Despite being one of the youngest riders in the field, 19 year old New Zealander Anton Cooper proved to be the strongest and the savviest by surprising the two riders still with him heading towards the finish with a sudden and sharp acceleration off the front of the string to go clear with just a few hundred uphill metres remaining.
Teammate Samuel Gaze (himself only 18 years old) reacted quickly to pass Daniel McConnell (Australia) to take second place just three seconds behind Cooper, while it became clear the apparently still strong McConnell (who is currently fourth in the UCI MTB rankings) was in fact too tired to fight any more and he seemed happy enough to take the bronze.
Three times the cross country mountain bike event has been in the Commonwealth Games (introduced in 2002, it didn’t feature on the programme in Dehli four years ago) and three times Canada have topped the womens’ podium.
This time it was the turn of Catharine Pendrel, who took control of the race midway round the first of five laps and wasn’t challenged again, soloing to a 70 second win over her teammate Emily Batty, with Australian rider Rebecca Henderson third a further 12 seconds back, after a race-long battle with Batty.
If you rode the Tour in the colours of Lampre you’ve got €9,830 coming your way – but don’t get too excited, that’s to be split between nine coureurs and the staff. And if you then remember that’s for one month’s work – the shine comes of things a wee bit.
However, if you were one of Vincenzo’s hard working storm troops then you’d be splitting €539,330 with the Capo not taking his share. That’s better !
First mission was to have a good look at the chrono hardware on display. There’s a dazzling amount of tech on display from Canyon, Pinarello and the rest – it’s hard to keep up with the manufacturers’ claims and to get your mind round what’s the best solution.
Concealed front brakes, for example are a confusing one – whilst Trek’s Speed Concept conceals the mechanisms within the fork blades, which is perhaps the optimal solution, the likes of Giant and Ridley have the brakes behind the fork crown.
- Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 19; Maubourguet Pays du Val d’Adour – Bergerac, 208 km. Navardauskas Solo
- Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 18; Pau – Hautacam, 145 km. Nibali Authoritative
- Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 17; Saint-Gaudens – Saint-Lary-Soulan Pla d’Adet, 125 km. Majka Confirms
- Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 16; Carcassonne – Bagnères-de-Luchon, 237 km
Jack Bauer; tall, dark, slim, handsome, polite, grounded, friendly – it would have been so nice to add ‘Tour de France stage winner’ to that description.
Dave and I were holed up in a nice old bar/restaurant attached to a genteel hotel in Carcassonne watching the finale of Stage 15 and willing the big man from the land of the long white cloud to cross that line first. It wasn’t to be – and our red wine fuelled chat died away as we watched the images of a heart broken Bauer sitting on the ground in tears as his team mates tried to console him.
Welcome to VeloVeritas’ coverage of the Tour de France 2014. Stage one looked like a “truce” to VV – except for that finale, of course. We give our views on Cav and a few other aspects of the 2014 “Grand Boucle” (with a bittie to Yorkshire tacked on, that is.)
You’d have to be devoid of a soul not to feel sorry for the man – even more so when he puts his hand up and says; “my fault!”. Last year he wasn’t at his best in le Tour, despite the stage wins. He’d finished a very hard Giro – aren’t they all ? – and then rode the Tour.
There can only be one winner and that was Enrico; but there were other men who were outstanding on the day.
Domenico Pozzovivo (AG2R & Italy) is looking more dangerous by the day, his team is committed and strong and he looks the least stressed of the ‘Bigs’ – and that mountain time trial must have a big red ring around it on his programme.
Het Hieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne are the first opportunities for northern European fans to check out the new hardware.
Our trawl always starts on the Friday evening at the Holiday Inn, Ghent where F des J, Cofidis and Rabobank (now Belkin) set up shop for the first ‘real’ races of the year.
Brian is the man who won Scotland’s first cycling medal back in 1970 when the Commonwealth Games came to Edinburgh for the first time.
Australia and England were the top cycling nations in the competition with riders like Englishman Ian Hallam (who won the pursuit) and Australian John Nicholson (who won the sprint) and were expected to dominate the 10 mile; but a break comprising Vernon Stauble (Trinidad), Jocelyn Lovell (Canada) and Temple sneaked away from the Big Guns and stayed away. The youthful Lovell took the win – his first big international result en route to becoming a cycling legend – and Temple gave Stauble the slip to take home silver.
Brian recently took time to speak to VeloVeritas about his career.
He’s one of the men to thank/blame for the current plethora of facial hair in the pro peloton; add to that a dazzling array of pained expressions and you have one of the most photographed professionals around – Dutchman, Laurens Ten Dam (Belkin).
The 33 year-old from Zuidwolde in Groningen has been on the scene for a long time but it’s only in the last few years he’s emerged as a man whose name is mentioned in connection with the GC of Grand Tours.
Dan Fleeman has been British National U23 Road Race Champion and twice British Hill Climb Champion; and now he’s gone and won another national title – the British Cross Country Marathon Mountain Bike Championship. We’d been meaning to speak to him about his new title for ages but needed our memories jogged; so he came up with eighth place in the Beaumont Trophy road race putting him among the UCI Euro Tour points.
And then – he placed 14th in the British Elite Road Race Championship.
It’s been a while since last VeloVeritas spoke to former ‘Man in Black’ and African Road Race Champion, Dan Craven – 2009 to be exact, just after the Drummond Trophy which Dan rode for his Rapha Condor team. With his recent hook-up with Jean Rene Bernadeau’s Europcar squad we thought it was high time we had another word with the man with the most hair in professional cycling, and we heard all it in Part One of our interview with Dan yesterday.
In Part Two here, the conversation turns to Dan’s home country of Namibia as we find out about the country and it’s cycling, the growth of the sport on the African continent and we learn a little more about his previous teams.
Our pal Craig Geater works as a mechanic for the Orica GreenEDGE team, and is putting in the hard shifts at the Tour de France.
Like everyone involved in the race, he’s very busy, but when he has his iPad or phone in hand he’s been taking a moment or two to snap some images, and fire them over to us.
This time last year I was traveling the world, sourcing suppliers for a new Planet X clothing range.
One year on and we have made some giant steps forward. Not only has all the hard work paid off, with the new Planet X 365X clothing range now available both in store and online, we are also proudly supporting the Danish Professional cycling team Christina Watches – as official technical sponsor.
There have actually been quite a few new developments over the past few months, and many a tale to tell!
I haven’t raced since September 1st. I’ve been working hard though, on Swift Momentum Sports (SMS), and restoring an old building and of course, some training. SMS is doing pretty well. I’m glad to have shown people some fantastic cycling and running, as well as to have trained some very good athletes. My professional cycling career, however is pretty much over. I wasn’t renewed for the 2014 season.
The past year, I and my colleagues signed up to pretty bad working conditions, but this sacrifice allowed the team to continue. The oldest supposedly professional team in the world. Last season I had a couple of doors open to go else where, nothing brilliant, but new opportunities. Hanging on at Tavira felt kind of good though, like the work had a higher purpose. I’m not averse to risk nor struggle and working on such a project is tantalizing. Mid-season a sponsor came along with the ‘old’ management and the new team was killed off effectively…
So its been a few months since my last blog posting but now a week into my off-season its time to put some words together and sign off on this 2013 season.
Having stepped on the plane to the USA way back on February 4th and now already in November its been a busy nine months; five months in the USA to start with and four months between USA/Belgium/UK is a lot of km’s covered… by plane, car, boat and of course by bike!