Picking suitable images for our member editions of Rouleur is a double-edged sword.
With an embarrassment of riches as usual from our fine photographers, choosing one shot that both embodies the magazine’s content and lives up to the standard we have set over 11 years and 77 issues is not easy.
For this Spring Classics edition, our lead feature is Fabian Cancellara. An extraordinary man requires an extraordinary writer, so we sent Morten Okbo to Switzerland, and he captures a recently retired great of the sport struggling to adapt to life outside of racing a bike. It is a fascinating piece, accompanied by fine portraits from Paolo Ciaberta.
Rob Johnson, Rouleur’s art director, mocked up some options for us, and this shot by Paolo of Cancellara from the 2015 Strade Bianche caught the eye. Although not one of Fabian’s finest moments (he finished an uncharacteristic 15th), it shows the power and majesty of the man cresting the brutal climb preceding the Piazza del Campo in Sienna, with just the one excited spectator bellowing in his ear – in stark contrast to the seeming indifference of the men to his right.
Paris-Roubaix looms large in this issue, of course, and it’s a gift for photographers. David Powell spent an exhilarating day with the neutral service guys from Mavic, right in the thick of the action from start to finish, as this shot from the car clearly shows – a wheel handover at speed from the back of the bunch.
We rarely use composite shots for the members’ cover. The wraparound format invites a classic landscape photo with action on the front and hidden delights on the back, but Rob put these two ‘before and after’ Roubaix images of one of the Mavic men together to make an interesting option. Definitely a contender.
But it was another of Pauline Ballet’s Roubaix shots that won the day. Wheels and bidons aloft, peloton streaming by, and that perfectly clear blue sky. Greg van Avermaet guides us through his day at Roubaix last year, from dawn till dusk. We couldn’t ask for a better way to invite our members inside a special edition of Rouleur – a Classics classic.