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...
Stuart Balfour’s win in the supporting u23 race to the GP Ouest France Plouay, one of the most prestigious amateur in France, was special. The Dave Rayner Fund thought so too and made him their ‘Rider of the Year.’ As well as his Plouay success he won in Montpichon and at the Ronde Briochine; he was top 20 in the tough Kreiz Breizh UCI stage race and top 10 in the Tour de la Manche. Nice results in what is still one of the sport’s Heartlands and races are hotly contested. We thought we best have another word with the 21 year-old from Heriot in Scotland.
We recently spoke to 15 mile, 100 mile and 12 hour record holder, Alice Lethbridge and now to ‘complete the set’, here's what 10 mile, 25 mile and 50 mile record holder, Hayley Simmonds (WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling) had to tell us.
‘Well Phil,’ the words that we all remember so well, used by Paul Sherwen when he was about to put co-commentator Phil Liggett right about something during one of the hundreds of Tour de France stages the pair covered for TV networks from England to Australia via the USA. Sadly, we’ll hear that catch phrase no more, the 62 year-old Briton having passed away in his sleep at his home in Kampala in his adopted nation of Uganda on Sunday.
We caught up with the man behind the team and the holder of the record for most British titles won in one season – eight – Dan Bigham, after he returned from a successful foray to Canada where round two of the Tissot World Cup took place on the boards of the Milton Velodrome in Ontario where the men in black came away with silver.
Here at VeloVeritas we’re pleased to inform you that we’ve hooked up with ace cycling snapper, Gary Main. You may already have seen some of his images in our Mark Stewart and Dan Bigham interviews? We thought it might be a good introduction to his work for our readers if he picked out some of his favourite shots for us - over to you, Mr. Main...
He’s been quiet, that man Mark Stewart, Scotland’s reigning Commonwealth Games Points Race Champion. But he’s back with four World Cup medals on two continents within a matter of days. Best ‘have a word’ we thought to ourselves...