cycling matters

//

Nuggets»

Reader’s Rant: The Death of Michele Scarponi (Comments Off)

April 29, 2017 • by VeloVeritas

Last Saturday I, like many others, was stunned by the news of Scarponi’s death, and every day I’ve become increasingly saddened, indeed, angered by it. I don’t know why his death should affect me this way and not any other cyclist’s needless demise on the public road and I’m writing not only in the hope that I’ll get it out of my system, but to make some observations I believe need making.

The regular reporting of the vulnerability of cyclists, traffic incidents involving injury to or death of cyclists, seems to be creating a climate of apathy towards these events.

‘Oh, well. Can’t be helped. The driver probably didn’t see the cyclist. Maybe cyclists should be made to wear helmets and wear high visibility clothing.’

However, in this case the cyclist was a professional, expert bike rider, riding on a country road he must have known like the back of his hand, at a time and on a day when the volume of traffic was negligible, but I can’t find any publication, either in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy or anywhere on the web that is posing questions or making editorial comment that may help to explain how the incident happened and what can be learned to help other cyclists avoid this fate.

The VV View: To Team Sky; “if in hole, stop digging” (Comments Off)

March 10, 2017 • by Ed Hood

It’s that time again when I go from being that old weirdo who’s always going to bike races no one has heard of to the ‘go to guy’ (I do hate that expression) – yeah, you’ve guessed; ‘Brailsford, corticosteroids, package, Sky, Wiggo’…

I’ve lived through all the doping scandals; Festina, Riis, Pantani, Lance, Tyler, Floyd and the fact is that just like that 1976 disco classic by Bugatti and Musker contends, ‘Ain’t no Smoke Without Fire.’ The pattern is always the same, revelation, vehement denial, steady drip of more damning facts and finally there’s a tearful confession or a ‘guilty’ verdict.

Can you remember one ‘doping scandal’ which ended with vindication and media apologies? Me neither.

The VV View – The Select Committee Question OBEs and a Knight (Comments Off)

December 26, 2016 • by Ed Hood

“A Team Sky spokesman said they remained fully behind their team principal (Sir David) despite the claims in the Daily Mail and his admission to the select committee on Monday that he had made mistakes.”

If you’re a soccer aficionado you’ll know that if Sky was a football team Sir Dave would be out by Tuesday after a message of support like that from the Board. But word is that if Dave goes then Sky pulls the plug.

And by the way, did you see Sir Brad’s ‘coming out’ as a Scotsman on Instagram, complete with ‘Braveheart’ face paint?

Diaries»

Scrapbook: Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne 2017 (Comments Off)

March 4, 2017 • by Ed Hood

Ghent, or rather ‘Gent’ we love it; the bars, the people and the fact you can walk into a filling station and there are six quality cycling magazines on the shelf to chose from, and you have to love a city where they have taps to discharge the rainwater. Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, the first real races of the year – Down Under, the Desert races, Langkawi? Come on!

Inside the Berlin Six Day 2017 – the Final Three Nights (Comments Off)

January 26, 2017 • by Ed Hood

The wee small hours of Wednesday morning, heading north out of Berlin, en route Rostock, the ferry across the Baltic and Denmark for the Copenhagen Six Day. I wish I could say that Berlin had an epic finale – but I can’t, it was dire. Processional, flat, uninspired with no tension, no theatre, no drama.

Kris reckons it’s the worst Six Day he’s ever seen – he’s seen many, many more than me and I wouldn’t argue with his judgement. The root of the problem is that in the Madison Group Six Days the riders are on reduced contract fees with the rest of their earnings in prize money. ‘Fair enough’ I hear you say. Trouble is that it’s not – because the riders are all busy trying to hold their place in the standings it breeds very negative racing.

Inside the Berlin Six Day 2017 – the First Three Nights (Comments Off)

January 21, 2017 • by Ed Hood

You’ve got to get here first, right? Even by Ryanair punishment flight standards, it was a sore one. The lady in front of me, I’m sure was taking her kids to audition for; ‘Devil Spawn of Berlin, The Revenge’ – they’ll get the parts, no problem.

I felt like a native buying my S Bahn train ticket from the machine and riding into town with the rush hour commuters – damn cold though. It’s ‘all change’ at the velodrome, the pits have been moved into the centre of the track, divorcing us from the action and meaning we can’t push riders ‘in’ or offer them a hand to save them from kicking back on sore legs when they come in. The programme is different too with the big motors not coming out to play until after the last chase in the Six Day – happy days, so nice to walk out of the hall and leave the noise and exhaust fumes behind.

Interviews»

Steve Cummings – the New British TT Champion is ‘The Real Deal” (Comments Off)

June 23, 2017 • by Ed Hood

Steve Cummings, he’s the real deal. Dues fully paid at low budget Landbouwkrediet and Barloworld, he’s also ridden with some of the biggest teams in the sport; Discovery, Sky and BMC – before finding what is the ideal squad for him, Dimension Data where letting him ‘do his own thing’ has paid off for both parties in spades.

British champion on road and track, Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Olympic Games silver medallist, Italian semi-classic winner, stage race winner and stage winner in the likes of the Basque Country, Dauphine and Tirreno; not to mention Grand Tour stage winner – and still the same humble, grounded, approachable man he’s always been.

Unfortunately Cummings suffered a fractured collarbone, scapula and sternum in a bad crash on stage four of the Tour of the Basque Country back in the spring. Not many could say they won their first race back after a spill like that – especially when they had to beat a man like Movistar’s specialist ‘chronoman’ Alex Dowsett to do it, but here’s what British Elite Time Trial Champion 2017, Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) had to say to VeloVeritas shortly after his victory.

Richard Bideau – Another record-breaking 100 Mile Time Trial, but again no certificate (Comments Off)

June 21, 2017 • by Ed Hood

Biggest news of the weekend? Spilak wins overall in Suisse – and the Russian team takes the GC at ZLM too with Goncalves; Dillier wins the Route du Sud for BMC or Cav shows form in Slovenia to get the Dimension Data management team off the Valliums? ‘None of the above.’

Adam Duggleby’s (Vive le Velo) 3:16:51 to break the British 100 mile time trial record on the e2/100, Newmarket course is the ride which has tongues wagging on this side of the Channel and North Sea. Peter Harrison (AS Test Team) 3:18:58 was also inside the old mark; as was the man we interviewed two years ago when we all thought he’d nabbed the record with his 3:18:54, reigning BBAR Richard Bideau – until the course was re-measured and found to be ‘short’ by 0.2 miles.

We caught up with Bideau two days after his ride…

Mark Stewart – a Team Pursuit PB at the Track World Championships (Comments Off)

June 16, 2017 • by Ed Hood

It was a great World Track Championships for Scotland with Katie Archibald coming home from Hong Kong as World Omnium Champion. But not such a great Championships for Dundee’s Mark Stewart who was competing in the team pursuit and madison.

Unfortunately GB missed out on the bronze medal in the team pursuit to Italy whilst Mark and partner Ollie Wood were DNF in the madison. We caught up with the AN Post professional a week or so after the Worlds, back in his Italian base…

It Looks Bad, Brad

Browse 10 Years of Archives!

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.

Subscribe to VV

Enter your email address to subscribe to VeloVeritas! You'll receive notifications of new articles in your Inbox.