Raleigh professional Evan Oliphant handled the age old dilemma of the pro racing against amateurs – if they don’t win they’re criticised, but if they do then it’s ‘expected’ – by taking the best option and winning the Gala CC’s Gordon Arms Hilly Time Trial over 20.5 cold and cloudy Borders miles in 50:06; some ways short of Mark Atkinson’s (Velo Ecosse) 1999 course record of 48:47 but enough to give him the result by 41 seconds over Carl Donaldson (GS Metro).
This year the winner of the Gifford Road Race ‘A’ event this year was also clearly the strongest rider on the day; Tom Bustard (Velosure – Giordana RT) was the first to make a serious attack on the first lap, pulling a break of several riders clear which cemented itself as more riders made it across over the next couple of laps.
Bremen used to be the ‘Party Six’ and whilst it’s still a fun gig with beer halls, restaurants, discos and live music, the crowds ain’t quite like they used to be.
Our man in the middle of those steep 167 metres of boards was the perennial Kris; here’s what he had to say to VeloVeritas on his return from the Fatherland…
Within only 23 minutes of the Dig In at the Dock Cyclocross race going live on the internet, it sold out of it’s first 100 places. The organisers were tasked with looking through the list of around 60 riders on the waiting list to select 30 who they felt could add even more sparkle and fun to the now increasingly popular season ending one for all bike race.
The Event makes its return tomorrow, 5th January, to West Lothian at the cobbled Boness Shoreline- Dockside area. This year top riders from England, Scotland and Ireland, will be competing against, Commonwealth Games medallists and squad members, British Champions, Scottish Champions as well as International stage road race winners in what promises to be the biggest and best Dig In at the Dock to date.
Het Hieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne are the first opportunities for northern European fans to check out the new hardware.
Our trawl always starts on the Friday evening at the Holiday Inn, Ghent where F des J, Cofidis and Rabobank (now Belkin) set up shop for the first ‘real’ races of the year.
The Copenhagen Six Day follows straight after Berlin; the trip isn’t fun – load the camper after the midnight finish in Berlin, drive through the night to the ferry at Rostock, sleep in the camper for an hour or two at temperatures well below zero, hop the ferry across the Baltic, then drive up through Denmark to Copenhagen through the snow and wind.
Watched by 75,000 spectators over the course of the event in the velodrome Landsberger Allee, Andreas Müller and Kenny de Ketele won the 103rd edition of the Berlin Six Day. On the last day and the last race they overtook the long-time leaders Leif Lampater and Jasper de Buyst with a race winning attack – exciting stuff. Third place went to Robert Bartko, which was his last time in Berlin at the Six with his young partner Theo Reinhardt.
VeloVeritas were at the race, working for the young American pairing Guy East and Daniel Holloway – here’s Ed’s look back at some of his favourite moments…
The much debated percorso has me in two minds – there’s a part of me which says that it’s not as tough as I’d thought it would be – but the other part says; ‘but what about after ten times!’
I walked down the Salviati today and it’s a stinker, no question, but not that long. I also walked down around 60% of the Fiesole, all of which is just a drag; albeit I think it kicks up steeper beyond where I descended from. The descent off the Fiesole leads straight into the Salviati but it’s fast all the way off there to the line with just one ‘bump.’ But maybe it’s too fast for an organised chase?
- Le Tour de France 2013 – Stage 21: Versailles > Paris Champs-Élysées, 118km. Marcel Kittel Wins a Fourth
- Le Tour de France 2013 – Stage 20: Annecy > Annecy – Semnoz, 125km. The Bigs Battle It Out
- Le Tour de France 2013 – Stage 19: Bourg-d’Oisans > Le Grand-Bornand, 204km. Rui Costa in the Monsoon
- Le Tour de France 2013 – Stage 18: Gap > Alpe-d’Huez, 168km. Riblon Saves AG2R’s Tour
A nice result we spotted recently was Raleigh’s Mark Christian taking a top ten on stage two of the tough Tour du Haut Var.
We decided to have a word with yet another product of that sea air on the Isle of Man.
Along with Californian Mike Neel the man who opened the door for US riders performing in Europe was a certain George Mount, a prolific winner in the US. He turned pro for San Giacomo in 1980 after the US announced their boycott of the Moscow Olympics and rode as a cash man for three seasons.
Suddenly it wasn’t a dream for US riders – Neel and Mount were actually doing it. We caught up with Mr. Mount recently – he’s not bland!
The winner of the first big Scottish road race of the season – in bonnie Gifford – was Velosure-Giordana’s Tommy Bustard, and we wanted to have a word… we can’t have these Englishmen coming up and winning our races and then not ask them what it’s all about.
If you’ve been paying attention to the ever-more sparse ‘local results’ in ‘Sportives and Road Tests Weekly’ (aka ‘Cycling Weekly’) you’ll have seen that Bustard scored a good win in the early season Roy Thame Cup; a hotly contested road race in the south – so the form was there.
A name which started to appear in the sprint finishes last season was that of Slovenian, Luka Mezgec – his team last year was Argos-Shimano and the podiums came in stages of the Tours of Alberta, Colorado and Italy plus the Belgian semi-classic, Halle-Imgooigem.
Still with Sava for 2012 he took a stage in the Five Rings of Moscow and five stages in the Tour of the Qinghai Lakes.
That last performance meant it was only a matter of time before a Pro Continental or World Tour team snapped him up – and sure enough, it was Argos-Shimano who got his signature on a contract in 2013. This season he has already been on the top podium spot, and he spoke to VeloVeritas just after his Catalonian adventures.
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!
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…
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!
I want to continue racing, I’ve got a lot to give and a lot to improve. If I can’t race, working within the sport would be fantastic too. I would be good in many roles within the sport. Maybe if all goes arse-ways and I have to leave I’ll set up my own team some time into the future.
The fact I feel tranquil now is the fact I’ve got an education, a business and I have lived my dreams as a cyclist. I’m looking forward and I’ll keep riding my bike. I love cycling.