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‘Waiting for Godot’ on the road to Roubaix(0)


April 20, 2014 • by Ed Hood

‘Waiting for Godot’ is a famous play by Samuel Beckett; two characters wait in vain for Godot – the play’s much discussed third character who gives the drama it’s name but never appears.

As the others looked at each other and waited for Godot – whether his name in this case was Sep or Bradley or Greg – Boonen drove and drove. It’s not like a champion of Boonen’s stature to give it the; ‘come through for f##k’s sake boys’ routine but his frustration was palpable.

The VV View: Pantani Revisionism, Qatar Worlds, CIRC and Raleigh(0)


February 16, 2014 • by Ed Hood

I can remember perfectly where I was when Marco Pantani died; sitting in my living room in Dysart. The flash came over Eurosport News and I rang Viktor to tell him; ‘hardly surprising’ was the reply. I knew what he meant, the little Italian’s life had been on a self destructive spiral for a some time – rehab or disaster were the only two possible destinations.

It was the Spartan philosophers who first coined the expression, ‘never speak ill of the dead.’ And whilst it’s always dreadfully sad to see a young life wasted, I’m puzzled by the current revisionist accounts of his life which are doing the rounds on the 10th anniversary of his death.

Our Last Rant of 2013 – Happy New Year!(0)


December 31, 2013 • by Ed Hood

VeloVeritas thanks you for reading in 2013, hopes that you are having a good holiday season, enjoyed the company of family and friends, ate and drank too much and didn’t have too many arguments.

We’ve now entered that no man’s land between Christmas and New Year and whilst we’ll do our best to keep the interviews coming from the track men who are making the boards hum, the rising talents and the men who skim through the mud as sweetly Fred Astaire coming down a staircase – the year cannot be let slip without a rant . . .

The Clutha Vaults Tragedy(0)


December 1, 2013 • by Ed Hood

It’s easy to sigh and shake your head when you read or hear that a drone has yet again ‘zapped’ the wrong target out there in the Middle East – and easy to carry on with your day. But when it’s on your door step, in a place you love, it’s altogether different.

I heard on the radio, early on the Saturday morning that a helicopter had crashed on to a pub in Glasgow at 10:30 pm on Friday but didn’t catch the name of the bar. ‘That’s horrible’ I thought to myself and carried on editing our Yuriy Metlushenko interview.

The VV View: Hesjedal and Rasmussen, Can We Handle the Truth?(0)


November 2, 2013 • by Ed Hood

In the film, ‘A Few Good Men’ Tom Cruise’s military lawyer character is cross examining Jack Nicholson as a high ranking officer; ‘I want the truth!’ says Cruise. Jack’s reply has now entered movie folklore and cliché; ‘You can’t handle the truth!’

He got that one right, I can’t handle the truth – whilst I’m well aware that most of the peloton was kitted up for two decades and that it’s indefensible, I can’t see how yet another biopsy is going to change anything.

The VV View: Where Do The World’s Top Riders Come From?(0)


October 18, 2013 • by Ed Hood

It creeps up on you, the need, nae, the burning desire to rant. The last straw was Chris Froome’s comments about the Tour organiser’s intention to include cobbles in the 2014 race. Chris isn’t keen – he wants just long, flat time trials and mountain stages; but we guess he’s OK with the sprinter stages. too?

The TT stages are for the specialists, the “rouleur” who can find the groove and churn the big gear. Anquetil, Indurain and Wiggins all fall into this mould – punish your opposition in the TT then hold on to your gains in the mountains. It’s the classic Grand Tour tactic; effective but not the most inspiring to watch…

The VV View: Zabel’s Second Confession Met with UCI Silence(0)


July 31, 2013 • by Ed Hood

On the one hand we don’t think that disinterring the dead is the way forward; the French Senate mass exhumation was a pointless exercise as far as we’re concerned. But once you have a Zabelombie walking the streets you have deal with it.

As I recall from George A. Romero’s classic ’78 movie – ‘Zombies, Dawn of the Dead’ you have to part the head from the body, shoot it in the head or at last poke a long screw driver through the ‘lug-hole’ (messy). But do we see a rush from the UCI to comment on the latest gore fest and efforts to contain the virus – originally returned on a space probe from Venus, if I remember correctly?

Or was it a laboratory in California?

The VV View: French Senate Report – Justice isn’t meant to be a Lottery(0)


July 26, 2013 • by Ed Hood

The release of the French Senate ‘findings’ on the ’98 Tour – why do it now, what do it at all? What’s the point, other than to create a mess and give Brian Cookson a fresh crock of manure to hurl at Pat?

