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 (Comments Off)
Movistar top and tail la Vuelta as Italian Time Trial Champion, Adriano Malori has the weather gods on his side and rides in the dry whilst the GC boys look like they’re pedalling on ice around the technical circuit in beautiful and historic Santiago de Compostella.
The last time I stayed in Santiago weeds were sprouting from the cathedral’s lovely facade, so that scaffold was no surprise – a face lift was long overdue.
If the organisers’ gamble had paid off and the race had been down to seconds then there would have been scenes of carnage as desperate men did desperate things on wet cobbles to make time.
- 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
- La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 17; Ortigueira – A Coruña, 174 km. Degenkolb’s secret? Cinnamon Cookies!
Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 21; Évry – Paris Champs-Élysées, 136 km. Kittel’s Fourth (Comments Off)
If you rode the Tour in the colours of Lampre you’ve got €9,830 coming your way – but don’t get too excited, that’s to be split between nine coureurs and the staff. And if you then remember that’s for one month’s work – the shine comes of things a wee bit.
However, if you were one of Vincenzo’s hard working storm troops then you’d be splitting €539,330 with the Capo not taking his share. That’s better !
Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 19; Maubourguet Pays du Val d’Adour – Bergerac, 208 km. Navardauskas Solo (Comments Off)
There’s always drama when you work le Tour. We’ve followed Tour time trials for years; roll up at the start, tell the dude which rider you’re following, they give you a windscreen sticker, marshall you into position at the appointed time and off you go.
This year, however we were notified that we had to attend a meeting on Friday evening at the Permanence after the stage if we wished to follow a rider. Fair enough – but then they changed the venue a few hours before the meet was due.
Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 17; Saint-Gaudens – Saint-Lary-Soulan Pla d’Adet, 125 km. Majka Confirms (Comments Off)
Another great stage yesterday – Peraud takes a giant step, Majka confirms, Nibali consolidates, Konig stumbles… After breakfast we had a wander round Lourdes; it’s one weird place – but I said that yesterday.
We decided against the finish col to Saint-Lary Pla d’Adet – dead end climbs are nitemares to get off after the stage and we figured that the action might just start on the Col de Val Louron-Azet. We got up there in plenty time, claimed our spot and waited ’til it was time to grab our caravan swag.
We’ve left Carcassonne and heading for Bagnères-de-Luchon. But first, our favourite picture of the Tour so far ? L’Équipe’s shot of F des J manager Marc Madiot kissing Arnold Jeannesson after Stage 16 for all the good work he did for Pinot during his six-and-a-quarter hour 16 shift.
Some folks poke fun at Madiot; we like his style – committed, passionate and outspoken. As a rider he was brilliant; a French Pro champion, two wins in Paris-Roubaix and top tens in Flanders – he’s got the T-shirt, in our book.
Silvan Dillier – a NeoPro and an Elite World Champion! (Comments Off)
Sometimes you can just tell a rider is a bit special, BMC’s Swiss road and track man, Silvan Dillier is one such rider. We first came across him on Six Day duties, he made the podium in Gent and Zürich but was forging a name for himself in the summer, too.
A stage win in the Tour de l’Avenir in 2012 then the GC in the Tour de Normandie, last year were preludes to a stage win in the 2013 Tour of Alberta whilst riding as a stagiaire and meant there was little doubt about his moving up from the BMC Development squad to the World Tour team.
And now, as a first year full pro, Silvan is an Elite World Champion….
We can’t keep up with that man Matt Bottrill – but then not many can – no sooner had the ink gone dry on this interview we did with him after he won the 25 champs than he’d won the 10 mile champs in the second fastest time ever (17:40) and then added the ‘blue riband’ – the 25 record with 45:43 to join Bonner, Engers, Boardman and Hutchinson as a TT ‘legend.’
Here’s what he had to say to VeloVeritas soon after the 25 champs:
Callum Watson – An introduction to the Rigmar Racers (Comments Off)
The Racers has been a Scottish Cycling and British Cycling affiliated club since 2001 when it was set up as a kids’ development club by Allister Watson five years before the BC Go Ride initiative. Since then the club has had a development role with riders such as Kevin Barclay, Eileen Roe, Callum Skinner, and latterly with Jenny Davis, Louise Haston, Charline Joiner, Kenny Ayre and of course Katie Archibald.
The Racers was a kids’ club; riders moved on when they were 16/17 and usually joined the ‘City’ where the same coaches would support their development. In 2013 the ‘City’ Committee decided not to support rider development preferring to concentrate on their established riders who were ‘potential medal winners’ and to turn down substantial development funding from Rigmar.
From that point the Racers development experience and Rigmars development funding were a logical match and the evolution of ‘Rigmar Racers’ affiliated to British Cycling as a commercial club with a focus on developing Scotland’s cycling talent in 2014 emerged. The club is now the top BC ranked Scottish national club and top West of Scotland ranked club.
As the Commonwealth Games fade in our memory to be replaced by The Vuelta and Worlds we thought there should be a ‘last word’ on the biggest week of cycle sport in Scotland’s history.
And who better to provide it than Scottish Cycling President, Alasdair MacLennan who kindly agreed to share his thoughts with VeloVeritas.
Postcards from the Orica GreenEdge Team Car (Comments Off)
Our pal Craig Geater works as a mechanic for the Orica GreenEDGE team, and is putting in the hard shifts at the Tour de France.
Like everyone involved in the race, he’s very busy, but when he has his iPad or phone in hand he’s been taking a moment or two to snap some images, and fire them over to us.
Jamie Burrow at the Christina Watches Italian Training Camp (Comments Off)
This time last year I was traveling the world, sourcing suppliers for a new Planet X clothing range.
One year on and we have made some giant steps forward. Not only has all the hard work paid off, with the new Planet X 365X clothing range now available both in store and online, we are also proudly supporting the Danish Professional cycling team Christina Watches – as official technical sponsor.
There have actually been quite a few new developments over the past few months, and many a tale to tell!
Musical Chairs – Tomás Swift-Metcalfe Blog (Comments Off)
I haven’t raced since September 1st. I’ve been working hard though, on Swift Momentum Sports (SMS), and restoring an old building and of course, some training. SMS is doing pretty well. I’m glad to have shown people some fantastic cycling and running, as well as to have trained some very good athletes. My professional cycling career, however is pretty much over. I wasn’t renewed for the 2014 season.
The past year, I and my colleagues signed up to pretty bad working conditions, but this sacrifice allowed the team to continue. The oldest supposedly professional team in the world. Last season I had a couple of doors open to go else where, nothing brilliant, but new opportunities. Hanging on at Tavira felt kind of good though, like the work had a higher purpose. I’m not averse to risk nor struggle and working on such a project is tantalizing. Mid-season a sponsor came along with the ‘old’ management and the new team was killed off effectively…
Season 2013 – Over and Out! (Comments Off)
So its been a few months since my last blog posting but now a week into my off-season its time to put some words together and sign off on this 2013 season.
Having stepped on the plane to the USA way back on February 4th and now already in November its been a busy nine months; five months in the USA to start with and four months between USA/Belgium/UK is a lot of km’s covered… by plane, car, boat and of course by bike!