Looking back at the 75th Gent Six Day (Comments Off)
Coming to Gent to watch the Six Day, as I have for 20 years, is like meeting up with an old friend, a friend you see just once a year but when you meet you are familiar and easy in each others company. Most familiar is the velodrome, Het Kuipke that hosts the Six Days which has, barring a few upgrades in the bar areas, changed very little during the time I’ve been coming.
Importantly, it still feels like a bike race rather than a show or party – although the later does have its place here. The fans who come to the event year after year know and respect the tradition that makes this a classic and, really and truly, the last remaining Six Day that has had no identity crisis during these austere times.
Scrapbook: the Gent Six Day and Hasselt ‘Cross, 2015 (Comments Off)
Ed and pals spent a few days at the Gent Six Day, catching up with the racing and old friends, and taking in the world cup cycle-cross race at Hasselt as well – but before we consider the racing at the track we have to think about the entertainment; whilst Belgium is a modern country and advance technologically we still marvel at the track-side entertainment; it’s like stepping back to a miners’ welfare in the 70’s – but the crowd loves it – and so do we…
On a cool but dry and benign morning around the beautiful lochs and hills above Aberfoyle and Callander it was Paisley Velo Race Team’s Scottish ‘Olympic’ Time Trial Champion Chris Smart who defended his title as ‘King of the Trossachs’ despite being 21 seconds down to former Trossachs Tartar, Arthur Doyle (www.Dooleys-Cycles.co.uk) at the top of the Dukes Pass.
It was a two horse race with third man, David Griffith (Pro Vision Cycling Clothing) three minutes back on Doyle’s 1:08:20 and four back on Smart’s 1:07:23.
- Stephen Williamson takes the Scottish 100 Mile TT Championship 2015
- Billy Warnock Memorial Road Race 2015 – Ben Hetherington Takes the Win
- Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Championship 2015 – Peter Murdoch Takes Gold
- Giro d’Italia 2015 – Stage 16, Pinzolo – Aprica; the Mortirolo!
- Scottish National 10 Mile Time Trial Championship 2015 – Iain Grant Takes it Again!
When we spoke to Cav’s personal soigneur, Aldis half way through the stage we knew it wasn’t to be; ‘And Mark, today ?’ Aldis screwed up his face; ‘he’s a little sick…’
So 4:1 to Greipel – and the rumours about Cav having to learn to understand Brian Smith’s accent at MTN get ever stronger. We changed our system and didn’t drive race route for the last stage; instead we drove straight to the digs, got organised, had a shower and headed off across a wet Paris to the finish circuit.
We didn’t want any slip ups on ‘le jour d’Alpe’ so we were offski early to make sure we were on the parcours in plenty of time. Trouble is that we were on the road before the routing crews and had a wee bit of mucking around before we picked up the parcours. One mitigating factor was that we stumbled on Oleg out for a run, complete with bodyguard/training partner and team car.
The stage may have been ‘all about L’Alpe’ but the Croix de Fer is no joke of a climb either – although the huge drop off makes it a descent where regrouping is possible.
It’s fabulous being on Le Tour but it does involve hugely long days and there’s always too much to do. With that in mind, to claw back a little time to get the pictures up to date, do the washing and get some proper sleep we decided to work a stage start then head for the digs.
Stage 19 started in St. Jean De Maurienne, a nice wee place with a long leafy boulevard where the team buses lined up and a square at the top of it where the Tour Village was situated. We had to wait 15 minutes to get through whilst the caravan rolled out – good for waving to all those smiley girls who get the best sun tans on the race.
- Le Tour de France 2015 – Stages 16, 17, 18 and the Second Rest Day
- Giro d’Italia 2015 – Stage 21, Turin – Milan; Eeeel-yoh!
- Giro d’Italia 2015 – Stage 20, Saint-Vincent – Sestriere; Aru Ancora!
- Giro d’Italia 2015 – Stage 19, Gravellona Toce – Cervinia; Aru Takes His Gift
- Giro d’Italia 2015 – Stage 18, Melide – Verbania; Gilbert Takes His Second
We were chatting about the Scottish Hour Record the other day and it got us to thinking about Roddy Riddle’s 1995 ride of 46.570 which broke Graeme Obree’s 1990 ride of 46.390 – and lasted one year until Jim Gladwell established the current best of 46.650 in 1996.
‘What’s Roddy up to now?’ we mused – the last we heard he was running across the Sahara in the Marathon des Sables. Transpires he’s participating in the 6633 Ultra. The what? Best ask him…
Callum Skinner – Hong Kong Track World Cup Gold Medallist (Comments Off)
It was March 2015 when we last spoke to Scottish sprinter, Callum Skinner, his seventh in the kilometre the only bright spot in a below par Worlds for the GB Sprint Squad. Skinner was ‘quieter’ in 2015 than he was in 2014 when he took a ‘clean sweep’ of the British sprint disciplines and the European kilometre title.
However, in the recent – and much publicised due to Cav’s efforts to qualify for the omnium – Hong Kong round of the UCI World Cup the GB team sprint boys ‘came good’ to take the win ahead of Poland. Skinner rode the final with Messrs. Hinde and Kenny – the fast man from Glasgow very kindly took time out to speak to us soon after his return from the Orient.
Laurence Morgan and the TI Raleigh Vintage Cycling Club (Comments Off)
Laurence Morgan from Perth was a team TI Raleigh fan back in the 80’s having fallen in love with a 753 Raleigh he saw at the 1982 Scottish Health Race. It’s been an enduring love affair and this year he started the TI Raleigh Vintage Cycling Club – good timing with ‘retro’ the word of the moment. At VeloVeritas we like a man who’s obsessed with 70’s and 80’s bikes and riders; we decided we’d best ‘have a word…