cycling matters

  • Rick Zabel
    Rick Zabel - Ready for the Classics with BMC

    Fifth place in the Junior Worlds was Rick Zabel's high point in 2011. His first year as a U23 in 2012 saw him lift the national U23 road race title for Rabobank Continental for whom he also won the U23 Ronde van Vlaanderen in 2013. Last year saw him step up to the World Tour with BMC Racing Team. Still only 21 years-old he took time to answer our questions as he steeled himself for a Northern Clasics campaign...
  • Phil Edwards
    All in the Service of Moser; Phil Edwards Interview, Part Two

    Part Two of our interview with Phil Edwards, capo Francesco Moser's friend and right-hand man. Phil rode in the service of the Italian legend for years, and recorded some great results of his own too.
  • Phil Edwards
    Interview: Mosers's Right-Hand Man in the 70's, Phil Edwards

    Phil Edwards looked super cool on a Fred Baker with a Western Road Club jersey on his back; plonk him atop a silver all-Campag Benotto clad in Sanson strip – complete with crumpled Oppy cap at just the right angle – and well, you were into the Simpson/Ocana/Merckx zone on the CooloMeter. Read Part One here!
  • Rudy Pevenage
    A Look at the Eddy Merckx and Jacky Ickx Exhibition

    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.
  • Calum Skinner
    Interview: Callum Skinner relives his World Championships

    The Track Worlds have come and gone; but before we’re into the Classics - and soon after that all roads will be leading to le Tour - we thought we’d have a quick word with Scotsman Callum Skinner about this Worlds. His GB team had a disappointing sprint campaign with nada results in any discipline, team sprint, keirin or individual sprint – the only bright spot being Skinner’s 1:01:07 in the kilometre to give him seventh spot.
  • Geert Omloop
    Geert Omloop - From Unknown Amateur to Belgian Pro Champion

    ‘Coolness’ is hard to define, most professional riders are smart, well turned out but only a few are ‘cool.’ Belgian Geert Omloop was one such rider but not only was he cool, he was hard as nails, a master of the art of the kermis and on his day capable of beating Belgium’s very best to win the National Elite Road Race Championships.
  • Craig Grieve Spokes
    Craig Grieve - the Man Behind Spokes Racing Team

    The press release said: “Spokes Racing Team: It was officially announced today by British Cycling that Kirkcaldy based Spokes Racing Team will host a round of the British National Junior (under 19) Road Race Series in 2015. It will be the first time in around 25 years that a Junior National race will be held in Scotland and a first for Fife." We decided we best ‘have a word’ with the man behind the Spokes bike shops and racing team, Craig Grieve ...
  • Les West
    Les West - Top Pro in the 60's & 70's; "West was Best!"

    We thought you may like to hear what another ‘man of the 70’s’ - Les West had to say to us a year or two ago. "West is best!", that's what his fans used to say and most of the time they were right; twice British amateur road race champion and twice British professional road race champion.
  • Philip Hindes
    Philip Hindes - Team GB’s Sprint Team ‘Man One’

    Despite World Cup success with the same line up of Philip Hindes, Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner earlier in the track season GB didn’t get it right in the Worlds, finishing a distant eighth which meant as ‘man one,’ Hindes' Worlds were over after just one lap in anger.
  • Grant Ferguson
    Grant Ferguson - a Great Start to 2015 with 13th in the Herald Sun Tour

    Grant took an excellent 13th place on GC in Australia’s oldest stage race – The Herald Sun Tour, just one second behind Serge Pauwels (MTN) in 12th place and seven seconds away from former Italian Champion Franco Pellizotti (Androni) in ninth spot.
  • Tom Southam
    Tom Southam - Behind the Wheel of the Drapac Team Car

    The last time we spoke to ex-pro Tom Southam he was Rapha Condor’s press officer - but he’s moved on again and is now the man behind the steering wheel in the Drapac team car. Tom took time recently to chat to VeloVeritas about his move from word processor to team car.
  • Brian Smith MTN Qhubeka
    Brian Smith - "There are no dodgy deals anymore"

    If there were any doubts that MTN-Qhubeka is going to be a force to be reckoned with for season 2015 they were dispelled when Steve Cummings relegated Alejandro Valverde to the second step in Mallorca. We caught up with Brian Smith not long after the announcement had been made that the team has been granted one of those coveted ‘wild card’ spots in the world’s biggest bike race, Le Tour de France.
  • Claude Criquielion
    Claude Criquielion

    The death of Claude Criquielion was announced to me in a simple text message from my English friend, Ian Whitehead who lives in Gent; ‘Claudy has died.’ During the night of 15/16 February 2015, Criquielion suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized in critical condition; he died at 9:00 am on 18 February 2015 in hospital in Aalst, Belgium.
  • John Atkins
    John Atkins - Britain’s greatest ever cyclo-cross rider; 13 times a British Champion

    John Atkins is Britain’s greatest ever cyclo-cross rider; 13 times a British champion and still the nation’s best ever finisher in the Worlds – and at a time when ‘cross gods, the de Vlaeminck brothers were at their zenith. He lives quietly in retirement in Wales, doesn’t ‘do the internet’ and isn’t a man for the ‘stats.’
  • Steve Cummings
    Steve Cummings - On His Move to MTN-Qhubeka

    Steve Cummings beat no less a personage than Alejandro Valverde to win the Trofeo Andratx-Mirador d’Es Colomer, one of the Challenge Mallorca series of season openers. VeloVeritas caught up with him a few days after his fine win to chat to him about it - and his move to MTN-Qhubeka for season 2015.
  • Wiggins' Dogma
    The VV View: Bugging Us - Wiggins' Dogma and Playlists!

