presenting the derailleur off-season package
to keep minds active during these trying (or relaxing) times
Hello! After our brief post-Lombardia pause, this publication is excited to reveal to you a package of content to keep us all active during the dormant period in which we all turn to Zwift and our calorie counts go up. Or at least, that’s just me. Anyway, I’ve done a lot of work this past season on spec, which is to say, because it was interesting. Of that work, some of it was bunk, but other bits turned out to be remarkable, and it is those bits that we are very excited to use as off-season deep dives into some of the biggest issues and stories of cycling today. Let’s break down the goodies list.
Paid Subscribers Only
As you know, this website offers subscriptions, which are the only way we are able to fund travel from the United States to bike races in Europe. Unlike other websites, we prefer to use the carrot rather than the stick approach to raising money: much of our writing is free to read for everyone. For those who chip in for $6/month or $60 a year, we offer additional content, which has included deep dives into some of the best races of the season, long-form illustrations, and more. In order to raise the cash necessary to return to the sidelines next year, we’ve put together a pretty robust package of exclusives we hope you find worth paying for.
introducing our first pro-rider columnist: Joe Laverick
In addition, owing to the growth we saw during the grand tours, we have raised enough money to bring in outside voices to the newsletter. We are delighted to announce that we will have our first monthly off-season columnist: Hagens Berman Axeon’s Joe Laverick will be with November through February. Joe, in addition to being a young talent on the bike, is also a gifted writer and we are excited to welcome him to derailleur, where he will share what it is actually like being a young professional first starting out, anecdotes about his travels, the current state of bike racing at the under-23 level, and pretty much anything else he’d like to write about. (We value freedom here.) Because this is so exciting, Joe’s first column will be available to all subscribers.
a hard day’s work: inside the struggle for safety in the peloton
As you are probably aware, starting with the strikes and slowdowns of the 2020 season, there has been a wave of labor unrest in professional cycling. This came to a head in the crash-ridden first week of the Tour, during which riders scrambled to piece together a protest against what they deemed to be unsafe conditions. Beneath the surface of the stoppage led by Andre Greipel on Stage 4, broader ideas were emerging for making the sport safer, especially at its biggest event. Those concepts ranged from reforming sprint stages to bringing back prologues in order to diffuse first-week tension to changing the way safety is negotiated within the sport’s governing bodies. derailleur spoke or took part in extended conversations with some of the riders most active in the sport’s struggle for safety, including Michal Kwiatkowski, Matej Mohorič and Toms Skuijns, and in those conversations, we found a heated debate on labor, democracy, technology, and the difficulty of organizing in a sport where something must change if it — and its practitioners — are to survive.
derailleur rewind: E3, Le Tour, La Vuelta, Paris-Roubaix, Worlds, and more
There were, sadly, some races and stages we didn’t get a chance to write about in our distinctive style during the season that we would like to revisit now that there’s time to do so. Of these omissions, Worlds, Paris-Roubaix, and E3 loom the largest, wherein, respectively, the rapscallion Julian Alaphilippe absolutely got away with his barnstorming antics, Sonny Colbrelli outfoxed an exhausted van der Poel and a tenacious Vermeersch, and Kasper Asgreen showed that he had what it took to out-ride some of the best classics riders in the peloton.
In addition, because we were out in the field, there were stages of the latter two grand tours that still deserve the full derailleur treatment. From the Tour: Stage 5, wherein Mathieu van der Poel last-minute crammed a lesson on time trialling to stay in yellow and where it became obvious that Tadej Pogačar wasn’t here to play around and Stage 7, which had a bit of everything: van der Poel duking it out with van Aert, the end of Roglič (and therefore, realistically, the GC) and the first breakaway win in a Tour that would be just as defined by them as it would be by Pogačar’s absolute victory. From the Vuelta: Stage 20, a day which changed the race forever, saw the collapse of Superman Lopez, put Roglič over the threshold for winning, and Gino Mäder into the white jersey. Also there will be illustrations. Lots of them.
inside Pogi Team: an interview with Miha Koncilija
When Tadej Pogačar won the Tour de France in 2020, he did two things: bought a sports car and started a team for juniors. Not much older than a junior himself, it was natural for Pogačar to give back to the cycling club Rog (now Ljubljana Gusto Santic) where he tasked his old coach Miha Koncilija to work with his newly-ordained Pogi Team. derailleur caught up with Koncilija at LGS HQ just outside of the city where we talked Pogačar, Pogi Team, the past and future of cycling in Slovenia and the difficulties of coaching boys in a time when cycling continues to professionalize at younger and younger ages.
We might also have a few other tricks up our sleeve, including a look inside the headquarters of a certain World Tour team, dignified profiles of emerging and experienced riders alike, and general antics of analysis and art. All this to say, keep your eyes peeled, subscribe if you haven’t, and we’ll see you soon.