From my last post from the Tour Down Under to here in Oman a lot has happened. I traveled From Australia, then to Cairns for one night at my mother's place, then to my home in the Czech Republic for a nice short week, enjoying the lovely snow - I love it. I did some good training there before heading to Belgium for the team's presentation.
From the massage table here in Australia, I've finally found time to write this first blog for the year... We had it moving in the one and half laps to go before the finish at the pre-TDU Criterium! We spoke in the team meeting about the ideal situation and it was just that.
Dear VeloVeritas readers, tables have turned in Omega Pharma Lotto: we have had some success already in the season. Three wins is nice for the team at this early stage in the season - two with Phil [Gilbert, the 1st Stage of the Volta ao Algarve and the recent Montepaschi Strade Bianche] and one with André [Greipel, Stage 4 of the Volta ao Algarve]. André also bagged third in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne last week, and so the team's moral is much better than last year at this time.
Dear VeloVeritas Readers, Sorry for the radio silence recently - I went off-grid a little, needed it after the Tour Down Under, and caught up with the family in Australia. After the TDU I headed from a sunny Adelaide to rainy Cairns before leaving for my home in the Czech Republic - the place to be. It was quite a journey to get home... Cairns to Darwin, Darwin to Singapore, Singapore to Paris, Paris to Prague and Prague to Ostrava, then a short drive to Frydlant nad Ostravici...
Hello to you VeloVeritas readers! Thanks for checking out my blog here - I'll be updating it with news, what I'm up to, and where I'm doing it throughout the season. First thing to tell you is that I met up my new Omega-Pharma Lotto teammates for the first time here in Australia, for the Tour Down Under. We received lots of nice things from the team and our sponsors: Nike gear, Rudy Project glasses for racing in and for casual use, and loads team kit for racing and training - all nice. I also got my new Canyon race bike - it's superb, we're all very impressed by it - and with the wheels too; Mavic have been really good to us. We went for a nice five hour ride the other day on our new bikes and I was surprised how different it is to the older model I've been training on. Super nice. Better than my legs from the Aussie Nationals at any rate, which were still a tad sore!
Here at VeloVeritas we pride ourselves on always getting ‘a word’ with the new British 25 Mile Time Trial Champion; the late, great Jason Macintyre, Michael Hutchinson, Joe Perret, Matt Bottril, Ryan Perry, Dan Bigham have all taken time to speak to us. In joint silver medal slot at the recent British 25 Mile Time Trial Championships was Chris Bartley (AS Test Team), former World Rowing Champion and Olympic silver medallist.
The 2018 European Time Trial Championships didn’t produce a surprise winner, or runner-up but there were a few surprises lower down the order, men who we’d expected to go a tad faster. But the parcours was pretty technical and not one for the pure ‘Boulevard Blasters.’ Here’s the VeloVeritas rap on the top 15.
Here at VeloVeritas we like to keep abreast of those competition records, down south and up here in Bonnie Scotland, for example the CTT British 50 mile time trial record, recently broken; how does 50 miles in 90 minutes sound? That’s the ride big Polish ‘chronoman’ Marcin Bialoblocki (NOPINZ) produced: 1:30:31.
It hasn’t been a good week for the sport of cycling’s past champions; but not just men who won races, colourful men with personality. First we lost six day star Andreas Kappes to a bee sting, of all things. And we heard today that Armand de las Cuevas had taken his own life on the Island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, which was his home in recent years.
It’s with much sadness that we report the death of former Six Day and road star, Germany’s Andreas Kappes at just 52 years of age. He was stung by a bee whilst on cycling team management duties and died from ‘allergic shock’ on 31st July. Kappes was one of the all-time great Six Day men, rated 18th in the last edition of the Six Day results ‘bible’ – ‘Statistieken.’