La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 21; Santiago de Compostela (ITT), 10 km. Adriano Malori Home and Dry (0)
Movistar top and tail la Vuelta as Italian Time Trial Champion, Adriano Malori has the weather gods on his side and rides in the dry whilst the GC boys look like they’re pedalling on ice around the technical circuit in beautiful and historic Santiago de Compostella.
The last time I stayed in Santiago weeds were sprouting from the cathedral’s lovely facade, so that scaffold was no surprise – a face lift was long overdue.
If the organisers’ gamble had paid off and the race had been down to seconds then there would have been scenes of carnage as desperate men did desperate things on wet cobbles to make time.
La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 20; Santo Estevo de Riba de Sil – Ancares, 163.8 km. Contador Dominates (0)
Samuel Sanchez summed it up best in the BMC press release for Stage 20; “To understand how was hard it was, you only have to look at the riders’ faces.” That was certainly true of Chris Froome, his face ashen, skin tight on his skull, eyes popping, gasping for air like a dying fish.
Not just from the effort but from the disappointment of having burned his Sky team to last match head then given his all, only for Alberto Contador to sit there as cool as a glass of Pimm’s on a summer’s day, soak up all the punishment then put 16 seconds into the Englishman in the last few hundred metres.
La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 19; Salvaterra de Miño – Cangas de Morrazo, 176.5 km. Adam Hansen Takes the Win! (0)
VeloVeritas cycling sage, Vik hates Adam Hansen’s narrow bars – they’re to make him more aero and save those precious watts – but they certainly didn’t do him any harm, today.
Not just a win; he’s saved Lotto’s Vuelta – it goes from ‘Ligthart and Hansen enlivening the breakaways’ to ‘stage winning’ and that’s about a million miles. By good fortune we had a chat with the man just before this Vuelta kicked off…
La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 18; A Estrada – Monte Castrove en Meis, 173.5 km. Fabio Aru with Froome Calling the Shots (0)
‘Alberto defends lead in spite of heavy bombardment,’ says the Saxo-Tinkoff press release – with Chris Froome the man in charge of the howitzers. Christopher may not be stylish but the man is a bike racer – and that has to be respected. The tactic is simple, when the road goes up and the pace eases back a notch – attack!
It nearly netted him the win today but Aru is young, hungry, skinny and pretty quick for a mountain man. But Froome did climb to second on the ‘virtual’ podium and claw back some time on Contador.
- La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 17; Ortigueira – A Coruña, 174 km. Degenkolb’s secret? Cinnamon Cookies!
- La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 16; San Martin del Rey Aurelio – La Farrapona, 158.8 km. Contador From Froome
- La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 15; Oviedo – Lagos de Covadonga, 149 km. Przemyslaw Niemiec Impresses
- La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 14; Santander – La Camperona, 199 km. Ryder Hesjedal Stays Clear
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)
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)
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.
We’ve left Carcassonne and heading for Bagnères-de-Luchon. But first, our favourite picture of the Tour so far ? L’Équipe’s shot of F des J manager Marc Madiot kissing Arnold Jeannesson after Stage 16 for all the good work he did for Pinot during his six-and-a-quarter hour 16 shift.
Some folks poke fun at Madiot; we like his style – committed, passionate and outspoken. As a rider he was brilliant; a French Pro champion, two wins in Paris-Roubaix and top tens in Flanders – he’s got the T-shirt, in our book.
We can’t keep up with that man Matt Bottrill – but then not many can – 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 second fastest time ever (17:40) and then added the ‘blue riband’ – the 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:
The Racers has been a Scottish Cycling and British Cycling affiliated club since 2001 when it was set up as a kids’ development club by Allister Watson five years before the BC Go Ride initiative. Since then the club has had a development role with riders such as Kevin Barclay, Eileen Roe, Callum Skinner, and latterly with Jenny Davis, Louise Haston, Charline Joiner, Kenny Ayre and of course Katie Archibald.
The Racers was a kids’ club; riders moved on when they were 16/17 and usually joined the ‘City’ where the same coaches would support their development. In 2013 the ‘City’ Committee decided not to support rider development preferring to concentrate on their established riders who were ‘potential medal winners’ and to turn down substantial development funding from Rigmar.
From that point the Racers development experience and Rigmars development funding were a logical match and the evolution of ‘Rigmar Racers’ affiliated to British Cycling as a commercial club with a focus on developing Scotland’s cycling talent in 2014 emerged. The club is now the top BC ranked Scottish national club and top West of Scotland ranked club.
As the Commonwealth Games fade in our memory to be replaced by The Vuelta and Worlds we thought there should be a ‘last word’ on the biggest week of cycle sport in Scotland’s history.
And who better to provide it than Scottish Cycling President, Alasdair MacLennan who kindly agreed to share his thoughts with VeloVeritas.
The World Tour, the pinnacle; but unless you’re a super talent nurtured from your junior years a la Taylor Phinney or Bradley Wiggins, 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. Peter is one of the men behind Kingsnorth Wheelers – the Flandrian team with the English name.
Peter has worked for Belgian pro cycle clothing manufacturer, Nico Sport for 37 years and has the T-shirt and the DVD when it comes to pro cycling. Inspired by Jack Bauer’s recent Commonwealth Games road race silver medal he took time to talk ‘grass roots’ with VeloVeritas.
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!