Dave Hannah – Scottish ’25’ Champion Eight Times!(Comments Off on Dave Hannah – Scottish ’25’ Champion Eight Times!)
If you had to name one man who single handedly changed the face of Scottish time trialling? The man who made sure a ‘59’ wasn’t going to win you the ‘25’ champs anymore…
Dave Hannah is the man; VeloVeritas caught up with him recently at his home in Shieldhill for a long overdue chat.Full Story»
When VeloVeritas was at the Copenhagen Six Day last month, we witnessed a successful attempt on the Danish Hour record by Martin Toft.
It got us thinking; ‘is Jim Gladwell still the Scottish Hour record holder?’
And indeed he is – ‘best have a word,’ we thought to ourselves…
George Edwards? The name might not mean much to you but along with Brian Smith, Robert Millar and David Miller he’s one of few Scotsmen who have won the British National Road Race Championship – in his case the BLRC version in 1946.
In that post-war period there were two governing bodies, the NCU (National Cyclists’ Union) and the BLRC (British League of Racing Cyclists), bitter rivals with the latter the flamboyant ‘new boys’ who wanted things to be like they were on the Continent whilst the NCU were much more conservative in their ideas.
We thought we should find out more about this man who played an important part in Scottish cycle sport history.
George passed away in 1992 at the age of 68 but Harry Tweed connected us with George’s son who shares the same Christian name and now lives in the Netherlands.
Here’s what George had to say to VeloVeritas, recently.
Dave Rollinson – The Road That Led to Gold(Comments Off)
We recently ran an interview with Liverpool Mercury stalwart, Ricky Garcia; we’re sure that Ricky would agree that perhaps the best rider The Mercury ever produced never really realised his full potential.
His name is Dave Rollinson; twice British Amateur Road Race Champion, Tour de L’Avenir stage winner, French amateur Classic winner and twice a Worlds top 20 finisher.
We caught up with Dave at his home in Spain recently to discuss a career which looked headed for continental professionalism – and not just to make up the numbers.
The Peace Race; when I was a lad it was spoken of in hushed tones, the toughest amateur stage race on the planet – the ‘Eastern Bloc Tour de France’ as many would have it. But more than a race, a clash of ideologies, tough, Communist East meets decadent, Capitalist West and also an opportunity for the Soviet Union’s forcibly adopted children – East Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia to bite their giant Russian step-parent’s ankles.
Only once has an English speaker won this event – in 1952 Scotland’s own Ian Steel took the honours. We were fortunate at VeloVeritas to interview the great man before his death, last year and before we’re done we’d like to speak to all surviving Scots who’ve participated in this historic event.
Sandy Gilchrist, Jimmy Rae, Martin Coll and Ken Clark have all been kind enough to give of their time to us; next on our agenda is former Scottish 50 mile record holder, Velo Sportiv stalwart and all rounder, Mr. Ron Gardner.
We first spoke to Harry Tanfield a couple of years ago having seen him ride well in the Gordon Arms time trial – most recently we spoke to him after he won the David Campbell Memorial road race in Fife back in the spring of 2016.
So when we opened this week’s ‘Cycling Weekly’ and there he was spread across two pages as the UK’s number one rated Elite rider we thought we best ‘have a word’…
Alex Rasmussen – Calling Time on Professional Cycling(Comments Off)
He’s been one of the outstanding track riders of the last decade, world champion four times across three disciplines – scratch (twice), madison with Michael Mørkøv and team pursuit. There’s been a raft of national, European and World Cup titles and podiums not to mention an Olympic team pursuit silver. On the Six Day scene he’s won in Berlin, Bremen, Copenhagen, Ghent and Grenoble. And that’s before we mention his road palmarés – two stages in the Dunkirk Four Day, the GP Herning, Philadelphia… But Alex Rasmussen has called ‘time’ on all of that and will race this season on a low key domestic programme.
We caught up with him the day before he rode his last ever Six Day chases in the Six Days of Copenhagen in Ballerup.
