On a windswept day for the strong of leg and heart on the Ayrshire coast it was last year’s silver medallist, ‘fresh’ from that toughest of races, the RAS, Peter Murdoch (Neon-Velo Cycling Team) who’s 52:13 was 22 seconds too quick for deposed reigning champion, Iain Grant (Fullarton Wheelers) and 49 seconds faster than bronze medallist and another former ’25’ champion, Arthur Doyle (Dooleys).
You forget how gruesome the climbs are here in Italy; I’d never been over the Mortirolo before but it was an eye opener – 11.9 kilometres (that’s more than seven miles) with an AVERAGE gradient of just under 12% and a maximum of 18%.
Lance reckoned it was the toughest climb he ever raced and ‘Bert’ was on 34 x 30; ’nuff said !’
On most of the big climbs there are sections where it eases a little; not on this swine, it’s unrelenting and unforgiving – ask Fabio Aru …
On a dour, grey morning by the banks of a brooding River Clyde Iain Grant (Fullarton Wheelers) reminded us why he’s Scotland’s short distance king with a stunning 19:38 in the Scottish National 10 Mile Mile Time Trial Championship on a sodden, cold Westferry course.
Second in 20:13 was ‘new kid on the block’ Harry Bulstrode (VC Edinburgh) with Sandy Wallace Cycles ever consistent Alan Thomson third in 20:32; just one tick of the second hand ahead of Billy Bilsland’s Ben Peacock in 20:33.
- Chris Smart – Tour of the Meldons 2015 Winner
- Tour de Trossachs 2014 – Golds for Chris Smart and Lynsey Curran
- Ponferrada World Road Championships 2014 – Elite Men. Michal Kwiatkowski Times it Perfectly
- Ponferrara World Road Championships 2014 – Juniors & Women. Jonas Bokeloh & Pauline Ferrand-Prevot
- Ponferrada World Road Championships 2014 – U23 Men, Sven Erik Bystrom Takes it Solo
Giro d’Italia 2015 – Stage 21, Turin – Milan; Eeeel-yoh! (Comments Off)
Well, as our amigo Dave is won’t to say at this stage; “our creds are no good to us now.” Just a curiosity on the windscreen; the Giro is won and lost, Contador confirmed as one of the all time great stage racers – he’s won all three Grand Tours – one of only six men in history to do so, along with Nibali, Gimondi, Anquetil, Hinault and Merckx, and now stands fourth in the all time Grand Tour winners list.
The route from Torino to Milano today was as bland as you could get but Radio Nostalgia was cool and our coffee stop was a cracker. The Milano circuit was similarly bland and it’s one aspect where the Giro doesn’t quite get it right but Iljo Keisse and Luke Durbridge delivered an exciting finale as you get.
It was a privilege to be there and great to be part of it all on Stage 20; a marvelous spectacle on the ‘sterrato’ without doubt – but is it sport or simply a circus? The cameras love it and it’s great copy – maybe I’m being too harsh? Paris-Roubaix throws back to the old days so why not have stages like this, many would say?
Albeit I still say there were too many mountain days in the race, just too hard. The Giro is a marvelous race but it’s not the Tour – nothing is, can or will ever be. The Italian race organisers have decided that if they can’t match/best the French race on organisation, prestige and scale then their race will be the toughest around.
They’ve achieved that.
It was nice to wake up in the shadow of the Matterhorn this morning; imposing, snow capped and stunning against a picture post card blue sky. Yesterday? There’s a clue in what Contador, Aru and Landa call themselves; “professional” cyclists. It’s a job, a commercial enterprise, a way to make money for riders, sponsors and organisers.
The way we read yesterday is that Alberto is due a big favour from Astana whilst Landa is due one from management and Aru. Alberto is happy; he’s still going to win the Giro and absloutely nothing has changed in his world, the organisation is happy with Aru in second and Aru is happy – especially since he’s been wasted for days.
- Giro d’Italia 2015 – Stage 18, Melide – Verbania; Gilbert Takes His Second
- Giro d’Italia 2015 – Stage 17, Aprica – Lugano; Modolo’s Second
- A Look at the Eddy Merckx and Jacky Ickx Exhibition
- Gent Six Day 2014 – One of the ‘Straightest’ Sixes We’ve Seen
- A Day at the ‘Duinencross’ – the Koksijde Cyclo-Cross 2014
Peter Murdoch – Scottish 25 Mile TT Champion 2015 (Comments Off)
This piece is about the man who recently added his name to those of Bilsland, Obree and Macintyre on the roll of honour – Mr. Peter Murdoch (Neon Velo).
The 35 year-old from East Kilbride’s ‘25’ silver in 2014 surprised us a little but his win this year didn’t; he looked every inch the champion to us as he blasted out to the final turn.
Dean Woods won Olympic Gold while still junior (U18) rider and went on to become one of the world’s premier individual and team pursuits.
In Part One of our interview published past week Dean spoke about how he got into cycling and who inspired him as a youngster, what it was like racing at the LA Olympics in 1984 and the sound-breaking carbon bikes he road which were actually made in a team official’s garage.
In Part Two we hear how Dean trained with the Australian Institute of Sport, rode the Commonwealth Games and Olympics a few more times and turned pro for Deutsche Telekom’s first incarnation, Team Stuttgart.
Steven Lawley – The New Scottish Road Race Champion for 2015 (Comments Off)
It wasn’t ‘til after the ‘25’ Champs that we managed to catch up with Steven Lawley (Neon Velo) – he’s a busy man, netting another two wins since his fine victory in the Scottish National Road Race Championship where he pushed multiple ex-champion, Evan Oliphant (Raleigh) off the top step of the podium. And in the meantime his team mate, Peter Murdoch scooped the aforementioned ‘25’ title at Irvine.
We first came across Lawley as a member of John Anderson’s Bicycle Works team, coming second to Grant Ferguson at the National Hill Climb Championship a year or two ago down at Stow. We might have guessed that ex-pro and now coach James McCallum had a hand in Lawley’s transformation to top roadman on the Scottish scene. Here’s what Mr. Lawley had to say to VeloVeritas the other night as he, ‘oo-ed and ah-ed’ on the massage table at the other end of the phone line.
- Dean Woods – Part 1; The Aussie World Champion and Olympic Gold Medallist whilst still a Junior!
- Mike Kluge – Three Times World Cyclocross Champion and the Man Behind Focus Bikes
- Wilson Renwick – The Pro Jockey Who’s a Talented Cyclist Too
- Harry Bulstrode – Silver Medallist at the Scottish ’10’ Championships 2015
- Mark Stewart – Looking Back at the Tour de Yorkshire