Paul Jones had the rather splendid idea of writing a book about the man who was British Junior Road Race Champion, British Kilometre Champion, twice British Team Pursuit Champion, six times British 25 Mile Time Trial Champion and who unearthed the Holy Grail of time testing - the 30 miles per hour 25 mile time trial ride; stopping the clock in 49 minutes and 24 seconds in August 1978; Alf Engers.
This is the least favourite part of having our own wee website; writing the obituaries of bright young men with most of their lives still ahead of them. This past week we lost Lewis Oliphant, perhaps best known for his exploits on the grass track. At VeloVeritas we knew Lewis but couldn't claim to know him well; what we've done then is to ask for people who were close to let us have their tributes.
Just days after we penned our tribute to departed six day Great, Germany’s Dieter Kemper, we find ourselves having to write another tribute to a track star. This time, one of Britain’s own, twice World Amateur Pursuit and twice British & Commonwealth Games Pursuit Champion, Norman Sheil.
It was British former motor pace rider, Six Day and road man Norman Hill who informed us of the passing of one of the Six Day Greats, at the age of 81 years; a true ‘all-rounder’ and one of the all-time Six Day Greats, ‘Rest in Peace' Dieter Kemper.
After six times finishing on the podium of the Men Elite Road World Championship, Alejandro Valverde claimed the gold medal for Spain for the first time at the age of 38. He rode away up the Höll, the gruelling climb at the end of the race, along with France’s Romain Bardet and Canada’s Michael Woods to beat them in a four-man sprint after the return of the Dutchman Tom Dumoulin. The final event crowned a wonderful week of sport in Innsbruck-Tirol.
Team Sky are delighted to announce the immediate signing of Eddie Dunbar. Dunbar, who is set to make his Team Sky debut on Saturday at Coppa Agostoni, has agreed a deal to the end of the 2019 season. The Irishman, 22, was contracted to Aqua Blue Sport for the 2018 season, but – following the closure of the team – Aqua Blue and the UCI have granted Dunbar permission to leave his contract early and sign for Team Sky.
Gianni Moscon has today (August 8th 2018) accepted a five-week suspension from the UCI following an incident that occurred on July 22nd 2018 during stage 15 of the Tour de France.
It hasn’t been a good week for the sport of cycling’s past champions; but not just men who won races, colourful men with personality. First we lost six day star Andreas Kappes to a bee sting, of all things. And we heard today that Armand de las Cuevas had taken his own life on the Island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, which was his home in recent years.
It’s with much sadness that we report the death of former Six Day and road star, Germany’s Andreas Kappes at just 52 years of age. He was stung by a bee whilst on cycling team management duties and died from ‘allergic shock’ on 31st July. Kappes was one of the all-time great Six Day men, rated 18th in the last edition of the Six Day results ‘bible’ – ‘Statistieken.’
Team Sky have today welcomed the decision by the UCI to dismiss the case against Chris Froome.
On Tuesday morning we awoke to the sad news that North of Scotland stalwart, Ivor Reid had died at just 57 years-of-age. Tragic. I wasn’t privileged to call Ivor a close personal friend but I knew the man for a long time; from the early 80’s and when we met there was always a warm hand shake and some good chat. When I saw pictures of him racing as a ‘Master’ on the track I always had to smile; the gear was always the best and right up to the minute - be it aero helmets, ‘keirin’ gloves, wheels, shoes, his enthusiasm and love for all things track cycling shone from those images.
The Savage, the new ‘one size fits all’ bike bag from Norwegian lifestyle travel brand Douchebags (Db) is now available to buy online at douchebags.com for €699.
Since launching in 2004, CeramicSpeed have been working hard to provide cyclists with the very best equipment, giving riders ease of mind when competing at the highest level – and most importantly – valuable marginal gains.
The 2017 FT Bidlake Memorial Prize has been awarded to Chris Froome in recognition of his achievement of winning the Tour de France for the fourth time, then being the first British rider to win the Vuelta a España in the same year.
Lasse Norman Hansen sealed Aqua Blue Sport’s first win in 2018 season in spectacular fashion by powering to victory in an hectic sprint finale on stage one of Jayco Herald Sun Tour. The Dane, who is also the new yellow jersey of the race, made cycling history by taking the first UCI professional road race win with a 1x drivetrain bike - the 3T Strada.