Justice is not meant to be a lottery – of course it’s not right that the riders named cheated but what can we do now? And if you’re going to have an expose then it has to be full – not selective. It’s not right that O’Grady gets crucified simply because he’s about the only one still racing – up until last Sunday, that is.

The VV View: Santambrogio’s ‘Baw Face’ and Cycling Revisionism(0)


June 4, 2013 • by Ed Hood

I try not to rant, honestly – but sometimes I have to. It just gets to a stage where someone has to say something. Take Monday; I was driving the van, the window was down, it did actually feel like summer and I was mellow.

Then the sports news came on Radio Two and as Johnny Saunders uttered the words which jarred; ‘Italian cyclist,’ I thought; “no, please not Vincenzo!” But no, it was Vini Fantini’s Mauro Santambrogio.

Giro d’italia 2013 – The Italians love a good ‘Giovani’(0)


May 10, 2013 • by Ed Hood

The Italians love a good ‘Giovani’ – Under 23 rider.

Today’s Edinburgh edition of the Gazzetta deals with Battaglin’s fine Stage Four win. The Italian journo’s are already thinking about when he’s going to buy a Lambo/date a model/move to Monaco and they can say; ‘he’s not serious!’

Road racing, Rhododendrons and Sunday Shopping(0)


February 25, 2013 • by VeloVeritas

In 2014, both the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia will visit the UK. The 2011 World Road Race Champion was a British rider and the current Tour de France champion is British also. You’d be forgiven for thinking that participation in UK road racing would be booming. But it isn’t.

The number of road races in the UK increased last year by 5% according to British Cycling. This might sound like a success story but consider that attendance at cyclocross races went up 30% and the number of sportives apparently rose by 57% in the same time period. Also the number of Premier Calendar (top level domestic) road races has slumped to just six events in 2013. Entry-level road racing is failing to fully capitalise on the upturn in cycling and the top level of domestic road racing is in decline.

The VV View: It’s Not About the Drugs – Lance Armstrong on Oprah(Comments Off)


January 26, 2013 • by Ed Hood

I didn’t stay up, I must confess; but I was trawling YouTube as the clips were still being posted. The man, Lance Armstrong, “fessed up” – my jaw dropped, I never thought I’d see the day.

Albeit I think his memory is flawed about the comeback years.

I thought Oprah made a decent fist of the rest of the interview.

Here’s to 2013!(0)


December 31, 2012 • by Ed Hood and Martin Williamson

‘Barredo retires in light of biological passport violations case,’ says the CyclingNews headline. ‘So what, all them Spaniards are dodgy,’ we hear you say. But let’s go back two years.

We’re standing in the low cloud and cold drizzle of an Asturian afternoon. We’re high above the cave where Pelagius and his men had the vision of the Virgin the night before the battle; past the unmarked graves where the dead still lay on the mountain side and even higher above the twin Lagos of Enol and Ercina which give this strip of rough tarmac its name. We’re very near to the finish of one of the most evocative stage finishes in the Vuelta – Lagos de Covadonga.

The VV View: The USADA Reasoned Decision Should Be the Start, Not the End(0)


December 10, 2012 • by Ed Hood

Just like those CNN images from Iraq when the Saddam statues crashed to the ground, Lance is in pieces in the dust – the legend shattered. The Zealots told us that it was a great day and the start of a new era in cycling. But it’s ‘Xmas gift ideas’, what’s left of the Six Day scene, Sven Nys in Belgian ‘Cross and the transfer market which dominate the news.

And whilst I might be naive and do think that it’s a cleaner scene that it’s ever been during my lifetime, with team orchestrated doping gone and a sea change in the attitudes of riders and staff – there’s still something “rotten in the State of Denmark.” Lampre star, Michele Scarponi claims that he only met with Dr. Michele Ferrari for two tests at the end of 2010 and ended the association immediately he signed for his current squadra.

The VV View: The Inequalities of Doping Sanctions(0)


December 7, 2012 • by Ed Hood

I had intended to start this piece on the subject of Mr. Dettori’s current woes by saying that Frankie seems like a cool guy to me; but then reminding us that so too did Tyler H. and Lance. But one of our readers has given me a better intro which underscores my point. Namely that it’s not just about Lance and ever stiffer penalties.

Our reader reckons I should have pressed Tony Doyle for answers on ‘drugs in the six days’ when I interviewed him. Why? It was a quarter of a century ago and the kitting up taking place back then was positively common or garden, compared to Lance and Co. Sure, there are the anecdotes – like the rider who bolted out of the drug test cabin screaming, without pee-ing, claiming that the tester had tried to, ‘touch him.’ Good chat with a beer, but hardly moving us along and out of the mess we’re in.


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