Editor's Desk: Cam Winstanley, Procycling

Future's Procycling magazine has just unveiled its redesigned edition. PRWeek speaks to the editor about the changes.

Cam Winstanley: Procycling editor
Cam Winstanley: Procycling editor

What changes have you made to the title and why?
Procycling is the market leading English language magazine about professional road racing. The cover line is ‘Inside the world’s toughest sport’ and that says it all really. We’ve always concentrated on these amazing athletes who cover hundreds of kilometres across deserts and over mountains and still have the capacity to sprint for the finish at speeds up to 70kph. The relaunch is bigger, glossier and more refined to reflect a sport that has learned from F1 and is seriously marketing itself as an international event.

Who reads your content?
Mainly well off, male cyclists. The thing about cycling is that if you’re a fan, you can go to a high street store and buy the exact same helmet, kit and bike as your idol. Fans tend to be cyclists because they appreciate the effort it takes to ride up Alpe d’Huez or the Tourmalet – chances are they’re ridden it themselves. Past a love of the sport, they’re a global bunch. We sell as many issues in the UK as we do the US and the rest of the world.

Who are your competitors and what makes you different?
In the UK, the other monthly sports title is Cycle Sport, which is very much an English magazine for English fans. With our relaunch, we’ve moved ourselves away from this position, removing all Anglocentric language and humour to make it accessible to readers anywhere in the world. American titles have slick presentation but are almost exclusively about the American scene while European titles cover the sport in depth but in foreign languages and with an almost slapdash level of production. By combining improved production values and photography with insight into European racing, we’re giving readers the best of all worlds.

What makes a good story for you?

One that would never appear in a rival because one of our team has looked outside the current box of press releases and news events and stuck with a story long enough for it to bear fruition. One that presents an aspect of the sport that goes way beyond ‘athlete trains to win.’ One that could easily appear in a Sunday colour supplement or men’s magazine and be understood and appreciated by a general readership.

Describe your relationship with PROs
It’s hard to keep up with all the teams, products and events involved in professional racing so it’s good to be told something rather than running the risk of it passing us by.

Of which story are you most proud?
Procycling’s features editor, Daniel Friebe, recently wrote a story about Jonny Bellis, a young British rider who nearly died in a scooter crash in Italy last year. His astonishing account of the recovery and setbacks proves that a sports magazine doesn’t have to be constrained by articles about races, training and on-the-road struggles. This is a beautifully-written human interest story that would bring a lump to anyone’s throat.

What are your own media must-haves?
I’m a paper-free news junkie, browsing the BBC news and broadsheet websites constantly, at least until they expect me to start paying, and for keeping up to date with the racing scene, I read Cyclingnews.com. Channel 4 news is the only news programme with the time or inclination to run extended reports on, for example, the war in Afghanistan or a new art exhibition while The Daily Show is still the best source of American news on TV. Other than that, I watch DVD box sets, most recently all of Entourage, Breaking Bad and 30 Rock.

Contact: procycling@futurenet.com
Tel: 01225 442244 (ext 2564)

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