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The VV View: the Tour de Trossachs, the Comic, and oh, Sammy!(Comments Off on The VV View: the Tour de Trossachs, the Comic, and oh, Sammy!)

October 11, 2017 • by Ed Hood

The Tour de Trossachs: when the alarm blasts at 06:30 on a Sunday morning the question is; ‘do I really have to go all the way to Aberfoyle?’ But once you’re breathing that sweet fern scented air on The Duke’s Pass then driving along lovely Loch Achray side you remember why you love this race. Great history, wonderful scenery, a course which challenges your abilities as a bike rider.

So why do entries drop every year?

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The VV View: The Bergen World Championships – a Success? Mostly…(Comments Off)

September 25, 2017 • by Ed Hood

As VeloVeritas pundit and critic, Viktor said after the Bergen World Championships; ‘where would we be without him?’ Peter Sagan. Cipo had it, Boonen had it, Peter has it – but Vik and I are both worried about who can pick up the ‘cycling’s showman and charismatic star’ baton when he finally hands his in.

But let’s think about NOW and not events hopefully in the distant future. Generally we frown upon comparisons with Eddy Merckx – but not even Baron Ted could manage three consecutive Worlds wins. We wonder if the UCI brief to 2018 Worlds venue Innsbruck was; ‘it has to be a parcours Sagan CAN’T win on!’ Hence more climbing than a Tour mega mountain stage for next autumn.

His performance in the World Road Race reminded me of what Rudi Kemna once told me about his own win in the 2003 Netherlands Elite Road Race Championship; ‘I was only at the front of the race for 60 centimetres – the LAST 60 centimetres!’

Farewell to Meadowbank Velodrome – an A to Z of the Famous Edinburgh Boards(Comments Off)

September 10, 2017 • by Ed Hood

I wandered down to Meadowbank the other Saturday, I thought it was for the ‘closing gala’ or some such but apparently the Track League can go on for another year? It was a disappointment to all those looking for coffee tables. The 1970 Commonwealth Games were just slightly before my time to spectate but I did read about them at the time; however I did witness the 1986 Games events and did a few laps of me own in anger round those boards.

It got me thinking about my personal memories of Meadowbank, and great riders who graced the boards; here’s my A to Z of Meadowbank Velodrome memories.

Reader’s Rant: the Sagan Saga(Comments Off)

August 1, 2017 • by VeloVeritas

It was Public Image Ltd. who sang; ‘Two Sides To Every Story’ and whilst VeloVeritas and many of our regular readers feel that the Manx Missile committed ‘Cavicide’ by going for a gap which wasn’t there in the ‘Sagan Saga’ where the Slovak was alleged to have deliberately decked Cavendish and was consequently turfed off the race, not everyone shares our view.

VeloVeritas reader Bill has penned us a well argued case for excommunication for Peter Sagan which we thought you may like to see; read on!

The VV View: a Funny Old Week(Comments Off)

June 20, 2017 • by Ed Hood

It’s been a funny old week – it’s always the same, there’s that void after a Grand Tour and it’s hard to fill. Dumoulin ‘done good’ to win; if you’re as old as me you can remember the last Grand Tour win by a Dutchman, Joop Zoetemelk in 1980 in the colours of TI Raleigh; he’d won the Vuelta the previous year and as well as his Tour win finished in second spot six times – with a record 16 Tour finishes off 16 starts.

His predecessor as a Dutch Grand Tour winner was the cool, bespectacled Jan Janssen whose 1968 Tour win was also preceded by a Vuelta win in 1967. Dumoulin is now being touted as The Netherlands next Tour de France winner – so he can look forward to a year’s worth of pressure from the Media. But the Giro isn’t the Tour; we can come up with a dozen names that could win the Giro but never the Tour – Hesjedal, Menchov, Di Luca, Salvoldelli, Simoni, Garzelli and we could go on. All good riders and Giro winners but they were never Tour winners.

Reader’s Rant: The Death of Michele Scarponi(Comments Off)

April 29, 2017 • by VeloVeritas

Last Saturday I, like many others, was stunned by the news of Scarponi’s death, and every day I’ve become increasingly saddened, indeed, angered by it. I don’t know why his death should affect me this way and not any other cyclist’s needless demise on the public road and I’m writing not only in the hope that I’ll get it out of my system, but to make some observations I believe need making.

The regular reporting of the vulnerability of cyclists, traffic incidents involving injury to or death of cyclists, seems to be creating a climate of apathy towards these events.

‘Oh, well. Can’t be helped. The driver probably didn’t see the cyclist. Maybe cyclists should be made to wear helmets and wear high visibility clothing.’

However, in this case the cyclist was a professional, expert bike rider, riding on a country road he must have known like the back of his hand, at a time and on a day when the volume of traffic was negligible, but I can’t find any publication, either in the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy or anywhere on the web that is posing questions or making editorial comment that may help to explain how the incident happened and what can be learned to help other cyclists avoid this fate.

The VV View: To Team Sky; “if in hole, stop digging”(Comments Off)

March 10, 2017 • by Ed Hood

It’s that time again when I go from being that old weirdo who’s always going to bike races no one has heard of to the ‘go to guy’ (I do hate that expression) – yeah, you’ve guessed; ‘Brailsford, corticosteroids, package, Sky, Wiggo’…

I’ve lived through all the doping scandals; Festina, Riis, Pantani, Lance, Tyler, Floyd and the fact is that just like that 1976 disco classic by Bugatti and Musker contends, ‘Ain’t no Smoke Without Fire.’ The pattern is always the same, revelation, vehement denial, steady drip of more damning facts and finally there’s a tearful confession or a ‘guilty’ verdict.