Sergio Henao will head Team Sky’s charge in his homeland at the inaugural Colombia Oro y Paz (6-11 February). The Colombian heads a lineup including fellow countrymen Sebastian Henao and Egan Bernal for the new six-day stage race, which will see Team Sky race in Colombia for the first time ever. Debutant Jonathan Castroviejo, Tao Geoghegan Hart and David Lopez complete the six-man squad.
Michal Kwiatkowski is hoping to tackle the Tour of Flanders this season as he looks to continue his momentum following a standout 2017 campaign. The Pole enjoyed arguably the best 12 months of his career with marquee victories at Strade Bianche, Milan-San Remo and Clasica San Sebastian, before heading to the Tour de France to help wingman Chris Froome to a fourth title.
Dylan Van Baarle has improved each time he has competed at the Tour of Flanders, and in 2017 was knocking on the door of a podium with fourth place. Now 25, the Dutchman is ready to challenge for more on the cobbles, and can’t wait to slot himself into the team’s Classics group.
KASK have today unveiled their most aerodynamic road helmet, which be available to buy later this year. The KASK Utopia offers the very latest technology in aerodynamics and ventilation, giving cyclists a super-fast ride while retaining excellent safety and cooling capabilities.
This Saturday, 13th of January, Unipublic revealed the Vuelta a Espana 2018 route that will take place between the 25th of August and the 16th of September. The Spanish tour will depart from the Pompidou Centre in Malaga, in another clear example of the organisation’s aim to combine sports, culture and innovative departures.
Jon Dibben hopes that starting his season at the Tour Down Under will set him up for a strong Classics campaign. The 23 year old believes he learnt a lot during his first professional road season and he’s looking forward to taking those lessons into 2018. After racing the Classics in 2017 Dibben enjoyed a varied race programme as he settled into life on the WorldTour and the Brit picked up his first win at the Tour of California, claiming the stage six time trial.
Chris Lawless admits the feeling of pulling on a Team Sky kit will be a special one ahead of his pro debut at Tour Down Under. The young Brit is part of an influx of under-23 talent to join the team during the off-season, and he heads to Australia as part of an exciting youthful lineup.
Team Sky will line up with a ‘young and exciting’ squad as the 2018 season gets under way at the Tour Down Under. Neo-pros Kristoffer Halvorsen and Chris Lawless make their first appearances as Team Sky riders alongside Egan Bernal, who will target the general classification across the six-day WorldTour event.
The Isle of Man Commonwealth Games Association announced Wednesday that Team Novo Nordisk’s Sam Brand would represent Team Isle of Man at the 2018 Commonwealth Games when it kicks off in April in Australia’s Gold Coast. The Manx native will compete as part of the six-man cycling road team. This serves as his first Commonwealth Games appearance.
Aqua Blue Sport has confirmed its final, 16-strong rider roster for 2018 and for the second successive year will kick off its racing season in Australia and the Middle East.
On Thursday, Team Novo Nordisk revealed its full team roster and updated navy blue kit for the 2018 season. The world’s first all-diabetes pro cycling team will race its sixth season with 16 athletes from ten countries. The two new riders joining the team are Sam Brand (UK-Isle of Man), who raced as a stagiaire with the men’s professional team since August, and Emanuel Mini (ARG), who is moving up from the team’s development squad.
Let’s start with the price of wheels; £3,300 for a pair of Lightweights – as Woody Allen might say; ‘what ! are you crazee ?’ Men are winning kermises every day in Belgium on thousand euro bikes; if you’re a Grand Tour rider looking for every advantage on some horrible mountain stage – yes. If you’re riding Ingliston criteriums – NO!
The sad news came through from Belgium on Sunday morning that Graham Webb, British World road champion in 1967, had passed away. Our condolences go to his family and the many friends and fans he had in the cycling community. A great champion and a wonderful guy. Ed interviewed Graham back in 2009, and we thought that reproducing the interview now would be a good tribute to the man. In memory of Graham; his views on the sport back in 2009. 'Former World Road Race Champion,' yes, that would be nice to have that after your name!
