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.
Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne 2016 Goes To Stuyven (Comments Off)
The Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne adventure began when I met Craig Grieve, Spokes bike shop owner and U23 race team backer, early Friday morning, to get a picture of the newly-logoed team car.
For Craig, the journey to Kuurne is a long haul; catching a ferry from Hull, arriving Saturday in time for the riders to recce part of the course. We caught up with them on Saturday night in Kortrijk for a pizza and to hear how their preparation has gone and to plan for the race.
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
The unluckiest man in Paris-Roubaix? Trek’s Suisse legend Fabian Cancellara with that nasty crash? But how about Katusha’s former Danish Elite Road Champion Michael Mørkøv, puncturing out of the break from which Matt Hayman went on to win the race…
Mørkøv is in good shape; top 10 in a brutal Gent-Wevelgem and top 20 in the Three Days of De Panne despite being at the service of Katusha team leader, Alex Kristof. Who’s to say how he would have fared had he not deflated on the cruel pave? VeloVeritas spoke to former Vuelta stage winner, World Madison Champion, Olympic medallist and Six Day star just before the Hell of the North.
Marc Ryan – “Now is a good time to stop” (Comments Off)
Yes, we know, it’s still Classics Season – albeit VeloVeritas’s resident soothsayer Viktor maintains the season finishes with Paris-Roubaix and everything thereafter is a ‘Glamour Race’ – but Rio will be upon us before we know it and we felt we had to record the retirement of a man who we’d expected to be a mainstay of the New Zealand team pursuit squad in Brazil but who has decided to bow out before the Olympics; Marc Ryan.
Not for Ryan the ‘stay at home’ mentality of the GB team pursuit riders; he based himself in Belgium and for a decade and more has been one of the World’s top team pursuiters as well as battling the ‘Kermis Kings’ in Flanders.
He’s been a multiple Kiwi champion, World Cup winner, Commonwealth and Olympic medallist and a World Champion – here’s what he had to say to us recently…
Eileen Roe – Third in Dwars Doors Vlaanderen 2016 (Comments Off)
A result which caught our eye during the Classics season was Valleyfield girls Eileen Roe’s third place in Dwars Door – ‘best have a word’ we thought…
- 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”
- Roy Schuiten – ace pursuiter, consummate chronoman and stylist of the ’70’s
- Rob Griese – “Alex Taylor wanted me in the British Tour team – Tom Simpson said ‘no way'”
- Roddy Riddle – Taking on the Marathon des Sables, the 6633 Ultra, and Beyond