Can you remember one ‘doping scandal’ which ended with vindication and media apologies? Me neither.

The VV View – The Select Committee Question OBEs and a Knight(Comments Off)

December 26, 2016 • by Ed Hood

“A Team Sky spokesman said they remained fully behind their team principal (Sir David) despite the claims in the Daily Mail and his admission to the select committee on Monday that he had made mistakes.”

If you’re a soccer aficionado you’ll know that if Sky was a football team Sir Dave would be out by Tuesday after a message of support like that from the Board. But word is that if Dave goes then Sky pulls the plug.

And by the way, did you see Sir Brad’s ‘coming out’ as a Scotsman on Instagram, complete with ‘Braveheart’ face paint?

The VV View: Omnium’s History, Real Professionals, and Sagan’s Ride(Comments Off)

December 17, 2016 • by Ed Hood

Honestly, we think that Jason Kenny is a great sprinter – he can go short, long and is tactically very sharp. He’s not six times Olympic Champion across three disciplines because he’s a dud.

We also think that if he got himself off to Aguascalientes then Monsieur Pervis’ 2013 world 200 and 1000 metre records of 9.347 and 56.303 respectively would be in jeopardy; not to mention Chris Hoy’s 2007 standard of 24.758 for 500 metres. But how can he be a professional?

The VV View: Wiggo’s Fairytale Finish, NeoPros and Retirals(Comments Off)

December 8, 2016 • by Ed Hood

It wasn’t just Vik and I who thought the Gent Six Day finale was a tad too obvious to be true – “a Fairtytale” Cycling Weekly said, they got that right – we’ve had feedback from two men who were there.

Our man who lives in Gent said; “It was without a doubt the most historic Gent Six I’ve attended and I don’t think we’ll see another in our lifetime ( I did say 10 years ago or so that there will never be a British winner of the Tour – what do I know). It was however the most blatantly fixed Six Day I’ve seen.”

The VV View: Monkeydom, Wiggins and Cavendish in Gent, and Laura Kenny(Comments Off)

November 21, 2016 • by Ed Hood

Sir Brad wasn’t even off his bike when the phone rang; “Are you watching this? Isn’t it heartwarming, nostalgic? I’m almost in tears …” Yes, friend and sage of VeloVeritas, Vik had just watched the finale of the Gent Six Day on the box – so did I; for the first time in years I wasn’t there – that ‘real life’ stuff got in the way.

And last week’s Cycling Weekly brought us ’12 things you didn’t know about Jason and Laura Kenny’ – to push their new book (that one I said Vik has pre-ordered the other week): “Jason once ate four out-of-date yoghurts, despite not being hungry. And not liking yoghurt.”

Enough said, I think.

The VV View: Snakes and Ladders(Comments Off)

November 14, 2016 • by Ed Hood

Snakes and Ladders; Let’s be positive and start with the guys on the way up; 17 year-old Englishman Thomas Pidcock for instance, who won the European Junior Cyclo-Cross Championship in France recently. He’s now one of the favourites for the Worlds in Luxembourg come late January; he was fifth in the Worlds last year and is a year wiser and stronger.

But if there are ladders then there are snakes, too. It’s over Matt Goss; he won a World Team Pursuit Title, Grand Tour Stages, a Worlds Elite Road race Silver, Plouay and – The Primavera. That last result means he’s a Legend.

The VV View: Boonen’s Worlds, Respect the Rainbow Bands, Tramadol, and more!(Comments Off)

October 25, 2016 • by Ed Hood

‘Why do you rant about cycling?’ they ask us. ‘Because someone has to!’ we reply. There has to be a voice in the wilderness …

Did you watch the Worlds? Dave, Ivan and Vik all boycotted it – although they admitted to watching the finale. The Belgian offensive in the desert would have done Field Marshal Erwin Rommel proud – but apart from that and Sagan’s killer finale the race was processional.

Sometimes it’s strange how something you’ve never heard of in your life until recently starts coming at you from different directions – I was discussing a mutual acquaintance’s drugs problems with a friend when he mentioned ‘Tramadol’ – my ears pricked up…

The VV View: TT World Champs, Old Positives and Retro Scrap?(Comments Off)

October 14, 2016 • by Ed Hood

VeloVeritas resident prophet and Guru, Viktor is in Spain just now. His old bones can’t handle the Scottish weather these days – a nice wee apartment in Benidorm.

There’s a Belgian and a Dutch bar, both within crawling distance and both with big TV’s permatuned to sport, often bike racing. He has his bike out there and is about as happy as Vik ever gets. I rang him the other day to ask if he’d seen Etixx-QuickStep’s beautiful ride to win the Worlds TTT…

The VV View: Sky, Wiggins and the TUE Grey Area(Comments Off)

October 6, 2016 • by Ed Hood

TUE’s – once again I’m reminded of Elton John’s words; ‘and all this science I don’t understand…’

The forums are ablaze with righteous indignation from carpet fitters and bike shop mechanics, all of whom are well versed in conditions which affect an athlete’s breathing and the treatment of any ailments related thereto.

Me? I’m a glazier originally and I can’t remember Prednisolone ever cropping up once during my ‘apprenticeship.’

Here at VeloVeritas…

...we reckon cycling matters. We aim to provide our readers with truthful, interesting and unique articles about the sport we love.

We cover all aspects of cycling by actually being there, in the mix: from the local "10" to the famous WorldTour "monuments" - classics like Milan-SanRemo and the Tour of Lombardy, the World Championships, the winter Six Days, and of course the Grand Tours.

We attend many local races as well as work on the professional circuit - and we do it all with a Scottish accent.

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