-+*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.
- 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
- 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
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
Rick Zabel – All Set For the Classics With BMC (Comments Off)
-+*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)
-+*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)
-+*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.’
- Callum Skinner – “I’ll be doing what I can to keep that man three position”
- Geert Omloop – “I went from unknown pro to Belgian Champion”
- Craig Grieve – the Man Behind the Spokes Racing Team
- Les West – Top British Pro in the 60’s and 70’s: “West Was Best”
- Philip Hindes – Team GB’s Sprint Team ‘Man One’