cycling matters

Race rss

Chris Smart – Tour of the Meldons 2015 Winner(Comments Off)


May 3, 2015 • by Ed Hood

Chris Smart (Paisley Velo) explained to us that he’d no choice but to successfully defend his Scottish Olympic Time Trial Championship over the Meldons course in the Scottish Borders, recently.

If he hadn’t, he’d only have been the champion for half a year; with the Trossachs being the championship race in October 2014 and the Meldons coming in April of this year.

And in the time between us interviewing him and this piece appearing he’s gone and won another title – the TLI 10 mile championships on the A77 with a 21:19 to Ben Peacock’s 21:27.

Tour de Trossachs 2014 – Golds for Chris Smart and Lynsey Curran(Comments Off)


October 5, 2014 • by Ed Hood and Martin Williamson

Paisley Velo’s Chris Smart joined the likes of Ian Steel, Billy Bilsland, Graeme Obree and Jason MacIntyre on the Tour de Trossachs roll of honour with a fine 1:08:10 winning ride on a cool, grey morning which favoured the strong men.

Last year’s winner, Silas Goldsworthy (Sandy Wallace Cycles) was second with 1:09:29 and fast pedalling David Griffiths (Glasgow Wheelers) third in 1:09:47.

VeloVeritas drove the whole course and snapped about every rider…

Ponferrada World Road Championships 2014 – Elite Men. Michal Kwiatkowski Times it Perfectly(Comments Off)


September 29, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Spanish sports paper, Mundo Deportivo says; ‘El Tigre, en la Lieja-Ponferrada-Lieja’ comparing the race to an Ardennes Classic. ‘A complete cyclist with a brilliant future,’ they say of the 24 year-old Pole. Despite a tiny box on the front cover, the race gets two-and-a-half pages with nice colour pictures.

The second of the Nation’s four sports dailies, Marca concentrates on Valverde’s medal, ‘El hombre de bronce,’ again with colour photography and two full pages – if back on page 40. AS too goes with Valverde, ‘La sexta de Valverde’ – his fourth bronze and two silver medals take him two medals clear in the tables of seven riders on four podiums: Freire, Binda, Van Steenbergen, Lemond, Van Looy, Darrigade and Poulidor. Albeit all of them save Poulidor won the race at least once…

Ponferrara World Road Championships 2014 – Juniors & Women. Jonas Bokeloh & Pauline Ferrand-Prevot(Comments Off)


September 28, 2014 • by Ed Hood

I hate to keep moaning about these Worlds, but … There’s no way you can get from the two K to go sign at the foot of the final descent and up onto the climb. Barriers, tapes, police, volantarios (volunteer janitors) – grim! A man who can’t walk the course ends up in too many bars.

The junior race was mad – crashes aplenty but a good finish with the big German lad too fast for everyone. The wee Russian lad who was second looks ‘well hard’ he’d get no lip from anyone in a chip shop in Whitburn.

Ponferrada World Road Championships 2014 – U23 Men, Sven Erik Bystrom Takes it Solo(0)


September 27, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Well, if there’s a pizza place in Ponferrada, we can’t find it. It’s rude to criticise your host’s abode but we’re mystified by how the Worlds came to be here. The communications are terrible, it’s four-and-a-half hours by road or rail out of Madrid or get transfer flights up to the North West and more driving.

The town is ‘any town Spain/Italy’ and with the exception of the beautiful Knights Templar Castle there’s very little which is photogenic. It’s ‘just a town,’ like Broxburn or Kelty – which is fine but maybe we’re looking for more from the biggest week of racing on the planet ?

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 21; Santiago de Compostela (ITT), 10 km. Adriano Malori Home and Dry(0)


September 14, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Movistar top and tail la Vuelta as Italian Time Trial Champion, Adriano Malori has the weather gods on his side and rides in the dry whilst the GC boys look like they’re pedalling on ice around the technical circuit in beautiful and historic Santiago de Compostella.

The last time I stayed in Santiago weeds were sprouting from the cathedral’s lovely facade, so that scaffold was no surprise – a face lift was long overdue.

If the organisers’ gamble had paid off and the race had been down to seconds then there would have been scenes of carnage as desperate men did desperate things on wet cobbles to make time.

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 20; Santo Estevo de Riba de Sil – Ancares, 163.8 km. Contador Dominates(0)


September 13, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Samuel Sanchez summed it up best in the BMC press release for Stage 20; “To understand how was hard it was, you only have to look at the riders’ faces.” That was certainly true of Chris Froome, his face ashen, skin tight on his skull, eyes popping, gasping for air like a dying fish.

Not just from the effort but from the disappointment of having burned his Sky team to last match head then given his all, only for Alberto Contador to sit there as cool as a glass of Pimm’s on a summer’s day, soak up all the punishment then put 16 seconds into the Englishman in the last few hundred metres.

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 19; Salvaterra de Miño – Cangas de Morrazo, 176.5 km. Adam Hansen Takes the Win!(0)


September 12, 2014 • by Ed Hood

VeloVeritas cycling sage, Vik hates Adam Hansen’s narrow bars – they’re to make him more aero and save those precious watts – but they certainly didn’t do him any harm, today.

