We weren’t so far away with our tip for the win, Michael Matthews the GreenEDGE Aussie was third and held on to his race lead; but we should slap out own wrists for not mentioning Germany’s Giant, John Degenkolb – the man to watch when gravity is involved and rains on the ‘pure’ fast men’s parade.
Albeit some rain would have been very welcome as the furnace-like weather continues to fry the peloton.
We may not have been too far away with Matthews but we were well out with Peter Sagan (Cannondale & Slovakia) – 13:44 was his deficit at the line in the same gruppo as Andrea Guardini (Astana & Italy).
La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 3; Cádiz – Arcos de la Frontera, 188 km. Another Jersey For Matthews (0)
We’re feeling a bit smug, this morning, on the eve of Stage Three we said; ‘It could be one for the breakaway but GreenEDGE may control it for Clarke and Matthews – and maybe Yates?’
And they man they call ‘Bling’ due to his penchant for jewellery proved us correct. The 23 year-old from Canberra again proved that in an uphill finish, if his motivation is good – there’s a little question mark over his grinta – then he’s very hard to beat.
Stage Two had been hailed as one where the cross winds could blow things apart from the off but fortunately the Weather Gods remained benign and we were treated to a high speed finale where F des J and Bouhanni demonstrated again that they know exactly how to handle fast, technical finales.
The wiry Frenchman was in a class all of his own after a beautiful lead out by his boys and in particular last man in the train, Geoffrey Soupe who rode a magnificent finale for his Capo. Bouhanni is now on 10 UCI wins for the season including four Grand Tour Stages and with his current form there’s little to indicate he won’t add more notches to his top tube before Santiago is reached in three weeks time.
La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 1; Jerez de la Frontera (TTT), 12.6 km. The ‘Telephone Team’ Take It (0)
Movistar win Stage One – no surprises, then. Perhaps we could have expected more from reigning World TTT Champions, QuickStep but with Tony Martin just back after a break and a technical parcours where it would have been easy to pile up, the Belgian team took no chances and finished fifth.
Cannondale took second – it’s a long time since they won the opening TTT in the 2007 Giro – as Liquigas back then – but the combination of strong rouleurs like Bodnar and spectacular bike handlers like Sagan and Gatto gelled well. Adam Yates again displayed his class as GreenEDGE took third despite their chrono royalty not being present. Trek was unlucky, finishing the day in fourth but after a warm-up crash where the whole team tasted tar.
- Commonwealth Games 2014 – Road Race, Elite Men. Geraint Thomas the Biggest Bear
- Commonwealth Games 2014 – Time Trial, Elite Men. Dowsett Movistars on Glasgow Green
- Commonwealth Games 2014 – Time Trial, Elite Women, Villumsen for New Zealand
- Commonwealth Games 2014 – Mountain Bike, Elite Men. Cooper the Strongest
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.
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.
It’s not everyday we get emails from Time Trial Royalty, so when BBAR and 100 mile time trial legend Ian Cammish tells us;
“Hi, just been involved in a brief exchange of emails with a guy from Moray Firth CC – Callum Finlayson. He’s just won the Scottish 100 champs with the 2nd fastest time EVER in Scotland. Got a pretty good story to tell too … suffered a Stroke a few years ago!”
we jump to it. Callum is brother of former top Scottish 80′s road man, Davie Finlayson – here’s his story.
The famous mullet may be gone – but unlike Samson, the strength has remained. Kiwi flyer, Shane Archbold was one of the ‘Men of the Games’ – medalling (God ! I hate that expression) in the team pursuit and scratch before setting Jack Bauer up for silver in the Vietnamese Rainy Season Sunday which hosted the Games road race.
Last season saw in the colours of AN Post a crop of New Zealand track medals and a stage win in the Ras. Before his Games successes in 2014 he’s obtained top placings in races as diverse as the Ras and Tour of Azerbaijan.
Shane kindly took the time to answer VeloVeritas’s questions about his own and the New Zealand squad’s great performances in the Commonwealth Games.
Yes, it’s another Katie Archibald interview; but as the winner of Scotland’s only cycling medal – disabled events excepted – we thought we should have a chat with the lady who posted top seven finishes across five different disciplines.
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!