It really didn’t take long for me to get itchy feet again and get out on the bike after the end of the season. I did manage two weeks of total rest from the bike, I spent these weeks with my family, catching up with friends and spending a lot of much needed time with my girlfriend.
33 races done, 500 UCI points scored, 1 British Title Won. Sat here now it feels like it was a long season, which left me both physically and mentally drained but on the other hand it doesn't seem all that long ago I was sat at the top of a French mountain at the end of 2 week training camp itching to get on the plane to America to start racing another Cross season.
It feels good just writing the words, National Champion. I left you at the end of my last blog sat on the sofa watching the Superprestige race in Diegem unable to race due to a back injury. I am so glad I did that now, taking things easy then really helped make the difference come national champs day, not a hint of injury was in my mind on the start line and I raced pain free (sort of, my legs were still screaming come the last lap).
Whenever there is a long gap between me writing blogs it usually means I have been really busy training and racing hard. This time is no different! I ended the last blog on the disappointment of the Koppenberg Cross and as I mentioned next up would be the Superprestige at Hamme. I got a really good weeks training in between the two races and morale was high as my girlfriend was able to come and visit for just over a week. Being away from friends and family the majority of the year is hard so when you do get to see them it really makes a difference.
Long time no blog! Since my last blog a lot has happened in my world. First up was the Superprestige in Zonhoven. I rode really well on the uber-tough sandy course and picked up another top 20, eventually finishing 16th. I was really pleased as I don't get to race in sand much and it shows I have the needed skills to compete well in those conditions which until that race I hadn't really believed I could...
Hey, my lack of blogs and reports are due to me being a busy bike rider over the past few days! I'll start at the beginning. After the dissapointment of the Superprestige in Ruddervoorde next up was the Kermiscross in Ardooie, a midweek UCI C2 event that gave me a chance to quickly turn things around. I had ridden the event a couple of seasons ago on one of my smaller but frequent trips to Belgium when I was just dipping my toe into the European cross scene to get a gauge if I could make it in the rough-and-tumble world of Belgian cross...
Some days are good, same days are bad, and some days are a bit of both. Yesterday was a bit of both which left me very frustrated and disappointed with my result. It was the opening round of the Superprestige series at Ruddervoorde, I am obviously going well at the moment and had no real reason apart from the fact I didn't think I liked the course that much to not get another top 20 result...
Hey folks, first round of the GVA series - it's one of the big three (World Cup, Superprestige and GVA) top 20's at these races were my aim for the year, I got 13th at Namen. It's strange, I almost feel like I don't need to write about it: 13th at a GVA speaks for itself. A good start, I rode with my head, had good legs and technically rode well on a super hard course. Many people were surprised with my result but deep down I kind of knew after the first two races that I had a big result within me I just didn't know when it would come out...
We're pleased to announce that 24 year old Pro Cyclo Cross rider Ian Field has joined VeloVeritas as our newest blogger. Ian was 4th in the British Championships, and moved to Belgium to try and make it in the big bad world of Belgian 'cross. In his new blog, you can follow his progress on the international stage, backed by English sponsor Hargroves Cycles. Following last year's steep learning curve, Ian is back for more in Belgium, taking another step towards the top of the sport. Follow Ian right here on VeloVeritas throughout the winter!
“Goin’ back to my roots,” says the Odyssey song – and so it is with Mr. Daniel Holloway, former ‘Crit King’ of the USA. But he’s now back on the boards in a big way with a World Cup omnium win in Chile and a memorable win in the 300 lap, 75 kilometre handicap Madison in the Copenhagen Six Day. It was 15 years ago, in 2003 when the man originally from Morgan Hill, California won the novices 500 metres at the US track national championships.
Jacob Vaughan is arguably the most successful of the Rayner Clan, this year with his move to the Lotto-Soudal U23 team. A solid first year U23 in 2017 was capped with an excellent win in the Guido Reybrouck Classic. We caught up with him prior to his first big get together with the team.
Third in London with Moreno De Pauw; winner in Gent again with De Pauw; encore in Rotterdam with De Pauw; the win in Bremen with Home Boy, Theo Reinhardt; second in Berlin with De Pauw and looking well on the way to the top of the podium here in Copenhagen with Michael Morkov – it can only be Topsport and Belgium’s Mr. Kenny De Ketele.
In a classic Six Day finale points shoot-out with the result not confirmed until the finish line, classy Home Boy Michael Mørkøv paired with the current Capo of the Six Day boards, Belgium's Kenny De Ketele to land his seventh Copenhagen Six Day at midnight on Tuesday on the wide boards of the 250 metre Ballerup track.
Daniel Holloway does the countdown in his Californian-Swedish, ten down to six; the crowd takes over from five down to one, the cannon report just about bursts everyone’s ear drums, then there’s the smoke. For a split second nothing happens, everyone is too stunned by the noise and reek of gunpowder. But there’s the bongos – and Paul Delicato’s velvet voice; 'Cara Mia mine, must we say goodbye...' It can only be the Copenhagen Six Day 2018 !
It's hard to believe it's nearly five years since we sat down with David Walsh and chatted about Lance Armstrong, his dogged pursuit of the American's own doping and team-enablement, and the recently-published USADA "Reasoned Decision" to ban Armstrong for life and to strip all seven Tour de France wins from his palmarès. David had been in Edinburgh to give a talk in the city's Lyceum Theatre as part of his speaking tour on the subject, and we took the opportunity to spend a few hours with him the following morning at his hotel. Our interviews with David are our pick for the year 2013 in our "The First 11 Years of VeloVeritas" series - they represent one of the - if not the - most significant and turbulent times in our sport.