VeloVeritas took a wee run over to Glasgow on Saturday to the Glasgow Sprint Grand Prix; here are some snaps we took which we hope you like:
In the language of the Gael, Glasgow is the ‘Dear Green Place’ and right across the road from the splendid Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome it’s even more sublime that that – ‘Paradise.’
At least that’s what the Celtic fans call their Parkhead ground.
You can always tell it’s a serious meet when the commissaire has two shooters…
By the time I got there, eight times 2017 National Champion Dan Bigham and his Team KGF boys had already turned in 4:05 for the 4,000 metres team pursuit – here they are lined up again in the ‘round robin’ team pursuit against Pro Vision.
Pity about all those empty seats in the stand behind them though…
Pro Vision looked the part but were always going to find it difficult to hold Bingham and his Boys at bay.
Number 72, Jonathan Wale was with the squad for their starting effort but sat up after a few laps conscious that he’ll need legs for his attempt on Sunday on Bruce Croall’s 1:03 Scottish kilometre record, which turned out to be a good decision as he reduced the record the following day by a whopping 1.7 seconds.
And after the ride there’s the analysis…
Those KGF boys don’t hold back on the chainring front; 58 teeth in carbon to give those big gears and smooth running you need for 60 kph+ effort.
And to wrestle those big gears out of the start gate you need to keep a tight grip on those Cervelo’s ‘bars – so just like the weight lifters you have to chalk those paws.
On the subject of hardware, Terry Dolan has done a job of monopolising the market for track frames, there were droves of them here.
If Iljo Keisse and Michael Mørkøv are riding them, that’s all the endorsement you need – some nice, quick Mavic’s on this one.
Cyfac built frames for Laurent Fignon, Thierry Marie, Thierry Clavreyolat, Charly Mottet, Marc Madiot and Richard Virenque – irrespective of what the decals said, nearly every French pro from the 1980’s to 2000’s raced on a Cyfac painted in their team’s livery.
This big chap was built by the French company – an impressive tool.
Mark Rotherham had on his world champion’s skinsuit – which he’s entitled to wear as world para tandem champion in the sprint and kilometre.
Stoking was Scotland’s Neil Fachie and they took this heat comfortably.
Commissar and former multiple Scottish sprint champion Tommy Banks tells these two tandem steersman he wants a good clean fight with no-one “getting shown the fence…”
But it was a sprinter’s Grand Prix and you have to hold them up high on the track at the start so they can get the run off to wind those big gears up – I remember the days when 94” was a big gear.
The only thing with the mega gears is that there’s not nearly as much tactical riding as there used to be, if you let the speed drop too much then those 100”+ gears take some winding back up.
They’re the same the world over, tattoos, shirt off as much as possible to show off those muscles; and of course gurning – here, Tony Mairs of Dublin gives his tongue a right good airing.
And the good thing about sprinting is that there’s always the repechage to come back through – but the waiting is murder…
And whilst most like to warm up in the bustle of the pits, some like to get away from all that fuss and spin the legs in solitude.
My ex-club mate and former Scottish Hill Climb Champion, Dave Gardiner keeps in touch on Facebook, recently he asked if the Ken Whitson’s name he sees cropping up on FaceBook is the same one who used to win all those races back in the 60’s – the self same, Dave.
Those start gates are complicated beasts, Ken Whitson and Dave Whitehall got the better of it though, eventually.
Former Scottish ‘Olympic’ and ‘50’ Champion Alan Thomson looks a tad nervous before he takes to the boards in the team pursuit against Team KGF.
Alan lead RT 23 out of the blocks and they looked tidy enough on the boards.
But against the full time, aero-ed to the max KGF boys it was never going to be easy.
And it didn’t take the English squad to get the job done – four laps in fact.
VeloVeritas didn’t make it through on the Sunday so we missed Charlie Tanfield’s 4:14:994 for the four kilometre individual pursuit – the second fastest ever by a British rider, albeit the fastest, 4:11:114 was by Chris Boardman – but in ‘Superman’ mode.
Charlie’s time is a nice reward for Kenny Steele and his hard-working crew – thanks for having us and hopefully there’ll be a few more spectators next time.