Following in the footsteps of Scottish track stars Mark Stewart and Katie Archibald, we believe Scotland’s Joe Nally to be the youngest ever winner of the British Senior Points Race Championship at just 17 years-of-age. The race was held at the Manchester Velodrome but Nally is another product of Glasgow’s beautiful indoor track; taking bronze in the team pursuit to go with his points gold.
‘Best have a word with the man,’ we thought ourselves here at VeloVeritas.
Mark Stewart – “I realise AN Post is ‘the real deal'”(Comments Off)
The last time we spoke to Scotland’s top endurance track rider, Mark Stewart he’d just added to his growing medal collection at the European Championships with bronze in the team pursuit and silver in the scratch.
Some nice road results in the Ronde van Oost Vlaanderen followed where he made his breakthrough from riding as a domestique and/or ‘getting round’ to being a serious contender for stage and overall honours.
But it wasn’t long before he would be back on the boards – he is a trackman, after all.
The Rás. A race to strike fear in the strongest heart; huge fields, big hills and mad uncontrollable stages with fearless Irishmen continually firing off the front in death or glory bids.
The winners include: ’10’ and ’25’ record holder, Polish strong man, Marcin Bialoblocki; AG2R’s Lithuanian beast Gediminas Bagdonas and World Time Trial Champion, Tony Martin, and… Jamie McGahan of Scotland. Not only did he win it in 1981, he finished second in 1982 and third in 1983. He also won the 1983 The Tour of Scotland ‘Health Race’ – beating a certain Teun Van Vliet in the process. Van Vliet would go on to a successful pro career with Panasonic.
High times VeloVeritas ‘had a word’ with Mr.McGahan..
Stuart Balfour – Moving up to French DN1; “A big focus in 2017 is making a name for myself”(Comments Off)
Young Scot, Stuart Balfour is off to France again for season 2017 – VeloVeritas decided we needed to hear this young man’s story…
In part one of our interview with Martin Coll we discussed his career – but any chat with Martin wouldn’t be complete without mention of the times he spent with his brother-in-law; the legend that is Graeme Obree.
Martin became The Flying Scotsman’s manager, confidante, driver and personal assistant during the period when Graeme and ‘Old Faithful’ were much in demand on the continental boards.
The Girvan Three Day; a Scottish Easter racing institution but now late lamented – sunshine, ice, snow and everything else in between but whatever the weather it was never a race for the faint-hearted. Bialoblocki, Downing, House, Elliott, Hayles, Curran, Lloyd, Doyle, Yates – some of the biggest names in British bike racing have won over that tough South West Scotland parcours.
Let’s go back to 1986; aforementioned Paul Curran is after his third win in the event – but Scotland’s Martin Coll has other ideas… We recently caught up with Martin at his home in Arizona to ‘talk a little Girvan’ and – the Peace Race.
Vic Haines – does the name ring a bell? If you’re into time trialling you’ll know him as a long-term sponsor in English cycling and a multiple tandem time trial record holder. Closer to home you’ll recognise him as the man who organised Graeme Obree’s successful Hour Record attempt in Hamar, Norway.
But his controversial ‘split’ with Obree came not long after the Scottish phenomenon had eclipsed Italian legend, Francesco Moser’s record – with, according to Haines, the new Ayrshire Hour Record holder due him a lot of money. We thought a chat with the man might be worthwhile…
John Nicolson MP – Background to the Parliamentary Select Committee Hearing; “I found some of the answers unconvincing.”(Comments Off)
If you watched the recent live stream of the Parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee hearing (part of the inquiry into “Combatting Doping in Sport”) you’ll know the bulk of the session focused on the key question “what was in the jiffy bag?” which was transported from the UK by Simon Cope, handed to Dr. Richard Freeman at the end of the Critérium du Dauphiné, for use by Sir Bradley Wiggins.
Committee member John Nicolson (Member of Parliament for East Dunbartonshire and the SNP spokesperson on Culture, Media and Sport) demonstrated an amazing ability to ask logical, ‘boiled-down’ questions which presented a narrow set of options as answers, and we felt it would be interesting to hear from John about the operation of the Select Committee and his thoughts on what he heard from the cycling top brass, so we grabbed some of his time during Parliament’s Christmas break.