    I’ve read Edgar Allan Poe, I’ve seen The Exorcist, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Rosemary’s Baby; I’ve even been to a Folk Festival - so I thought I’d witnessed what true horror was. I was wrong. The Bradley Wiggins Limited Edition Pinarello Dogma F8 is beyond my worst nightmares.
  • James Oram
    James Oram - New Kiwi U23 TT Champion

    Racing with Axeon for 2015 is Kiwi, James Oram who we first spotted when he won the 2011 Tour de l’Abitibi in Canada – the ‘Junior Tour de France’ with Bobby Julich, Tyler Farrar and Taylor Phinney all on the roll of honour. Later that year Oram took silver in the Junior Worlds TT and for the last three seasons has been with Merckx.
  • Sam Spokes
    Sam Spokes - a Great Start for Drapac with 5th at the Aussie Nationals

    He has a great name for a cyclist, Sam Spokes. Last year also saw some nice results - but not enough to move him up to the Etixx World Tour squad. But all is not lost, he’s signed with Australian Pro Continental team, Drapac – and in his first race made the winning break in the recent Australian Elite Road race taking a solid fifth behind winner Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling).
  • Theo de Rooij
    Theo de Rooij - One of the World's Best Pro Riders and Directeur Sportifs

    He had a stellar amateur career in a Golden Era for Netherlands Cycling; rode for four of the sport’s most famous teams – IJsboerke, Capri Sonne, Raleigh and Panasonic; was a highly successful team manager and is still deeply involved with the sport he loves. VeloVeritas is delighted to be able to bring you the thoughts of Mr. Theo de Rooij.
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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.

Diaries»

A Look at the Eddy Merckx and Jacky Ickx Exhibition (Comments Off)

March 14, 2015 • by Ed Hood

-+*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.

Gent Six Day 2014 – One of the ‘Straightest’ Sixes We’ve Seen (Comments Off)

December 2, 2014 • by Ed Hood

-+*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)

November 30, 2014 • by Ed Hood

-+*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.

Interviews»

Rick Zabel – All Set For the Classics With BMC (Comments Off)

March 25, 2015 • by Ed Hood

-+*The German Junior Madison Championships came Rick Zabel’s way in 2009 with more track podiums at national junior level in 2010 in the points, team pursuit and Madison. There were a raft of strong junior road results in 2011 with a fifth place in the Junior Worlds as a high point.

His first year as a U23 in 2012 saw him lift the national U23 road race title for Rabobank Continental for whom he also won the U23 Ronde van Vlaanderen in 2013. Last year saw him step up to the World Tour with BMC Racing Team and land a share of a win in the Tour of Trentino TTT.

Still only 21 years-old he took time to answer our questions as he steeled himself for a Northern Clasics campaign…

Phil Edwards – Part Two; All in the Service of Moser (Comments Off)

March 21, 2015 • by Ed Hood

-+*In Part One of our Phil Edwards interview we heard how he was hugely successful on the ‘truly amateur’ British scene as he racked up the wins, competed in the fated Munich Olympics before heading to Italy in 1973 and making a name for himself in their savage amateur scene, winning big races by 1975.

He was able to step smoothly up into the glamorous – but cutthroat – Italian professional world, but not just with any old team, with Sanson, the ice cream company sponsored squadra of Italian Capo, Francesco Moser…

Phil Edwards – Part One; Moser’s Gregario, the Early Years (Comments Off)

March 19, 2015 • by Ed Hood

-+*He looked super cool on a Fred Baker with a Western Road Club jersey on his back; plonk him atop a silver all-Campag Benotto clad in Sanson strip – complete with crumpled Oppy cap at just the right angle – and well, you were into the Simpson/Ocana/Merckx zone on the CooloMeter.

Phil Edwards is that man; omnipresent on the GB amateur scene he piled up the wins then headed to Italy, made a name for himself in the savage amateur scene there before stepping smoothly up into the glamorous but cutthroat Italian professional world – but not just with any old team, with Sanson, the ice cream company sponsored squadra (even the sponsor’s product was cool) of Italian Capo, Francesco Moser.

Edwards owns a restaurant now in the south of France; here’s what he had to say to VeloVeritas about those Golden Days back in the 70’s – and despite all those years in Italy and now France he still retains that distinctive but not unpleasant Bristol ‘burr.’

Rohan Dennis Hour Record

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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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