It was Phil Edwards’ friend and former team mate back in their amateur days, respected cycling photographer John Pierce who broke the sad news to us that the big man from Bristol, who won both the British Junior and Professional Road race Championships and was right hand man to Italian ‘campionissimo’ Francesco Moser at ‘super squadra’ Sanson for five seasons had died of a suspected heart attack at his home in Monaco on Sunday, April 23rd aged 67 – he was born 03:09:1949. Phil Edwards, British Champion, Olympian, respected member of an elite peloton, successful businessman and gentleman, rest in peace.
Michele Scarponi took fourth on GC at the Tour of the Alps this week and it was a shock to all when word came of his being fatally struck by an Iveco van on an early morning training ride just one kilometre from his home in Filottrano. To Michele Scarponi’s wife, Anna and twin boys Giacomo and Tomamaso, his extended family, friends, fans and team mates we extend our deepest sympathies. Rest in peace, Michele we’re going to miss you.
Seat pad replacement. It seems it's a fairly common requirement amongst people who ride a lot or race; changing the worn or uncomfortable seat pad (or "chamois", if you or your clothing are of a certain age) in your shorts and so extend the life of the garment whilst increasing the comfort factor, and there are a number of options available to you to achieve this - but fewer than you would imagine in this consumerist, throwaway culture. We're happy to report that we've found a company who are able to replace your seat pads for a minimal cost and who have an extensive range of quality pads available (at the time of writing there are 26 different styles available!) to suit pretty much every requirement and body type; Dr. Pad.
John Woodburn passed away quietly in his sleep on Good Friday at 80 years-of-age. His career was a remarkable one; he won the British 25 Mile Time Trial Championship in 1961; the first to do so on a geared bike, before that the championship had been the preserve of high revving, fixed wheel pursuit riders. Woodburn loved riding a bike and racing and at 70 he could still return 21:48 for a 10 mile time trial, and in July 2002, he broke the 50 mile time-trial National Age Record for over 65s with a 1:47:40 ride, breaking the record by nearly three minutes.
Following the death in February of 1956 Tour de France winner, Roger Walkowiak, France lost another of her Tour winning sons today when the death was announced of 1967 winner, Roger Pingeon from a heart attack in the village of Beaupont, Ain. Born August 28th 1940 of farming stock in Hauteville-Lompnes in the Ain Departement, a strong 1964 independent season with a win in the Poly Lyon and second in the GP des France saw him win a contract with that most French of French professional teams, Peugeot for 1965.
Here at VeloVeritas we were saddened to learn of the death of Scottish Cycling stalwart, Gerry McDaid. Gerry died on 20th November in the Cochrane Care Home, Johnstone aged 77 years. As I young club cyclist I used to hear stories from my roadie friends about Gerry; they conveyed an image of ‘The Maximum Commissaire’ – an official not to be messed with. I carried this image with me for years but when I got to know the man I found him to affable and of the ‘common sense’ school of race officiating.
It’ll be nine years, this January since we ran our Gary Wiggins obituary. Wiggins, father of Knight of the Realm, current World Hour Record holder, reigning Olympic Team Pursuit Champion and former Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, died in hospital in Newcastle, New South Wales the day after an ‘incident’ in Muswellbrook the previous day.
In Scotland the last two weeks have seen us lose two fine young men from our cycling scene; gone before their time, Ben Abrahams and Dougie Young. But over in the Belgian Heartland they’ve suffered too – with the recent passing of Daniel (Danny) Willems at 60 years of age. ‘Who’s Danny Willems?’ I hear you ask. I’m not surprised you should ask that; there’s been very little reaction to Willems demise - but those of my generation remember him as tall, stylish, classy and a big name in pro cycle sport in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
Velo Club Vitesse, an Irvine based club, is proud to have been selected to run the Scottish Junior Road Race Championship for 2016. This is the first occasion for quite some time that Scotland’s junior road riders have had a separate championship race of their own. We are pleased to be reinstating this important event and bringing it to the challenging roads of North Ayrshire on Sunday 11 th of September.
