Don't get me wrong, I am so incredibly grateful, honoured, chuffed and so many other emotions to have been able to work at the London 2012 Olympics. But I'm ready to move on now, no details at the moment, but in a few days when I've got home, done the massive bag of washing and got my head around the maddest week of my life I will write a blog of everything. For now though, the last night of the London 2012 Olympic track cycling.
Well, the women's omnium is in full swing. Laura Trott has won the flying lap, a great ride, I'm not entirely sure where she was for the points race, I think team GB put someone up in her place, maybe she was getting her hair done or something, all I know is she didn't show up! Clearly, she returned from her appointment elsewhere to dominate the elimination race, flirting with danger hitting the front from the back to end up fighting it out for the win with Sarah Hammer of the USA.
Track world cups last three days, occasionally four, the world championships last five days, and at those we have the five Olympic events plus a scratch race, individual pursuit, kilo/500 tt, men's Madison, so why oh why has the Olympic schedule taken six days? The sessions have been short, very short. I just think we could have had had it all wrapped up a bit quicker, and quite a few of the riders that I have spoken to feel the same.
This was always going to be a quiet day, I was so hoping - given my luck so far this week thanks to Mr Wiggins and various stars of yesteryear rocking up. I thought thank Elvis, Micheal Jackson and Shurgar were going to put in a shift, but no joy however! So on the bike riding front, Jason Kenny qualified fastest in the sprint with Greg Bauge second, a fairly distant second at 2/10ths off.
Well no rubbish today about my trip to the track or my run is with a black cab driver, today is simply about the bike riding. Put simply, GB were unstoppable! Vicky Pendleton won the Keirin with a dominance I have never seen her show before, and with such power, speed and superior tactics it was a joy to watch. She moved women's racing on to a new level today - utterly fantastic, and with her confirmation that retirement is just days away, yet while in this form it seems a waste but understandable given the years of commitment. In the men's team pursuit this night was all about the 'old firm'.
Tony Gibb; So the first day of track competition, and I am buzzing! It's all hit home, I'm here, at the Olympics, it weird, being so close, knowing all the people involved. After an early morning training spin, followed by late brekky, Dave wants to head to the track early and wants to try the javelin train from kings cross, so after a 20 minute walk in the sun, a 8 minute train journey, and another 45 minute walk through the park we arrive at a very VERY warm track. Now I understand why everyone wants it hot but you walk through the first air tight door and one of the 75,000 purple t-shirt brigade will not let you walk through the next air tight sealed door until the first one is closed.
So, the track cycling competition has not even started yet and I have some great stories! Eurosport, my very kind and generous employers for this particular gig have booked me in to the Bloomsbury hotel! Now, without meaning to bore you with logistics I live a one and a half hours ride from central London. I want my bike with me so I can train, but I also have my warfare bike to get up there so I can ride to and from the track, and ten days worth of luggage and kit...
VeloVeritas has already spoken to brother John about his men’s individual pursuit silver medal and now it’s time to hear what sister Katie has to say about her Games campaign where there was women’s individual pursuit gold in a Games record, points race silver behind Wales’ Elinor Barker and rides in the women’s scratch – where she finished fourth behind Amy Cure of Australia – and on the road in time trial and road race.
‘The best Commonwealth Games performance ever by the Scottish cycling team’ – that’s for sure. VeloVeritas hopes to speak to all of the athletes concerned and we’re proud to start with individual pursuit silver medallist, John Archibald.
You ride your first race in March 2015 and by 2017 you’ve won the U23 Gent-Wevelgem. Promising? Yes, that’s what we thought. Jacob Hennessy is only 21 years-old and has left the shelter of the British Cycling plans and programmes for the rough and tumble of the Continental Teams and the UCi Asia Tour. Mitchelton-BikeExchange is his home for season 2018.
‘Jake Stewart, Great Britain?’ Second in the u23 Gent-Wevelgem and third in the Trofeo Piva in Italy, strong results – but we know that name... Ah! Yes, he and Fred Wright won the Berlin Six u23 race in 2017 and VeloVeritas was their official photographer for the day best have a word with the man...
Eight Cycling Medals for Scotland at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games; Scottish cyclists hit the jackpot with gold for the inimitable Katie Archibald in the pursuit and for Mark Stewart in the points race. Silver medals went to Katie’s brother, John in the individual pursuit, Jack Carlin in the sprint, Katie in the women’s points race and Neah Evans in the women’s scratch. And there were two bronze medals, one for Neah in the women’s points and one for Callum Skinner in the kilometre. Eight medals – a wonderful performance from all concerned.
Quickstep's win total for the year now stands at 24 with the victories not just down to one man but spread across the team – remarkable. How do they do it? To find out, we got in touch with our old friend and key leadout man in the QuickStep machine, Michael Mørkøv - who was instrumental in Jakobsen’s most recent triumph and similarly ‘pilot fished’ Hodeg to a stage win in the Tour of Catalonia – to get ‘the word’ from the horse’s mouth.