Issue 53: Vol 3 2011
And so it has happened. An Australian has won the Tour de France for the first time. Cycling is alive here and Cadel Evans can take plenty of credit for creating the new wave of interest in the best sport in the world.
Many RIDE Cycling Review readers have understood for years what it means to enjoy cheering on riders in a race on the other side of the world. This edition is an anomaly. First of all, it’s late compared with other years – as there is usually an issue on sale midway through the Tour, covering the Giro d’Italia – but we decided to hold it back so that we could include a full review of the race that attracts so many to cycling.
The second big difference between RIDE #53 and all before it is that a large percentage is devoted to just one event.
I believe it’s important to explore every aspect of the sport so that a balanced overview can be presented, but the events that have unfolded in recent months are unprecedented. Never has cycling enjoyed so much coverage in the mainstream media in Australia. It happened this way because a guy who has graced the cover of four previous issues won a race in France.
Five years ago, our review of the Tour included a coverline that asked: “Floyd, honestly?” This time we make a statement: “Cadel. Honestly.” And the other elements remind us of why so many are excited about the result: “An Australian 1st.”
And the footnote states: “This time there is no need for an asterisk. Enjoy!” Because of all that cycling has been through since the first edition of RIDE was published in July 1998 – with numerous scandals, plenty of scoundrels, and acts of bastardry we would rather never have seen – there’s now something that we can all savour. Success has a strange effect, and isn’t it fun?
It’s my belief that we’ve always had reason to be optimistic about a sport that offers so much, but there have been instances when even the most upbeat supporters question why we bother. What we have been reminded of, however, is that hope doesn’t fade. There is good and bad in all areas of life. A bike race can frustrate the fans but when it’s done honestly it can also inspire. To everyone who has enjoyed the last few months, I hope that this issue reflects the accomplishments of the combatants of the Tour de France and the other events that are featured.
It’s been an amazing journey since completing the previous issue and I look forward to continuing to cover this sport, all its foibles and beauty. It’s fun to ride, relish it when you can. Rob