cycling matters

  • 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.
  • Justin Grace
    Justin Grace - Kiwi Coach Switches from Team France to Team GB

    It was always going to be difficult for an ‘Anglo’ to be accepted as sprint coach in a land which has produced Morelon, Trentin, Tournand, Rousseau, Sireau and Bauge. So perhaps it was no surprise to hear that Justin Grace is now with British Cycling as sprint coach – with New Zealand and France among his toughest opposition.
  • Charlie+Hebdo
    Charlie Hebdo Massacre

    If you're a VeloVeritas regular you'll be aware that we take full advantage of our, "right to rant." Freedom of Speech is something we take for granted in a Western Democracy. But recent events in Paris remind us that it's a principle which people surrender their lives to uphold.
  • Mark Stewart
    Mark Stewart - Team Pursuiting to a World Cup Bronze!

    Picking up the baton of Scottish international success from Katie Archibald in the pursuits and Callum Skinner in the kilometre, British Points Race Champion, Mark Stewart came away from the recent UCI World Cup in Cali with a bronze medal in the team pursuit. Riding with the GB Academy team Mark rode a 4:03 in the second round to set a new record for an Academy squad.
  • 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).
  • Colin Sturgess
    Colin Sturgess - the Ex-World Pursuit Champion on the Comeback Trail!

    It’s been a wee while since we last spoke to former world professional pursuit champion, Colin Sturgess. When we heard he was back in harness – winning the League of Veteran Racing Cyclist time trial championship this autumn we thought we’d best have a word.
  • Laurence Roche
    Laurence Roche - Irish Pro with Carrerra and Tonton in the '90's

    Laurence Roche who happily chatted away to us at the 1991 Tour de France until the field was called to the line; 'sure the start’ll be a few minutes yet'. He looked a million dollars in his Tonton Tapis kit but was warm, friendly, grounded and good fun. Ever since then I’ve meant to catch up with him, again – and just after the New Year this year, I managed it.
  • 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.
  • Simon Cope
    Simon Cope - Team Wiggins' New Directeur Sportif

    Team Wiggins? Fear not, VeloVeritas is on the case. Simon Cope is Wiggins’ DS for the new venture. We checked Mr. Cope out and he’s got the T-shirt, the DVD and the box set – originally a '34 Nomad before he turned pro and a British champion on road and track we decided to do the usual VeloVeritas thing and ‘have a word.’
  • Hugh Porter
    Hugh Porter - Pursuit King

    It's 44 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday; my mum and dad had gone to bed in our ‘cooncil hoose’ in Cross Street, Kirkcaldy and I was sitting alone in front of the TV. The World Track Cycling Championships were being held at Leicester on the big outdoor track, the English summer had lived-up to expectation, rain had wrecked the schedules and the racing was taking place late in the evening.
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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»

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.

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.

Interviews»

Les West – Top British Pro in the 60’s and 70’s: “West Was Best” (Comments Off)

March 4, 2015 • by Ed Hood

Our recent chat with 70’s pursuit king, Hugh Porter having been well received 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.

Despite never taking the plunge and embarking upon a full continental pro career, West twice made the finalé of the world road race championships; in 1966 as an amateur and in 1970 as a pro.

Philip Hindes – Team GB’s Sprint Team ‘Man One’ (Comments Off)

March 2, 2015 • by Ed Hood

Sometimes even we get it wrong with interviews, take this one with London Olympics team sprint champion, Philip Hindes. We caught up with Philip prior to the Worlds In Paris and thought we’d be clever, holding on to the piece ‘til post Paris so as we could announce the interview as with; ‘recent Worlds medallist, Philip Hindes.’

It was not to be; despite World Cup success with the same line up of Hindes, Jason Kenny and Callum Skinner earlier in the track season, GB didn’t get it right in qualifying, finishing a distant eighth which meant as ‘man one’ Hindes’ Worlds were over after just one lap in anger – so we’re glad we spoke to him before his trip to Paris.

Grant Ferguson – a Superb Start to 2015 with 13th in the Herald Sun Tour (Comments Off)

February 28, 2015 • by Ed Hood

Grant Ferguson is better known for his cyclo-cross and MTB activities but he took an excellent 13th place on GC in Australia’s oldest stage race – The Herald Sun Tour which was won in it’s 62nd year by Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEDGE.

Ferguson was just one second behind Serge Pauwels (MTN) in 12th place and seven seconds away from former Italian Champion Franco Pellizotti (Androni) in ninth spot. The Peebles man stayed on ‘down under’ for some warm weather training but gave us a shout when he got back to his base in tropical … Sheffield.

Shortly after speaking to us Grant headed off again, this time to Cyprus and the opener of the European Season mountain bike race series, the prestigious Cyprus Sunshine Cup – where he took victory on Stage 2.

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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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