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...
“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.