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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»

Le Tour de France 2017 – Stage 15: Laissac-Sévérac l’Église – Le Puy-en-Velay, 189.5km. Mollema in the mountains (Comments Off)

July 16, 2017 • by Ed Hood and Martin Williamson

Sunday, Stage 15 and VeloVeritas’s last shift on Tour – so we headed for the biggest hill we could find to remind ourselves how special and beautiful France and this race really are.

Today we’re in the heartland, perhaps not deepest agricultural ‘France Profonde;’ the rural, simple, beautiful heart of the nation, not with the gorges and cols – but it’s quiet, lovely and some of the simple, striking images surprise as you drive the parcours.

Le Tour de France 2017 – Stage 14: Blagnac – Rodez, 181.5km. Michael Matthews makes it two in a row for Sunweb (Comments Off)

July 15, 2017 • by Ed Hood and Martin Williamson

Yes, there are days when we’ve criticised the racing – those endless ‘sprinter stages’ where only the last five minutes saves the day. But we were puzzled by the comments we saw about yesterday’s stage to Rodez on social media; the “Bore de France” and the break “allowed for purely commercial reasons”?

Yes, it was a ‘breakaway stage’ but after two days such as we’ve had with Bardet then Barguil’s wins on tough stages in the Pyrenees it would be difficult to expect another big GC battle.

Le Tour de France 2017 – Stage 13: Saint-Girons – Foix, 101km. Barguil on Bastille Day! (Comments Off)

July 14, 2017 • by Ed Hood and Martin Williamson

VeloVeritas soothsayer, Viktor and I have long been critics of Warren Barguil (Sunweb & France) as a ‘one hit wonder,’ with his two stage wins in the Vuelta in 2013 then very little else; but in this Tour he’s certainly been reborn.

He was so close to Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale & Colombia) last Sunday after being the hero of the day and today, on Bastille Day he scored the biggest and most beautiful win of his career with a historic stage victory. 

Interviews»

Steve Cummings – and now the British Road Race Champion too! (Comments Off)

June 27, 2017 • by Ed Hood

After his win in the British Time Trial Championship, here’s what Dimension Data’s Steve Cummings told us when we asked him about his chances in the British Road Race Championship: “I’m not at 100% so don’t believe I have the condition to win the road race – it’ll be perhaps another 10 days before I come into my best shape.”

Despite that, two days later he was topping his second Isle of Man podium as British Elite Time Trial and Road Race Champion.

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…

It Looks Bad, Brad

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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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