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    Hugh Carthy - Lining up for Caja Rural in 2015

    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.
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    Interview: Heiko Salzwedel, One of the World's Best Team Pursuit Coaches

    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.
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    Mark McNally - Tour of Britain King of the Mountains

    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. It’s a while since we’ve spoken to the affable Belgian-based Liverpudlian so we decided to give him a call.
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    Katie Archibald adds Two European Championships to her Palmarès!

    Katie Archibald has been at it again; winning major championships.

    This time it’s the European Individual and Team Pursuit Championships in – Guadaloupe? Those French...
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    Alan Hewitt

    I wasn’t privileged enough to call Alan Hewitt a close friend but he was certainly a pal and on the infrequent – unfortunately for me - occasions I met him in recent years he would always greet me as a long lost brother with that smile, a hearty chuckle and a big, strong handshake. Alas, there’ll be no more of those.
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    Robert Smail - Racing and Winning in Belgium

    Our man Dave Chapman has been scanning the Belgian kermis results for us and a name he’s spotted making the prize lists time and again is that of Englishman Robert Smail. When Dave says; ‘you’d best have a word with that laddie!’ we jump to it...
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    Interview - Aussie Six Day Star of the Golden Era: Graeme Gilmore

    The Six Days of Amsterdam kicks off next week, the first race of the season. The programme until Xmas makes sad reading with few ‘names’ in Amsterdam; tales of crooked promoters souring things; possibly the last race in Grenoble - and it's down to just three days. This interview takes us back to the Golden Years of the 70’s and Merckx, Sercu, Clark, Allan, Renz, Bugdahl – and Graeme Gilmore.
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    Interview: World, Commonwealth and Olympic Champion Luke Roberts

    Two decades, twenty years, it's a long time - especially to ride a bike at world level. Luke has ridden Pro Tour with CSC, Milram, Saxo, the Grand Tours, Classics and just about everything there is to ride - including the Six Days and we caught up with him in Amsterdam as he rides his last Sixes and prepares for a new chapter in his life...
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    Interview: Joe Dombrowski, on leaving Team Sky and a Season Hampered by Injury

    At the end of 2012 young American Joe Dombrowski had the world at his feet; he’d won the Baby Giro - ahead of a certain Fabio Aru - and placed fourth and tenth respectively in the Tours of Utah and Colorado – and there was a nice crisp Sky contract to be signed. But his two seasons with Sky didn’t pan out as most had expected...
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    We're working at the Amsterdam Six Day

    It’s our first time at the Amsterdam Six Day – Kris (our soigneur) 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.
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    "Sprinter's Speed in a Road Rider's Body": 70's Pro, Reg Barnett

    The 70’s are the ‘decade that taste forgot’ according to the Media; which is strange because I remember the era as having the best cars, music, films – and bike riders. On the continent the exploits of Sercu, Ocana, Merckx, Hoban, Gimondi, Verbeeck, Thevenet, De Vlaeminck and all the rest of a ‘Golden Generation’ of hard men made the disappointment of ‘The Comic’ being late once again all the harder to bear.
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    Mark Stewart, this young Scot is the new British Points Race Champion

    At the next Commonwealth Games there’ll be no David Millar or ‘Jamesie’ McCallum and even the perennial Evan Oliphant might not make it to Gold Coast City, Australia in 2018. But Dundee’s Mark Stewart should be there; at just 19 he took sixth place in the 20 K Scratch Race in Glasgow and has just become the British Points Race Champion!
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    An interview with British legend Russell Downing

    'Grinta' is the Russell Downing's middle name. As the World Tour stars headed into the pits at the Commonwealth Games Russ just kept riding through the wind and rain - the man is dogged. His name featured in a recent press release we received from the Luxembourg/Danish Continental squad Cult, they're going Pro Continental for 2015 and Mr. Downing is on board.

Race»

Tour de Trossachs 2014 – Golds for Chris Smart and Lynsey Curran (Comments Off)

October 5, 2014 • by Ed Hood and Martin Williamson

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)

September 29, 2014 • by Ed Hood

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)

September 28, 2014 • by Ed Hood

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.

Ponferrada World Road Championships 2014 – U23 Men, Sven Erik Bystrom Takes it Solo (0)

September 27, 2014 • by Ed Hood

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 ?

Diaries»

Amsterdam Six Day 2014 – Part Two; a Race and Rider Review (Comments Off)

October 26, 2014 • by Ed Hood

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.

Amsterdam Six Day 2014 – Part One; ‘Terpstra is on another planet’ (Comments Off)

October 25, 2014 • by Ed Hood

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!

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 21; Évry – Paris Champs-Élysées, 136 km. Kittel’s Fourth (0)

July 27, 2014 • by Ed Hood

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)

July 25, 2014 • by Ed Hood

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.

Interviews»

Heiko Salzwedel – Returns to Coach the GB Team Pursuit Squad (Comments Off)

November 16, 2014 • by Ed Hood

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…

Mark McNally – Tour of Britain 2014 KoM; “I don’t do this for the money” (0)

November 14, 2014 • by Ed Hood

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 (Comments Off)

November 11, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Katie Archibald has been at it again; winning major championships.

This time it’s the European Individual and Team Pursuit Championships in… Guadaloupe?

Those French…

Robert Smail – “I just can’t get enough of those dead straight, pan flat concrete roads” (Comments Off)

November 6, 2014 • by Ed Hood

It’s not been a good year for VeloVeritas chief cycling soothsayer, observer and talent scout, Viktor. First there were Brad’s new tattoos, then the beard; David Millar’s shoes were hard to bear – and then someone mentioned ‘Jensie’ in the same breath as Eddy Merckx. It was all too much …

But our man Dave Chapman has been scanning the Belgian kermis results for us and a name he’s spotted making the prize lists time and again is that of Englishman Robert Smail. When Dave says; ‘you’d best have a word with that laddie!’ we jump to it:

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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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