Conquista Issue 22

The greatest race of them all. The most amazing feat in the sport’s history. Absolutely the optimal way to start a Grand Tour. Teammates from the top drawer. South America’s cycling demigods. The fastest man across Europe from North to South. England’s finest climb, bar none.

This is no time for false modesty. Conquista 22: indisputably the greatest thing in the history of all time.

In issue 21 we wrote about the history of the Derny, the unique two-stroke motor-pacer. We briefly explained its role in the mighty Bordeaux-Paris, one of cycling’s oldest and greatest races. And then we remembered our motto: if you want something doing properly, get Suze to do it.

Bordeaux-Paris is cycling’s Moby Dick: massive, ancient, near-mythical and liable to bite the unwary off at the knees. Suze Clemitson is its Ishmael, unravelling its many incomparable tales. With illustrations by Sam Hinton (who also provides our cover).

This year’s Giro started with an explosive time trial around the spectacular streets of Bologna. Chris Lanaway was there with his camera and tells the story of the day.

But here’s a thing: when is a prologue not a prologue? When it’s Stage 1, of course. But why are some short time trials at the start of Grand Tours prologues and others not? Matthew Bailey cracks open the rule and history books in search of an answer.