-+*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 (Comments Off)
-+*Chris Smart (Paisley Velo) explained to us that he’d no choice but to successfully defend his Scottish Olympic Time Trial Championship over the Meldons course in the Scottish Borders, recently.
If he hadn’t, he’d only have been the champion for half a year; with the Trossachs being the championship race in October 2014 and the Meldons coming in April of this year.
And in the time between us interviewing him and this piece appearing he’s gone and won another title – the TLI 10 mile championships on the A77 with a 21:19 to Ben Peacock’s 21:27.
- 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
- La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 21; Santiago de Compostela (ITT), 10 km. Adriano Malori Home and Dry
A Look at the Eddy Merckx and Jacky Ickx Exhibition (Comments Off)
-+*The Monday after Kuurne can be a bit of a downer, most of the bike shops are shut and you know that reality is just one sleep away but not this one; first up we had an interview with Rudy Pevenage – strangely, there were no scales, horns or tail on view and rather than being the devil incarnate we met a man who – like so many others – ‘did what he had to do’ in era where the UCI as much as invited you to kit up.
But this isn’t a D-word rant, it’s a look at a beautiful exhibition dedicated to two of Belgium’s finest sportsmen on the year of their 70th birthday; Motorbike, Formula I, Endurance and Rally Raid star, Jacky Ickx; twice a runner-up in the Formula 1 World Drivers’ Championship, six times a winner at Le Mans and a champion in Paris-Dakar. He was as famous, versatile and brilliant as the other man whose career gets a spotlight shone upon it – a certain Edouard Louis Joseph, Baron Merckx.
-+*I remember once, after the last chase in a Six Day I asked Dirk, our Belgian mechanic; ‘was that finale ‘straight’ Dirk?’ He fixed me with a patient stare, much as a good parent would do after their child has said something silly, ‘have you ever seen a ‘straight’ Six Day, Ed?’
I took his point, they’re all pretty much choreographed – but like I keep saying, you have to be able to take laps out of a string riding at 52-53 kph to win. But I reckon that on Sunday evening I did see a straight finale – and our cycling sage and mentor, Vik shares my opinion having watched the finale on the computer; probably getting a better view and appreciation of the racing than I did.
The last 20 minutes or so were savage; up close you could see the pain on the faces with De Ketele and De Buyst looking increasingly determined and Cav and Iljo looking increasingly desperate.
A Day at the ‘Duinencross’ – the Koksijde Cyclo-Cross 2014 (Comments Off)
-+*We’re at the Gent Six Day, and of course, the pils still gets the better of a few of the ‘don’t get out much brigade.’ Friday night didn’t see the best madison chase ever, and on a unanimous decision we headed for frites – and beer.
We love the Vivaldi, the landlady, the crazy clientele, the 70’s Disco and the fact that no matter how late we stay, we’ve never seen closing time… And the Saturday of the Gent Six Day means just one thing – the big ‘cross at Koksijde.
- Amsterdam Six Day 2014 – Part Two; a Race and Rider Review
- Amsterdam Six Day 2014 – Part One; ‘Terpstra is on another planet’
- Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 21; Évry – Paris Champs-Élysées, 136 km. Kittel’s Fourth
- Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 19; Maubourguet Pays du Val d’Adour – Bergerac, 208 km. Navardauskas Solo
- Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 17; Saint-Gaudens – Saint-Lary-Soulan Pla d’Adet, 125 km. Majka Confirms
-+*All you’ll read about for the foreseeable future are Porte, Aru, Uran and Contador – plus others who the press will ‘big up’ to make it seem like someone other than those four can win. But of course, there isn’t.
So if you’ll forgive us if we’re going back to a time when our champions didn’t Tweet but had much more worth talking about – Germany’s Mike Kluge is our man; quality road rider, triple World Cyclo-Cross Champion, top mountain bike rider and equipment innovator – he’s the man who started Focus bikes in 1992.
Wilson Renwick – The Pro Jockey Who’s a Talented Cyclist Too (Comments Off)
-+*”One guy worth keeping an eye on is Wilson Renwick from Hawick. He’s a pro jockey and an amazing talent by all accounts. He won the Gordon Arms in March and has been injured since but produced an impressive result in a flat TT yesterday which is probably not his strength. As I say, defo one to watch!”
So said the text message from Jim Cusick the day after the National ‘10’ Championship. And, always on the lookout for a good interview we tracked down 33 year-old Mr. Renwick – with a little help from Hawick’s Stuart Smith – and here’s what he had to say to VeloVeritas.
-+*The start sheet for the National ‘10’ took a bit of getting hold of; but I guess we shouldn’t forget that all those obscure course codes were designed to maintain the secrecy back in the days when we weren’t supposed to race on the public highways. Do I hear you say; ‘but that was 70 years ago, Ed?’ Well, yes, but you can’t let just anyone have a start sheet, I mean they might want to come and report on the race and even take photographs …
Start sheet duly obtained – thank you Silas – we had a swatch; the ‘usual suspects’ were all there, the aforementioned Mr. Goldsworthy, Arturo Doyle, Iain Grant, Alan Thomson, Chris Smart … But hold on, who’s this dude among the seeds – he must be fast to be back there – Harry Bulstrode of VC Edinburgh?
- Mark Stewart – Looking Back at the Tour de Yorkshire
- Karol Domagalski – Raleigh’s Pole takes the Drummond Trophy 2015
- Alex Stieda – North America’s First TdF Maillot Jaune!
- Phil Trodden – From Rugby to Cycling to National Championship Medals in Two Seasons!
- Youcef Reguigui – the Tour de Langkawi 2015 Winner Tells All