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.
Well, if there’s a pizza place in Ponferrada, we can’t find it. It’s rude to criticise your host’s abode but we’re mystified by how the Worlds came to be here. The communications are terrible, it’s four-and-a-half hours by road or rail out of Madrid or get transfer flights up to the North West and more driving.
The town is ‘any town Spain/Italy’ and with the exception of the beautiful Knights Templar Castle there’s very little which is photogenic. It’s ‘just a town,’ like Broxburn or Kelty – which is fine but maybe we’re looking for more from the biggest week of racing on the planet ?
- 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
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 (Comments Off)
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.
It’s my first time at the Amsterdam Six Day – Kris (the soigneur I’m working with) said I needed to attend so I can say I’ve been at every one of the current winter races – and initial impressions aren’t bad; it’s a nice wee track in a good location, the old village of Sloten, a suburb of Amsterdam.
The first night I was just finding my feet but my second night (the fourth night of racing) I was in full effect doing all that ‘runner stuff.’ It soon comes back to you, the rituals, the chores, when to have a joke and when to keep schtum. And on that subject I’ll do that right now and be back in a day or two to tell you about the final two days. And just as I sign off, Claude François comes on Radio Nostalgie; ‘C’ést la Même Chanson’ – quality!
- 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
- Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 16; Carcassonne – Bagnères-de-Luchon, 237 km
Hugh Porter – Pursuit King (Comments Off)
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.
I was captivated, I knew nothing about bike racing, but this was the coolest thing; a tall, slim guy, was on this sleek bicycle, the spokes gleaming under the floodlights, it was hard to tell man and bike apart, they looked like one, his back was parallel to the track and he wore a snarl, like a tiger.
Callum Skinner – European Kilo Champion 2014; “Now the Rio Sprint Team is the Target” (Comments Off)
It’s not just Katie Archibald who was winning European track titles for Bonnie Scotland on that big old concrete track in Guadeloupe – sprinter Callum Skinner rode a 1:02 to become European Kilometre Champion and book himself a Worlds spot in the event made famous by the likes of Harris, Sercu and Hoy.
Hot on the heels of his title he teamed up with Olympic Champions Jason Kenny and Philip Hindes to take victory in the team sprint at the Guadalajara round of the World Cup. And all of that on the back of a clean sweep of British sprint titles – individual sprint, team sprint, keirin and kilometre. It’s high times VeloVeritas ‘had a word’ with this gentleman …
Coaches, everyone has one these days and a name which keeps cropping up when we interview riders is that of Jon Sharples and his ‘TrainSharp Cycle Coaching’ company.
In time honoured VeloVeritas fashion we ‘had a word.’
The last time we spoke to young Englishman, James Shaw he’d just won the junior edition of Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.
Recently he’s followed in the footsteps of Adam Blythe and Dan McLay by signing for Lotto’s U23 ‘feeder’ team.
High time we had another word with him, we thought to ourselves…