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    We're working at the Amsterdam Six Day

    It’s our first time at the Amsterdam Six Day – Kris (our soigneur) said I needed to attend so I can say I’ve been at every one of the current winter races - and initial impressions aren’t bad; it’s a nice wee track in a good location, the old village of Sloten, a suburb of Amsterdam.
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    "Sprinter's Speed in a Road Rider's Body": 70's Pro, Reg Barnett

    The 70’s are the ‘decade that taste forgot’ according to the Media; which is strange because I remember the era as having the best cars, music, films – and bike riders. On the continent the exploits of Sercu, Ocana, Merckx, Hoban, Gimondi, Verbeeck, Thevenet, De Vlaeminck and all the rest of a ‘Golden Generation’ of hard men made the disappointment of ‘The Comic’ being late once again all the harder to bear.
  • 7000 slidetop true 130 bottom 30 http://www.veloveritas.co.uk/2014/10/19/graeme-gilmour-oct14/
     
    Interview - Aussie Six Day Star of the Golden Era: Graeme Gilmore

    The Six Days of Amsterdam kicks off next week, the first race of the season. The programme until Xmas makes sad reading with few ‘names’ in Amsterdam; tales of crooked promoters souring things; possibly the last race in Grenoble - and it's down to just three days. This interview takes us back to the Golden Years of the 70’s and Merckx, Sercu, Clark, Allan, Renz, Bugdahl – and Graeme Gilmore.
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    Mark Stewart, this young Scot is the new British Points Race Champion

    At the next Commonwealth Games there’ll be no David Millar or ‘Jamesie’ McCallum and even the perennial Evan Oliphant might not make it to Gold Coast City, Australia in 2018. But Dundee’s Mark Stewart should be there; at just 19 he took sixth place in the 20 K Scratch Race in Glasgow and has just become the British Points Race Champion!
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    An interview with British legend Russell Downing

    'Grinta' is the Russell Downing's middle name. As the World Tour stars headed into the pits at the Commonwealth Games Russ just kept riding through the wind and rain - the man is dogged. His name featured in a recent press release we received from the Luxembourg/Danish Continental squad Cult, they're going Pro Continental for 2015 and Mr. Downing is on board.
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    Chris Smart Takes the Tour de Trossachs

    Paisley Velo's Chris Smart joined the likes of Ian Steel, Billy Bilsland, Graeme Obree and Jason MacIntyre on the Tour de Trossachs roll of honour with a fine 1:08:10 winning ride on a cool, grey morning which favoured the strong men. Last year's winner, Silas Goldsworthy (Sandy Wallace Cycles) was second with 1:09:29 and fast pedalling David Griffiths (Glasgow Wheelers) third in 1:09:47.
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    Colby Pearce Chats About His Hour Record Experiences!

    It's all very well for us at VeloVeritas to pontificate about Jensie and hour records but what about the thoughts of a man who knows the pain of The Hour at first hand? Former US hour record holder Colby Pearce last year attempted to take the record back and also set the standard for the US "Athlete's Hour" is a good man to talk to.
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    Ponferrada: Michal Kwiatkowski - World Elite Pro Champion!

    Spanish sports paper, Mundo Deportivo says; 'El Tigre, en la Lieja-Ponferrada-Lieja' comparing the race to an Ardennes Classic. 'A complete cyclist with a brilliant future,' they say of the 24 year-old Pole. Despite a tiny box on the front cover, the race gets two-and-a-half pages with nice colour pictures.
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    Silvan Dillier, a Neo-pro and an Elite World Champion!

    Sometimes you can just tell a rider is a bit special, BMC's Swiss road and track man, Silvan Dillier is one such rider. We first came across him on six day duties, he made the podium in Gent and Zurich but was forging a name for himself in the summer, too. Now, as a first year full pro, he's an Elite world champion, part of the BMC machine which ended QuickStep's domination of the TTT.
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    The VV View - Voigt's New Standard, Not New Record, Surely?

    First of all we have to congratulate Jens Voigt (presumably this is the same person as ‘The Jensie’ whom ‘that commentator’ continually referred to?) – anyone who can cover 51.115 K on a bicycle in one hour unaided by gravity or pace making deserves plaudits. However, I have to argue the point about his, ‘having broken the world record hour record’...
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    Time Trial Champion Matt Bottrill Joins the Legends

    We can’t keep up with that man Matt Bottrill – no sooner had the ink gone dry on this interview we did with him after he won the 25 champs than he’d won the 10 mile champs in the 2nd fastest time ever, then added the ‘blue riband’ 25 record with 45:43 to join Bonner, Engers, Boardman and Hutchinson as a TT ‘legend.’ Here’s what he had to say to VeloVeritas soon after the 25 Champs...
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    The VV View: Ain't No Smoke Without Fire?

