"I thought I was going to win."
Remember the 2004 Paris-Roubaix, when Magnus Backstedt won? Roger Hammond still has that final lap of the velodrome playing in his head. Ned Boulting spends a fascinating afternoon with The Third Man. Taz Darling captures the day before Hell.
A professional cyclist who goes a year without crashing is truly blessed. Team Sky's Michael Barry shares the pain of road rash while photographer Olaf Unverzart watches the Tour on TV in Chute!
Two former pro riders contribute words to this issue. Pedro Horrillo recalls a time when Spanish component manufacturer Zeus challenged the almighty Campagnolo. Shimano entered the market. Someone was bound to lose Pedro takes Timm Kölln and his camera to the old factory in Matiena. And Tom Southam accompanies Ben Ingham to Rwanda for the second installment from the African tour.
Cicli Casati has been making bikes in Monza since 1920. Guy Andrews hankers after a land where steel frames, sunshine and midnight ice creams are a way of life. Herbie Sykes depicts an altogether grimmer reality of Italian amateur cycling.
We all dream of running into our cycling heroes on the road and hooking up for a training ride. Illustrator Marc Locatelli recalls a boyhood chance meeting with Swiss legend Ferdy Kübler in his gorgeously drawn cartoon strip.
Harold "H" Nelson coached the likes of Paul Sherwen, Graham Jones and John Herety. Graeme Fife talks to an unconventional, no-nonsense man with an uncanny knack of knowing his rider's condition. And whereabouts...
Plus columns by William Fotheringham, Johnny Green and Matt Seaton.