Not just a win; he’s saved Lotto’s Vuelta – it goes from ‘Ligthart and Hansen enlivening the breakaways’ to ‘stage winning’ and that’s about a million miles. By good fortune we had a chat with the man just before this Vuelta kicked off…

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 18; A Estrada – Monte Castrove en Meis, 173.5 km. Fabio Aru with Froome Calling the Shots(0)


September 11, 2014 • by Ed Hood

‘Alberto defends lead in spite of heavy bombardment,’ says the Saxo-Tinkoff press release – with Chris Froome the man in charge of the howitzers. Christopher may not be stylish but the man is a bike racer – and that has to be respected. The tactic is simple, when the road goes up and the pace eases back a notch – attack!

It nearly netted him the win today but Aru is young, hungry, skinny and pretty quick for a mountain man. But Froome did climb to second on the ‘virtual’ podium and claw back some time on Contador.

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 17; Ortigueira – A Coruña, 174 km. Degenkolb’s secret? Cinnamon Cookies!(0)


September 10, 2014 • by Ed Hood

There was the chance that the break would stick; but with John Degenkolb’s Giant boys working themselves into the tar for him – and having done their homework by riding the stage finale on the rest day – and the likes of Ferrari and Matthews fancying their chances now that Bouhanni is back in France, not to mention Sky piling it on to keep Froome out of trouble, it was odds on to be a sprint finish.

Despite having burned up his boys to get the break back and flying solo in the technical finale, Degenkolb surfed the wheels that went too early and laid down that raw power to take his fourth stage of the 2014 – respect.

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 16; San Martin del Rey Aurelio – La Farrapona, 158.8 km. Contador From Froome(0)


September 8, 2014 • by Ed Hood

My son reckons he’s on something and will, ‘get caught; there’s no way he could break his leg in the Tour and then be as strong as he is…

Let’s hope (and pray) not; but my perspective is different – I think Alberto Contador is one of the greatest stage racers the world has ever seen and as such you can’t compare him to lesser mortals. People forget that Contador has been as close to death as a man can get and still survive.

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 15; Oviedo – Lagos de Covadonga, 149 km. Przemyslaw Niemiec Impresses(0)


September 7, 2014 • by Ed Hood

It’s just morbid curiosity which compels me to watch Chris Froome (Sky & Monaco/England/South Africa/Kenya) these days – he climbs like a stick insect with Saint Vitus Dance. It upsets me; but distressing or not, it gets him up them hills, albeit in his own mystifying style – off the back, off the front…

But it was the former at the top of Covadonga where the Valverde (Movistar & Spain) and Rodriguez (Katusha and Catalonia) tandem put time into Froome and red jersey Contador (Tinkoff and Spain) – albeit not a lot of time but enough to make us wonder if Valverde just might be ‘the man.’

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 14; Santander – La Camperona, 199 km. Ryder Hesjedal Stays Clear(0)


September 6, 2014 • by Ed Hood

There used to be a Scottish football player called Frank McGarvey, he played for Celtic, St. Mirren, Queen of the South and Clyde. The worst job an opposing manager could give one of his players was to ‘mark’ Frank – stay close to him and anticipate his next move.

As a man once entrusted with this task told me; ‘how could you tell what Frank was going to do next when he didn’t know himself?’ It must be a bit like that when you ride against Chris Froome; ‘well, that’s Froome popped – Jeez! he’s back! – who’s that attacking? – it’s not Froome, is it?’

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 13; Belorado – Obregón, 182 km. Daniel Navarro for Spain and Cofidis(0)


September 5, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Stage 13 took things back up a level but on a parcours which didn’t make for ‘The Bigs’ to do anything but mark each other. Unlike the Tour de France where there have been years where the honour of France has been saved by a single stage win by the likes of Sandy Casar, the Vuelta has always inspired it’s children with Spaniards well to the fore.

If the 2014 Tour de France was the first time since 1997 a Frenchman appeared on the podium, you have to go back to 1996 to find the last occasion there was no Spaniard on the Vuelta podium and that doesn’t look like changing. Similarly, when it comes to stage wins the ‘Home Boys’ always reach deep into their top hats to find a rabbit with Dani Navarro at last giving Cofidis something to smile about.

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 11; Pamplona – San Miguel de Aralar (Navarre), 151 km. Fabio Aru Shines Thru(0)


September 3, 2014 • by Ed Hood

We had a feeling that Quintana would find it very hard to continue in this Vuelta – whilst the man is hugely talented he’s not at the level he was in the Giro and to make up three minutes on Messrs. Contador, Rodriguez and Valverde was never going to be easy.

His morale was in his boots anyway but then fate intervened, down he went and the Media can stop asking daft questions about imaginary feuds in the Movistar camp. Fabio Aru – his Giro performance spoke for itself; Contador says the young Italian reminds him of his own youthful self – Aru reminds me of a young Nibali.


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.

Subscribe to VV

Enter your email address to subscribe to VeloVeritas! You'll receive notifications of new articles in your Inbox.