steed, coupled with choice quotes from the winner of that memorable 1987 race.

Everyone loves a freebie, and our sampler magazine from summer 2013 went down a storm.

It includes features on Chris Froome, Corsica, Julio Jimenez, Russ Downing, Speedplay pedals and the Tour de France. And you can still download it now…

Merckx: Photographs from a Family Album
Unseen, intimate photos of Eddy Merckx and the mysterious story of one-time owner Monsieur Lecouf.

The Album d’Eddy sold out of the Rouleur shop in minutes.

A Four Grand Day Out
You’re shelling out a lot of money, so you’ve got to get it right. Managing editor Ian Cleverly looks at the painstaking thought process that goes into buying a new bicycle.

On Doping: Sport, Play and the Difference Between Them
“The purity or sanctity of play is not tainted by the actions of a single rider who dopes, but rather by the machine that has systematically turned sport into big business and athletes into commodities.”

Michael Egan’s thoughtful piece on the fine line between love and duty, morality and betrayal.

You Should Have Seen That Coming

November 15, 2013


Words: Andy McGrath

Here’s fair warning: you really can’t say you haven’t seen this one coming.

Long-serving Rouleur contributors Timm Kölln and Olaf Unverzart are exhibiting their photography in Berlin.

“You should have seen that coming” is their first joint exhibition and deals with the subject of road racing.

It is a phrase often used by cyclists and fans when a rider overlooks something – a break or an obstacle on the road, perhaps – that then leads to a fall.

Metaphorically, the phrase is also an exact job description of a reportage photographer: to see things that others do not notice.

I can vouch that Timm and Olaf have a soothsayer’s sense of what will happen and where they need to be.

Take one moment at a race for a forthcoming Rouleur feature. A cyclist was in the process of collapsing exhausted into a van at the end of a grueling stage.

At the simultaneous moment I thought ‘I wish Timm could see this’, he was already there, photographing by my shoulder.

With photography, you can have an idea of what you want to take beforehand or a feature’s concept, but a professional cycling race is the bull that can’t be tamed, changed and by so many variables.

Call Olaf and Timm matadors of the art, then. Their stunning, thought-provoking in-race photographs are matched with casual observations off the track, as well as insights into the private world of the cyclists.

The exhibition at Pavlov’s Dog also attempts to give the viewer an insight into a multi-faceted, heterogeneous sport, beyond a plain list of race winners or the routine mystification of the Tour de France, for example.

Moreover, it includes a selection of work from Kölln’s and Unverzart’s contributions to Rouleur, including photographs from the centenary Tour de France annual and The Peloton.

“You should have seen that coming” runs at Berlin’s Pavlov’s Dog on Bergstrasse from November 15 to December 14 2013.


When Promo Films Go Bad

November 6, 2013

Words: Ian Cleverly

You may, like us, be considering a visit to Hoogerheide for the cyclo-cross Worlds in February. In which case, I warn you now, probably best not to watch the official promo film.

Mention of the Spanish Inquisition early on over a stirring slice of Prokofiev, by a voiceover artist clearly resting between Hollywood horror gigs, sets the tone. It goes rapidly downhill from there.

Petrified priests, retreating Spaniards, cowering Germans – all crop up in this incredible four minutes of filmic nonsense. You have to feel sympathy for Adri van der Poel and Marianne Vos, who were obviously conned into making guest appearances. Bet they’re regretting it now.

By the time dreadful, hairy, flute-wielding Dutch rockers Focus are assaulting your ears to images of local industry and assurances that the “living is easy” in the vicinity of the Wall of Brabant, you may well have vouched never to visit Hoogerheide or its environs. Entirely reasonable.

The Spanish Inquisition is too good for the makers of this film. Come to think of it, never mind Truth and Reconciliation committees on drug use. Brian Cookson should be asking questions about this nonsense. If UCI money was involved in its making, demand a refund.