At his ninth attempt, Herbalife-Leisure Lakes Bikes’ Gary Hand finally ‘done the business’ in the Scottish road race championship; timing his move to perfection on the final climb inside seven miles to go and holding off a desperate chase from reigning champion James McCallum (Rapha Condor JLT) and David Lines (MG-Maxifuel Pro Cycling) to win on his own.
We caught up with the man who eats the miles – but not much else – on the Monday morning after his win.Full Story»
The Giro; for the weeks before and during it’s like the Death Star, sucking all other cycling results in and destroying them. But one result we couldn’t let pass without comment was Evan Oliphant’s splendid win in the Premier Calendar Tour of the Reservoir.
Congratulations to Evan for turning round a Stage One deficit of five seconds to overall victory in The Reservoir by 13 seconds over Team UK Youth’s Chris Opie, the man who took that first stage.
In English we’d say, ‘Birdsong’ – in Danish it’s ‘Fuglsang.’ Despite the fact that he seems to have been around for a long, long time, Jakob Fuglsang is still only 28 with his best years as a stage race rider surely yet to come.
We felt we needed a proper look inside an Ardennes Classic; so who better to speak to than Amstel top 20 finisher, said Mr. Fuglsang (Astana & Denmark)?
In part one of the interview respected and award-winning Irish journalist David Walsh discussed his interest in Lance Armstrong’s motivation, his willingness to take part in a lobby of Irish cycling clubs to call for an EGM so that Pat McQuaid’s nomination for a third term as UCI President was not backed, and recounted some startling stories including Johan Bruyneel shooting up with cortisone just for fun.
Here in part two Walsh tells us about his time spent with Team Sky during their training blocks in Tenerife, what’s happening with the action group “Change Cycling Now” and exactly what he thinks about Garmin rider Dan Martin’s win in Liège last Sunday…
Chief sports writer for The Sunday Times, Irishman David Walsh is best known in cycling circles for being one of the people who have doggedly sought out the reality of Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France victories, not believing the “fairy tale” that defined the American’s recovery from cancer and record series of wins in the world’s toughest race. The award-winning journalist is the author and co-author of a number of books on the shamed American rider’s career and his subsequent fall from grace, the most recent being “Seven Deadly Sins” which Walsh describes as ‘more light-hearted’ than the others!
We sat down for a chat with Walsh the following morning, before he sought the fresh air with a run around Arthur’s Seat, the huge, beautiful park – complete with extinct volcano – in Edinburgh’s city centre, and in part one of the interview we discuss Armstrong and his motivation for behaving the way he does, and what can be done about the lack of faith the cycling community has in the UCI leadership.
With our Flatlands boys Douglas Dewey and Llewellyn Kinch heading south to race in France for 2013 we decided we’d best have a word with Rayner Fund rider Joshua Cunningham to see what’s happening in Belgium?
Here’s what he had to say:
Dewey has hit the ground running in France, with wins in the 138 kilometre/198 starters Etoille De Tressignaux – and you have to check out their website, the accordion music is cool – a stage win plus the GC in the two day Fleche d’Armor and a stage win and spell in yellow in the Tour de Lesneven.
We caught up with Douglas on a trip back to Blighty to have a minor injury checked out.
Brittany, the summer of 1977 and a group of Scottish cyclists are over there as competitors in the Roscoff–Lorient road race as part of the ‘Festival Interceltique de Lorient.’ At one of these races, a criterium on a sunny day at a venue long forgotten, we met an English chap called Julian Wheat who had chucked his job and set up shop in the depths of Bretagne.
Julian did give it a right go, making it into the Breton Mafia, avoiding the temptations of “the kit” and winning 15 races during his seven seasons in what is only second to Flanders as ‘Heartland’ and he took time out from his career as a successful artist to tell us about those days when there was no internet, Twitter, Skype – and EPO was just a twinkle in a researcher’s eye.
Stage Five of the Tour of Korea was a historic one – the first ever win for an Ethiopian rider at this level; youngster, Tsgabu Grmay of South Africa’s first Pro Continental team, MTN-Qhubeka powered by Samsung. This year has seen the man from Mekele, 2,000 metres up in the Tigrayan Highlands of Etiopia land a top ten GC placing in the Tour of Langkawi as well as second on GC in Taiwan to go with his stage win. We caught up with him upon his return to Europe to ride the Tour of Trentino.
When do the boys at VeloVeritas stop thinking about the Six Days? When we’re sleeping; but sometimes we dream about them . . .
A man who we’ve had the pleasure to work with and who impressed us with his speed and spirit is America’s Guy East – and he’s crazier than us about the Sixes. We thought we’d give him a shout and see how he’s coping with a world of sunshine, no Euro pop, real food and proper toilets.
Having had Michael Mørkøv’s take on de Ronde, we thought we’d chat to a man a bit closer to home about his experiences in what is at least in the top three of the world’s single day races – along with Milan-Sanremo and Paris-Roubaix.
The Tour of Flanders was one of the few races left on Russell Downing’s ‘to do’ list – but now he can wear the T-shirt.
The work ethic it takes to be reach and remain on the Australian National Squad is well known to the ‘Euros.’ The latest young man to take note of is Queenslander, Jordan Kerby; in his short career he’s achieved much – including two world titles.
Kerby was one of the ‘names’ of early 2013 with a prologue win and spell in the leader’s jersey in the Australian, Herald Sun Tour – but really caught the eye with his win in the Australian U23 Road Race Championship. VeloVeritas spoke to the 20 year-old as his career began with Danish Continental squad Christina Watches-Onfone.
We thought it would be good to speak to a man who was in the thick of the action at the Tour of Flanders last Sunday, across those cruel cobbles and over the brutal bergs. Step forward Saxo-Tinkoff’s Michael Mørkøv; team pursuit flyer, Six Day star, polka dot jersey wearer in the Tour de France, and Classics escape artist.
Michael’s been quieter than normal over the cobbles this year, but his greyhound build isn’t the best for the Siberian conditions which have plagued early season Euro racing. We caught up with him on the Tuesday evening after Cancellara had broken 200 hard men’s hearts.
For 2013 the 29 year-old decided to go back to the drawing board; train using the methods which worked so well for 2009 and join a team where the ratio of chiefs to Indians suited his perception of how a team should be built. The surprise for observers came in the team he chose – new Swiss Pro Continental squad, IAM.
But as with Gerald Ciolek’s rebirth at MTN, Haussler’s choice has been a good one – with 19th in Het Nieuwsblad, 13th in Milan-Sanremo, 11th in E3 and 4th in Gent-Wevelgem he’s stamped himself as a favourite for Sunday’s Tour of Flanders. VeloVeritas spoke to Haussler as the tension clicked up towards today’s Ronde, the biggest sales spike of the year for Belgium’s breweries, and before Heinrich’s superb sixth place.
Scott Thwaites turned pro with Endura in 2010 on the strength of that title and exploded onto the British scene with a win in the hotly contested and highly sought after Lincoln GP in 2011. The rapid progress continued last year with a dazzling UK season; the high lights of which were the British Criterium Championship and the overall win in the Premier Calendar.
Thwaites took time to talk about his excellent start to 2013 soon after his Handzame result.