The best of cycling writing and photography featuring Cav, cross dressing, sleep deprivation, closed roads & lots more

Now in its fifth year, the Rouleur Annual is back to showcase some top-notch writing and photography focused on a whole range of racing from 2011, and it’s a book that once again is bound to feature on many a cyclist’s ‘Dear Santa…’ letter. The gallery above has certainly whetted our appetite.

Publication date is this Friday 2 December and you can buy it in our new Showcase section, in fact you can make an advance purchase now. The latest edition covers everything from the sport’s biggest races including, naturally, the Tour de France and Mark Cavendish’s World Championship victory in Copenhagen, through to the Berlin Six-Day scene and Italy’s Giro di Padania, which evolved into a political cause-celebre, polarising right- and left-wing opinion.

Cavendish’s successful pursuit of the rainbow jersey is covered by Fredrik Clements and Guardian chief sports writer Richard Williams, while one of the most memorable editions of the Tour in years is reflected upon by the likes of Taz Darling, Yazuka Wada, journalist Richard Moore and ITV’s Ned Boulting.

Photographer Gerard Brown and writer Graeme Fife examine efforts to keep the tradition of Six Day racing alive in Germany, while that divisive regional multistage race in Northern Italy forms the subject matter for Maglia Rosa author Herbie Sykes and Turin-based snapper Paolo Ciaberta.

It’s not just pro racing, either; the effect on shattered bodies of sleep deprivation is year’s Paris-Brest-Paris is captured by Wig Worland, with Jack Thurston providing the words. Meanwhile, a series of Polaroid shots by Olaf Unverzart of closed roads is accompanied by an essay on the subject by ex-pro rider Tom Southam.

The former Rapha-Condor-Sharp rider isn’t the only cyclist, past or present, given a chance to showcase their writing talents – BMC Racing’s Taylor Phinney puts pen to paper to write about the Tour of California, with pictures provided by Daniel Sharp.

Geoff Waugh turns his lens on the keen and the crazy who run alongside riders in Tour de France mountain stages, accompanying an article on them by Bill Strickland of Bicycling magazine fame.

Finally, in an endeavour with which we at road.cc can fully empathise, Rouleur editor Guy Andrews runs the rule over some of the less exciting press releases from pro cycling teams, a topic in which he has what is described as “a peculiar fascination.”

Rouleur Photography Annual Volume 5, £37 + £8 P&P in the UK, £12.50 Europe, £26 RoW

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.