    The splendidly named ‘Bugatti and Musker’ released a disco classic in 1976; ‘Ain’t no Smoke Without Fire,’ it’s about a guy who's worrying that his girl is straying. "Please don’t do nothin’ to make me ashamed of you . . . when I heard the news it broke me in two . . ."
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    Peter Murphy - Kingsnorth Wheelers, Kermis Kings

    The World Tour, the pinnacle; but how do you take the first step up the mountain where only the Super Teams can breathe the rarefied air? Well, you could do a lot worse that speak to a certain Peter Murphy - Jack Bauer did and the rest is history.

Race»

Tour de Trossachs 2014 – Golds for Chris Smart and Lynsey Curran (Comments Off)

October 5, 2014 • by Ed Hood and Martin Williamson

Paisley Velo’s Chris Smart joined the likes of Ian Steel, Billy Bilsland, Graeme Obree and Jason MacIntyre on the Tour de Trossachs roll of honour with a fine 1:08:10 winning ride on a cool, grey morning which favoured the strong men.

Last year’s winner, Silas Goldsworthy (Sandy Wallace Cycles) was second with 1:09:29 and fast pedalling David Griffiths (Glasgow Wheelers) third in 1:09:47.

VeloVeritas drove the whole course and snapped about every rider…

Ponferrada World Road Championships 2014 – Elite Men. Michal Kwiatkowski Times it Perfectly (Comments Off)

September 29, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Spanish sports paper, Mundo Deportivo says; ‘El Tigre, en la Lieja-Ponferrada-Lieja’ comparing the race to an Ardennes Classic. ‘A complete cyclist with a brilliant future,’ they say of the 24 year-old Pole. Despite a tiny box on the front cover, the race gets two-and-a-half pages with nice colour pictures.

The second of the Nation’s four sports dailies, Marca concentrates on Valverde’s medal, ‘El hombre de bronce,’ again with colour photography and two full pages – if back on page 40. AS too goes with Valverde, ‘La sexta de Valverde’ – his fourth bronze and two silver medals take him two medals clear in the tables of seven riders on four podiums: Freire, Binda, Van Steenbergen, Lemond, Van Looy, Darrigade and Poulidor. Albeit all of them save Poulidor won the race at least once…

Ponferrara World Road Championships 2014 – Juniors & Women. Jonas Bokeloh & Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Comments Off)

September 28, 2014 • by Ed Hood

I hate to keep moaning about these Worlds, but … There’s no way you can get from the two K to go sign at the foot of the final descent and up onto the climb. Barriers, tapes, police, volantarios (volunteer janitors) – grim! A man who can’t walk the course ends up in too many bars.

The junior race was mad – crashes aplenty but a good finish with the big German lad too fast for everyone. The wee Russian lad who was second looks ‘well hard’ he’d get no lip from anyone in a chip shop in Whitburn.

Ponferrada World Road Championships 2014 – U23 Men, Sven Erik Bystrom Takes it Solo (0)

September 27, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Well, if there’s a pizza place in Ponferrada, we can’t find it. It’s rude to criticise your host’s abode but we’re mystified by how the Worlds came to be here. The communications are terrible, it’s four-and-a-half hours by road or rail out of Madrid or get transfer flights up to the North West and more driving.

The town is ‘any town Spain/Italy’ and with the exception of the beautiful Knights Templar Castle there’s very little which is photogenic. It’s ‘just a town,’ like Broxburn or Kelty – which is fine but maybe we’re looking for more from the biggest week of racing on the planet ?

Diaries»

Amsterdam Six Day 2014 – Part One; ‘Terpstra is on another planet’ (Comments Off)

October 25, 2014 • by Ed Hood

It’s my first time at the Amsterdam Six Day – Kris (the soigneur I’m working with) said I needed to attend so I can say I’ve been at every one of the current winter races – and initial impressions aren’t bad; it’s a nice wee track in a good location, the old village of Sloten, a suburb of Amsterdam.

The first night I was just finding my feet but my second night (the fourth night of racing) I was in full effect doing all that ‘runner stuff.’ It soon comes back to you, the rituals, the chores, when to have a joke and when to keep schtum. And on that subject I’ll do that right now and be back in a day or two to tell you about the final two days. And just as I sign off, Claude François comes on Radio Nostalgie; ‘C’ést la Même Chanson’ – quality!

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 21; Évry – Paris Champs-Élysées, 136 km. Kittel’s Fourth (0)

July 27, 2014 • by Ed Hood

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 !

