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)
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)
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.
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 ?
- La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 21; Santiago de Compostela (ITT), 10 km. Adriano Malori Home and Dry
- La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 20; Santo Estevo de Riba de Sil – Ancares, 163.8 km. Contador Dominates
- La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 19; Salvaterra de Miño – Cangas de Morrazo, 176.5 km. Adam Hansen Takes the Win!
- La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 18; A Estrada – Monte Castrove en Meis, 173.5 km. Fabio Aru with Froome Calling the Shots
Amsterdam Six Day 2014 – Part Two; a Race and Rider Review (Comments Off)
Kris maybe summed it up best; ‘it felt like a Monday night at any another Six Day.’ There was none of the tension or expectation which usually precedes the final chase in a Six.
Granted, we weren’t looking after riders who were in the mix for the win but it was indeed, ‘just another chase.’ Maybe it was because it was clear from the start that Terpstra was the strongest man on the track and there was only going to be one winner.
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!
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
- Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 16; Carcassonne – Bagnères-de-Luchon, 237 km
- Le Tour de France 2014 – Second Rest Day; Catching up with Jack Bauer
- Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 1; Leeds – Harrogate, 191 km. Kittel from Sagan!
The last time we spoke to young Englishman, James Shaw he’d just won the junior edition of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.
Recently he’s followed in the footsteps of Adam Blythe and Dan McLay by signing for Lotto’s U23 ‘feeder’ team.
High time we had another word with him, we thought to ourselves…
Hugh Carthy – Lines up with Txurruka at Caja Rural in 2015 (Comments Off)
If you’re my age then you’ll remember Basque climbing legend, Marino Lejarreta in the colours of Caja Rural back in the 80’s. The name has been associated with Spanish cycle sport off and on since then and season 2015 will see an English name alongside the likes of Amets Txurruka in Spain’s only Pro Continental team.
Hugh Carthy’s win in the UCI Tour of Korea has catapulted the 20 year-old from Lancashire into the big leagues after two seasons with John Herety at Rapha Condor JLT. Hugh took time to talk to VeloVeritas about his cosmopolitan 2014 season and the challenges he faces in 2015…
Heiko Salzwedel – Returns to Coach the GB Team Pursuit Squad (Comments Off)
Heiko’s back! For the third time Heiko Salzwedel is back to coach the GB team pursuit squad – over the last few years he’s taken the Danes to Olympic medals; dragged the Russians well under the magical four minutes and most recently transformed the Swiss team into a World Cup force in this fastest and most precise of endurance disciplines.
But with GB out of the medals at the Worlds, going down heavily to the Aussies in Glasgow in the Commonwealth Games and the Olympic clock ticking, GB have once again called up on his services to arrest the rot. Here’s what he had to say recently to VeloVeritas…
There was an unexpected but nice result recently from a man who’s better known as a Flanders flat lands protagonist, AN Posts’s Mark McNally – his winning the King of the Mountains in the Tour of Britain.
With the Vuelta dominating and the Tour of Britain news more focussed on what Cav didn’t do; Alex Dowsett’s brilliant ride to grab – but subsequently lose – yellow; and Wiggins’ fast – but not fast enough – time trial, McNally’s ride was over shadowed.
It’s a while since we’ve spoken to the affable Belgian-based Liverpudlian so we decided to give him a call.
- Katie Archibald – European Individual and Team Pursuit Champion 2014
- Robert Smail – “I just can’t get enough of those dead straight, pan flat concrete roads”
- Luke Roberts – Former World, Commonwealth and Olympic Champion Winds Down
- Joe Dombrowski – Moving from Sky to Cannondale; “Don’t write me off yet!”