It's with much sadness that VeloVeritas has to report the passing of another young man who's life hadn't really begun. Just days after Ben Abrahams was taken from us, Dougie Young has gone too. Rest in peace, Dougie. Sincere condolences to his friends, family and loved ones from Martin and Ed here at VeloVeritas.
Obituaries, part of the deal if you write about cycling; check their palmarès, think about when you saw them race when you were a boy then put a piece together. But when it's someone you knew, liked, laughed with, there's more to it than that - the randomness of life; one minute a friend is there and happy with a whole life to look forward to, the next, he's gone. A car crash involving a lorry and Ben Abrahams, and here I am writing this.
Velon and the Tour of Poland (12-18 July) are pleased to announce a collaboration that will see real-time rider performance data being streamed to and combined with the live broadcast TV coverage for each of the race’s seven stages. In addition, the data and broadcast stream will be viewable to all fans via the Velon.cc website and the Velon Pro Cycling app for both iOS and Android.
Following two seasons in the Continental rank, Israel’s only pro team: Cycling Academy Team, is planning to make the move to the Pro-Continental ranks in 2017. Team aims to compete in the Tour of California and the Classics in 2017, eyeing a Gran-Tour debut in 2018. Team is currently negotiating with several key riders and technical partners.
Bardiani-CSF is going to face a new important event of its season, the Tour of Poland 2016. The short stage race, from July 12 to 18, will be the sixth World Tour race for the #GreenTeam.
Four Scots have been selected for the Great Britain Cycling Team heading to the UEC Junior and Under-23 European Track Championships taking place in Montichiari from 12 – 17 July. Under-23 riders Mark Stewart and Jack Carlin will be joining Juniors Lewis Stewart and Jenny Holl – who were also selected for the UCI Junior Track World Championships earlier this month.
Nacer Bouhanni will not take part in the 2016 Tour de France. He suffered an attack at the team hotel on the night before the French national championship road race, requiring an emergency 4-stiches intervention.
Turin, 29 June 2016 – The iconic gravel roads of the Colle delle Finestre and the finish line at Sestriere, scene of epic gestures by generations of pro riders, are two of the features that define the story of the Gran Fondo La Marmotte – Sestriere – Colle delle Finestre. The sportive ride organised by RCS Sport / RCS Active Team, now in its second edition, will be held on Sunday 24 July.
In the passing of Rudi Altig from cancer on June 11th 2016 from cancer at 79 years-of-age, Germany and the sport of cycling have lost one of it’s giants. He was a man who could win everything from his nation’s amateur national sprint championship to the Vuelta by way of the world professional pursuit and road race titles, Monuments and Six Day races.
It’s with much sadness that VeloVeritas reports the passing of Canadian Cycling Legend, Jocelyn Lovell on June 3rd at 65 years of age. ‘Controversial,’ ‘outspoken,’ ‘colourful,’ are all adjectives which have been used to describe the sleek, blond kilometre specialist but for me he’ll always simply be, ‘one of the coolest.’ Always immaculate, slim and long limbed; astride a track bike with that beautiful pale blue with white sleeves and maple leaves Canadian national jersey on his back he looked like he’d been born to perform the role.
Earlier this year, Od Designs' Steve Marsden was approached by Sandy Gilchrist, the Specialized Team mechanic and Ireland Track Team coach, to see if he could develop a better bike stand than was already commercially available. After discussing his requirements, Steve set-to and in short time had the basis of what Od Designs have named the "TrackStand".
It's always sad when you lose a friend - when it happens on Christmas Day it makes it all the more painful. So it's with particular sadness we report the loss of John F. Murray, sponsor for several years of Scottish cycling team, GS Modena / M & M Windows. John and I set up M & M in 1988; hitherto GS Modena had been sponsored by CR Smith.
If you’re of this generation then Sven Nys will probably be your King of ‘crosses - but if you grew up in the 70’s then you’ll know that the true Monarch of the Mud was that stocky man of Flanders; Erik De Vlaeminck, big brother to ‘Monsieur Paris-Roubaix’ Roger De Vlaeminck. Sadly, the elder De Vlaeminck brother died today in the town where he was born, Eeklo in the heart of East Flanders.