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 19; Maubourguet Pays du Val d’Adour – Bergerac, 208 km. Navardauskas Solo (0)

July 25, 2014 • by Ed Hood

There’s always drama when you work le Tour. We’ve followed Tour time trials for years; roll up at the start, tell the dude which rider you’re following, they give you a windscreen sticker, marshall you into position at the appointed time and off you go.

This year, however we were notified that we had to attend a meeting on Friday evening at the Permanence after the stage if we wished to follow a rider. Fair enough – but then they changed the venue a few hours before the meet was due.

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 17; Saint-Gaudens – Saint-Lary-Soulan Pla d’Adet, 125 km. Majka Confirms (0)

July 23, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Another great stage yesterday – Peraud takes a giant step, Majka confirms, Nibali consolidates, Konig stumbles… After breakfast we had a wander round Lourdes; it’s one weird place – but I said that yesterday.

We decided against the finish col to Saint-Lary Pla d’Adet – dead end climbs are nitemares to get off after the stage and we figured that the action might just start on the Col de Val Louron-Azet. We got up there in plenty time, claimed our spot and waited ’til it was time to grab our caravan swag.

Interviews»

Reg Barnett – 1970’s World Class Pro; “a sprinter’s speed in a road rider’s body” (Comments Off)

October 23, 2014 • by Ed Hood

The 70’s are the ‘decade that taste forgot’ according to the Media; which is strange because I remember the era as having the best cars, music, films – and bike riders. On the continent the exploits of Sercu, Ocana, Merckx, Hoban, Gimondi, Verbeeck, Thevenet, De Vlaeminck and all the rest of a ‘Golden Generation’ of hard men made the disappointment of ‘The Comic’ being late once again all the harder to bear.

One of my personal favourites was Londoner, Reg Barnett who was one of the top ten track sprinters on the planet in the late 60’s but then turned his hand to the road where as well as the inevitable seafront criteriums he could win stages in the tough stage races of the day. He’s a man I’ve long wanted to quiz and last week over the course of an hour long phone call, I got my wish.

Graeme Gilmore – Part of ‘the Blue Train’ in the Golden Era of Six Days (Comments Off)

October 19, 2014 • by Ed Hood

The Six Days of Amsterdam kicks off next week, the first race of the 2014/15 winter season. The programme until Christmas makes sad reading with few ‘names’ in Amsterdam; tales of crooked promoters souring things there and in Rotterdam; possibly the last race in Grenoble – and it’s down to just three day; Zürich only four days and only Gent going from strength to strength.

After the turn of the year things improve with Rotterdam, Bremen, Berlin and Copenhagen all in good to robust health – but it’s a far cry from the 21 Six Days that winters in the 70’s enjoyed. A stat which speaks louder than any words is that of the top 50 Six Day men of all time only one – Iljo Keisse – is currently active.

This interview takes us back to the Golden Years of the 70’s and Merckx, Sercu, Clark, Allan, Renz, Bugdahl – and Graeme Gilmore.

Mark Stewart – This Young Scot is British Points Race Champion 2014 (Comments Off)

October 14, 2014 • by Ed Hood

At the next Commonwealth Games there’ll be no David Millar or ‘Jamesie’ and even the perennial Evan Oliphant might not make it to Gold Coast City, Australia in 2018. But Dundee’s Mark Stewart should be there; at just 19 he took sixth place in the 20 K Scratch Race in Glasgow behind New Zealand’s World’s Omnium medallist, Shane Archbold with the distance being covered in 22:43 @ 52.819 kph – that’s quick.

And even more recently he landed the British Points Race in front of riders of the quality of Raleigh’s Mark Christian (# link ? mind we interviewed him ? #) and NFTO’s Jon Mould. Mark chatted to VeloVeritas after his latest success:

Russell Downing – Cult’s New Signing; “I much prefer stage racing and classic racing” (0)

October 10, 2014 • by Ed Hood

The ride of the Commonwealth Games for me? Russ Downing’s fourth place in the road race – ‘grinta’ is the man’s middle name. As the World Tour stars headed into the pits, Russ just kept riding through the wind and rain – the man is dogged.

His name featured in a recent press release we received from the Luxembourg/Danish Continental squad Cult, they’re going Pro Continental for 2015 and yes, Mr. Downing is on board. Time to have another word with the man, whose done it all from madisons to the Giro, from the team pursuit to Flanders, from Linda McCartney to Sky.

UCI - Women's TTT Worlds

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...we reckon cycling matters. We aim to provide our readers with truthful, interesting and unique articles about the sport we love.

We cover all aspects of cycling by actually being there, in the mix: from the local "10" to the famous WorldTour "monuments" - classics like Milan-SanRemo and the Tour of Lombardy, the World Championships, the winter Six Days, and of course the Grand Tours.

We attend many local races as well as work on the professional circuit - and we do it all with a Scottish accent.

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