BOULDER, CO (BRAIN)—John Wilcockson, one of the racing world’s best known editors, has left VeloNews after a 24-year career that re-launched the iconic magazine into one of the industry’s best read publications.
Wilcockson was one of the founders of Inside Communications, which bought a floundering VeloNews in 1988-89. Wilcockson, along with Felix Magowan and David Walls, transformed it into one of the most successful cycling magazines in the industry.
Wilcockson, along with Charles Pelkey, a senior editor at velonews.com, and Jamie Bate, editor at singletrack.com, a separate property owned by Competitor Group Inc. (CGI), were let go last week. Many longtime friends in Boulder’s closely-knit cycling community said their departures came as a surprise.
Ben Delaney, the magazine’s former editor, quit last month. His last day coincided with the end of the Tour de France. Wilcockson and Pelkey were let go shortly after the tour. Others, including publisher Andy Hersham, Mark Gouge and advertising director Kevin Burnette, have also left the magazine. CGI officials have yet to respond to a request for comment.
Wilcockson has covered 43 Tours during his career. "John is simply a legend in bike racing circles. When everyone else had written off Cadel Evans for being a perpetual bridesmaid, John said he'd win the Tour de France this year,” said Felix Magowan, who worked with Wilcockson for years.
“John was the first person in the sport to report on Lance Armstrong's huge talent, and the first person to editorialize on the scourge of EPO. And even after 50 years of the daily grind, there's nothing better than a John Wilcockson story that weaves together the small details of this beautiful sport that no one else sees, while setting it all in its historical context,” Magowan added.
Wilcockson was a founding partner, director, publisher, editor and writer at Inside Communications, which at various times published Inside Cycling, VeloNews, Inside Triathlon, VeloBusiness, Ski Racing and associated websites. He also helped found book publisher VeloPress and its online catalogue business VeloGear.
Wilcockson had just completed his coverage of this year’s Tour de France. His feature stories on the race will be published in the October issue of Velo magazine.
Wilcockson also has written more than two-dozen books, published under the VeloPress imprint, in a career that began in the 1960s when he raced in France. He gave up racing and turned to journalism covering all the major European, British and American races from the late-1960s as editor of the monthly magazines International Cycle Sport, Cyclist Monthly and Winning: Bicycle Racing Illustrated.
For an inside look at Wilcockson’s career and the founding of VeloNews, click on above link.
CGI bought VeloNews, part of Inside Communications, in March 2008. CGI recently changed the name of its print publication, VeloNews, to Velo with the August issue. It maintains the VeloNews name online at velonews.com.
The San Diego, California, company is a media and event entertainment enterprise focused on endurance sports including running, cycling and triathlons. It manages 45 national events including the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon Series, Kids Rock Series, Columbia Muddy Buddy Ride and Run Series and Competitor Triathlon Series. Besides Velo, it also owns Triathlete, Inside Triathlon and Competitor magazine.