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Nuggets»

The VV View: the Tour de Trossachs, the Comic, and oh, Sammy! (Comments Off)

October 11, 2017 • by Ed Hood

The Tour de Trossachs: when the alarm blasts at 06:30 on a Sunday morning the question is; ‘do I really have to go all the way to Aberfoyle?’ But once you’re breathing that sweet fern scented air on The Duke’s Pass then driving along lovely Loch Achray side you remember why you love this race. Great history, wonderful scenery, a course which challenges your abilities as a bike rider.

So why do entries drop every year?

The VV View: The Bergen World Championships – a Success? Mostly… (Comments Off)

September 25, 2017 • by Ed Hood

As VeloVeritas pundit and critic, Viktor said after the Bergen World Championships; ‘where would we be without him?’ Peter Sagan. Cipo had it, Boonen had it, Peter has it – but Vik and I are both worried about who can pick up the ‘cycling’s showman and charismatic star’ baton when he finally hands his in.

But let’s think about NOW and not events hopefully in the distant future. Generally we frown upon comparisons with Eddy Merckx – but not even Baron Ted could manage three consecutive Worlds wins. We wonder if the UCI brief to 2018 Worlds venue Innsbruck was; ‘it has to be a parcours Sagan CAN’T win on!’ Hence more climbing than a Tour mega mountain stage for next autumn.

His performance in the World Road Race reminded me of what Rudi Kemna once told me about his own win in the 2003 Netherlands Elite Road Race Championship; ‘I was only at the front of the race for 60 centimetres – the LAST 60 centimetres!’

Farewell to Meadowbank Velodrome – an A to Z of the Famous Edinburgh Boards (Comments Off)

September 10, 2017 • by Ed Hood

I wandered down to Meadowbank the other Saturday, I thought it was for the ‘closing gala’ or some such but apparently the Track League can go on for another year? It was a disappointment to all those looking for coffee tables. The 1970 Commonwealth Games were just slightly before my time to spectate but I did read about them at the time; however I did witness the 1986 Games events and did a few laps of me own in anger round those boards.

It got me thinking about my personal memories of Meadowbank, and great riders who graced the boards; here’s my A to Z of Meadowbank Velodrome memories.

Diaries»

Le Tour de France 2017 – Stage 15: Laissac-Sévérac l’Église – Le Puy-en-Velay, 189.5km. Mollema in the mountains (Comments Off)

July 16, 2017 • by Ed Hood and Martin Williamson

Sunday, Stage 15 and VeloVeritas’s last shift on Tour – so we headed for the biggest hill we could find to remind ourselves how special and beautiful France and this race really are.

Today we’re in the heartland, perhaps not deepest agricultural ‘France Profonde;’ the rural, simple, beautiful heart of the nation, not with the gorges and cols – but it’s quiet, lovely and some of the simple, striking images surprise as you drive the parcours.

Le Tour de France 2017 – Stage 14: Blagnac – Rodez, 181.5km. Michael Matthews makes it two in a row for Sunweb (Comments Off)

July 15, 2017 • by Ed Hood and Martin Williamson

Yes, there are days when we’ve criticised the racing – those endless ‘sprinter stages’ where only the last five minutes saves the day. But we were puzzled by the comments we saw about yesterday’s stage to Rodez on social media; the “Bore de France” and the break “allowed for purely commercial reasons”?

Yes, it was a ‘breakaway stage’ but after two days such as we’ve had with Bardet then Barguil’s wins on tough stages in the Pyrenees it would be difficult to expect another big GC battle.

Le Tour de France 2017 – Stage 13: Saint-Girons – Foix, 101km. Barguil on Bastille Day! (Comments Off)

July 14, 2017 • by Ed Hood and Martin Williamson

VeloVeritas soothsayer, Viktor and I have long been critics of Warren Barguil (Sunweb & France) as a ‘one hit wonder,’ with his two stage wins in the Vuelta in 2013 then very little else; but in this Tour he’s certainly been reborn.

He was so close to Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale & Colombia) last Sunday after being the hero of the day and today, on Bastille Day he scored the biggest and most beautiful win of his career with a historic stage victory. 

Interviews»

Callum Johnston – Looking forward to a second season in Italy with Zappi (Comments Off)

October 9, 2017 • by Ed Hood

If you’re a VeloVeritas regular then you’ll have seen our interview with Flavio Zappi, the man who transforms promising U23 riders into World Tour performers.

Will Scot, Callum Johnston be pulling on a QuickStep jersey in a year or three? Read on…

Mark Stewart – a Key Part of the British U23 World Championship Team in Bergen (Comments Off)

September 22, 2017 • by Ed Hood

The U23 Worlds in Bergen; a great race with a great finale with GB well there – Ollie Wood in fourth and our very own Mark Stewart a key part of the team which got Wood into a position to sprint for the bronze medal.

Gold went to AG2R and France’s Benoit Cosnefroy, silver to Lennard Kamna (Germany & Sunweb) – the two having slipped the peloton – with bronze to Michael Carbel Svengaard (Denmark & Veloconcept) who narrowly pipped Wood in the mad bunch charge for the line.

We just had to ‘have a word’ with Scotland’s own double European track champion, Mr. Mark Stewart…

Flavio Zappi – “I don’t want my team to settle for average!” (Comments Off)

September 20, 2017 • by Ed Hood

‘You need to talk that Flavio Zappi boy, his lads are racing all over Europe and getting good results!’ As often happens with VeloVeritas it’s our spiritual guide and fiercest critic, Viktor who gives us inspiration on who we should be speaking to. But there’s also the aspect that QuickStep new recruit James Knox, who we interviewed earlier in the year was a ‘Zappi Man’ so yes, times we had a word with Sen. Zappi.

As a pro Zappi took some nice results – and his racing career had another bonus, he met his wife to be at the Tour of Etna some 30 years ago. He and his wife ran a hotel in Italy before they moved to England – where his wife is from – and opened the now-famous but dear-departed cycle shop cum café in Oxford. The café has been let go and Zappi now spends 100% of his time on the road with, ‘his boys.’

It Looks Bad, Brad

Over 11 years of VeloVeritas !

Here at VeloVeritas…

...we reckon cycling matters. We aim to provide our readers with truthful, interesting and unique articles about the sport we love.

We cover all aspects of cycling by actually being there, in the mix: from the local "10" to the famous WorldTour "monuments" - classics like Milan-SanRemo and the Tour of Lombardy, the World Championships, the winter Six Days, and of course the Grand Tours.

We attend many local races as well as work on the professional circuit - and we do it all with a Scottish accent.

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