A clean sprint and Evan Oliphant bags win number seven in the Scottish Road Race Championship. I suspect it wasn’t coincidence that he was assigned number 7 as his race number today, a nice touch.
The result had a familiar ring to it though, if you were to look at the past ten years of championship results. Don’t however, be deceived into thinking this was anything other than a very well organised race on a very demanding circuit and what was lacking in glamour was more than made up for in grit shown by the riders on a day of mixed weather on bleak moorland roads.
Eighty riders pinned numbers on and this was no sportive “race” – four laps of a 21 mile circuit looked like a hard day out that only the strongest ‘enjoyed’.
Chris Smart (GTR) put on another exemplary performance in the Tour of the Meldons hilly time trial in the Scottish Borders to retain his national title for the ‘Olympic Time Trial’ for the third time in a row, his 56:08 being 75 seconds faster than his time for the same course last year and 67 […]
The Primavera Démare Affaire (Comments Off)
It’s been branded a ‘tame’ version of the Classicissima but we’re all still talking about it days later. Bouhanni didn’t sleep for two nights after dropping his chain in the finale and losing what for many looked like the win, Gaviria crossed the line in tears, a moment’s inattention wasting seven hours of being in the right place at the right time.
And the ‘Démare Affair’ has split the pundits down the middle; some want him DQ-ed and others say there’s not enough evidence – and even if it did happen, the commissaires didn’t see it so it didn’t happen.
The Bikes of the Six Days 2016 (Comments Off)
Hardware at the Six Days: it’s not nearly as exciting as it used to be when you mooch around the pits, with Dolans and Cervélo’s in abundance and Fuji creeping up; but it’s always nice to look at and talk about racing bikes – one of life’s simple pleasures.
When Michael Mørkøv hooked up with Dolan, it was the start of the Merseyside builder becoming one of the main names on the winter boards. I remember Iljo Keisse calling round to our cabin at the Copenhagen Six Day a few years back, measuring tape in hand to check out Michael’s machine – and if they’re good enough for Michael and Iljo…
When we spoke to Cav’s personal soigneur, Aldis half way through the stage we knew it wasn’t to be; ‘And Mark, today ?’ Aldis screwed up his face; ‘he’s a little sick…’
So 4:1 to Greipel – and the rumours about Cav having to learn to understand Brian Smith’s accent at MTN get ever stronger. We changed our system and didn’t drive race route for the last stage; instead we drove straight to the digs, got organised, had a shower and headed off across a wet Paris to the finish circuit.
We didn’t want any slip ups on ‘le jour d’Alpe’ so we were offski early to make sure we were on the parcours in plenty of time. Trouble is that we were on the road before the routing crews and had a wee bit of mucking around before we picked up the parcours. One mitigating factor was that we stumbled on Oleg out for a run, complete with bodyguard/training partner and team car.
The stage may have been ‘all about L’Alpe’ but the Croix de Fer is no joke of a climb either – although the huge drop off makes it a descent where regrouping is possible.
- Le Tour de France 2015 – Stage 19; Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne – La Toussuire
- Le Tour de France 2015 – Stages 16, 17, 18 and the Second Rest Day
- Giro d’Italia 2015 – Stage 21, Turin – Milan; Eeeel-yoh!
- Giro d’Italia 2015 – Stage 20, Saint-Vincent – Sestriere; Aru Ancora!
- Giro d’Italia 2015 – Stage 19, Gravellona Toce – Cervinia; Aru Takes His Gift
We first came across Conor Dunne in his AN Post days, dueling with those hardy Topsport boys in a big kermis at Westrozebeke in Flanders. The next thing we knew his 6′ 8″ frame was on the tele from the 2015 Richmond Virginia Worlds, initiating the break of the day for his team Ireland jersey and spending 200 K ‘up the road.’
This year he’s changed allegiances from AN Post to cult British Continental squad, JLT Condor and is back in the headlines, winning what’s cited as; ‘Britain’s answer to Paris-Roubaix’ – but maybe the Tro Bro Leon would be a better comparison. There’s no pavé in ‘The Rutland’ as most call the Melton CiCLE Classic but there’s plenty of dirt road and pot holes; it’s a race requiring good bike handling skills as well as fitness – and a good dollop of luck.
Velo Veritas recently caught up with Conor after his fine win…
Harry Tanfield – A Strong Start to the Season (Comments Off)
It was 2013 when Harry Tanfield (Pedal Heaven) first came into our sights, winning the Dave Campbell Memorial Road Race in the Kingdom of Fife.
We ran a full interview with him 2014 when our man with his finger on the Flemish pulse, Viktor noted that young Mr. Tanfield had been ‘doing the biz’ in the kermises. And it’s time for another chat with the 21 year-old from Middlesbrough after he repeated his 2013 Dave Campbell victory on the tough roads of Central Fife at the weekend. We caught up with him the day after his win.
Yours truly didn’t make it to the Scottish Olympic or Ten Mile Time Trial Championships; unlike our editor, Martin who took excellent pictures at both races and framed reports.
‘I’ll interview both winners,’ said I, to make amends for life getting in the way of cycling.
So my thanks extend to Chris Smart (GTR) for winning both events and making life easy for me.
- Michael Mørkøv – “My goal is to be a strong helper for Kristoff”
- Marc Ryan – “Now is a good time to stop”
- Eileen Roe – Third in Dwars Doors Vlaanderen 2016
- Hugh Carthy – Ninth and Best Young Rider in Catalunya; “It was a real pleasure to be the protected rider”
- Ben Swift – Milan-Sanremo Runner-up; “I can’t think what else I could have done”