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La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 10; Monasterio de Veruela – Borja (ITT), 34.5 km. Nairo Crashes, Contador Leads(0)

September 2, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Alberto Contador Velasco (Tinkoff & Spain) pulled on the red jersey, raised his bouquet to his adoring fans then offered his clenched right fist up to his chest. The man has a big heart in there, for sure – all that was missing was Kiss pumping on the PA, ‘Back in the New York Groove,’ the line which goes; ‘this place was meant for me!’

Joy for the man from Pinto but pain for the race leader from the other side of the world as Columbia’s Nairo Quintana (Movistar) chose exactly the wrong place to faff with his shoes, took his eye off the ball and stacked hard against the crash barriers on a right hander.

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 9; Carbonera de Guadaza – Valdelinares, 181 km. Winner Wins and Chad Chats(0)

August 31, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Stage Nine to Valdelinares; a horrible day after the baking heat of Andalucía – but joy at last for Lampre with Anacona after the Ulissi and Horner debacles. But where the hell is Pippo?

Perfect tactics from Movistar; “we’ve got a man in the break, why would we chase?…” And they keep the jersey – and despite the best efforts of the Media to rustle up a feud, Quintana and Valverde seem to us to be working a perfect ‘one – two.’

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 8; Baeza – Albacete, 207.4 km. Bouhanni Battles(0)

August 30, 2014 • by Ed Hood

The other day we commented on the sheer brutality of pro bike racing as Alejandro Valverde tore the race to shreds on the horrible ascent of Cumbres. But the fact is that the parcours don’t even have to be hilly for the racing to be savage.

On Stage Eight to Albacete, once the break got caught with around 20 miles to go it looked like standard sprinter stage fare – Giant, Lampre, F de J and GreenEDGE would control it for their sprinters. But at the least suggestion of a cross wind it was Tom Boonen who initiated the word which strikes fear into the heart of any climber – ‘echelon.’

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 7; Alhendin – Alcaudete, 165.4 km. De Marchi Stays Clear(0)

August 29, 2014 • by Ed Hood

As Dario Cioni once told us; ‘sometimes it’s nice for the big teams to get it wrong and the break to stay away.’

Big Italian Alessandro De Marchi was originally a team pursuit rider and paid his dues for three years in the low budget but big achieving Androni squad before stepping up to the World Tour with Cannondale, last year.

He won a Dauphine stage last season and won the mountains jersey in the same race earlier this season as well as being voted le Tour’s most aggressive rider.

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 6; Benalmadena – Cumbres Verdes (La Zubia), 157.7 km. Valverde Takes Over(0)

August 28, 2014 • by Ed Hood

It’s like Robert Millar said; ‘there comes a day when you have to stop dreaming.’ That day was yesterday for many as we were reminded of the savagery of professional bike racing at the highest levels. There were no interlopers – just the best of the best, all of the pre-race favourites trying their best to waste each other on that horrible grind to the line.

It was a hard climb to deal with, not a long col for the pure climbers, or a ramp for the explosive guys – as Rodriguez discovered – but somewhere inbetween and very difficult to read, especially with the way it sliced straight across the hillside with nothing to break it up…

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 5; Priego de Cordoba – Ronda, 182.3 km. Degenkolb Again(0)

August 27, 2014 • by Ed Hood

We have to start betting ‘each way’ – yesterday we said; ‘Michael Matthews’ and he was third, today we said; ‘Nacer Bouhanni’ and he was second . . .

And much as we admire the wiry Frenchman, John Degenkolb was 100% correct when he said of Bouhanni’s complaint about the German shutting the door on him; ‘on the right side there was only the barriers.’

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 4; Mairena del Alcor – Cordoba, 172.6 km. Degenkolb Distances(0)

August 26, 2014 • by Ed Hood

We weren’t so far away with our tip for the win, Michael Matthews the GreenEDGE Aussie was third and held on to his race lead; but we should slap out own wrists for not mentioning Germany’s Giant, John Degenkolb – the man to watch when gravity is involved and rains on the ‘pure’ fast men’s parade.

Albeit some rain would have been very welcome as the furnace-like weather continues to fry the peloton.

We may not have been too far away with Matthews but we were well out with Peter Sagan (Cannondale & Slovakia) – 13:44 was his deficit at the line in the same gruppo as Andrea Guardini (Astana & Italy).

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 3; Cádiz – Arcos de la Frontera, 188 km. Another Jersey For Matthews(0)

August 25, 2014 • by Ed Hood

We’re feeling a bit smug, this morning, on the eve of Stage Three we said; ‘It could be one for the breakaway but GreenEDGE may control it for Clarke and Matthews – and maybe Yates?’

And they man they call ‘Bling’ due to his penchant for jewellery proved us correct. The 23 year-old from Canberra again proved that in an uphill finish, if his motivation is good – there’s a little question mark over his grinta – then he’s very hard to beat.

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 2; Algeciras – San Fernando 174.4km. Bold Bouhanni(0)

August 24, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Stage Two had been hailed as one where the cross winds could blow things apart from the off but fortunately the Weather Gods remained benign and we were treated to a high speed finale where F des J and Bouhanni demonstrated again that they know exactly how to handle fast, technical finales.

The wiry Frenchman was in a class all of his own after a beautiful lead out by his boys and in particular last man in the train, Geoffrey Soupe who rode a magnificent finale for his Capo. Bouhanni is now on 10 UCI wins for the season including four Grand Tour Stages and with his current form there’s little to indicate he won’t add more notches to his top tube before Santiago is reached in three weeks time.

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 1; Jerez de la Frontera (TTT), 12.6 km. The ‘Telephone Team’ Take It(0)

August 23, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Movistar win Stage One – no surprises, then. Perhaps we could have expected more from reigning World TTT Champions, QuickStep but with Tony Martin just back after a break and a technical parcours where it would have been easy to pile up, the Belgian team took no chances and finished fifth.

Cannondale took second – it’s a long time since they won the opening TTT in the 2007 Giro – as Liquigas back then – but the combination of strong rouleurs like Bodnar and spectacular bike handlers like Sagan and Gatto gelled well. Adam Yates again displayed his class as GreenEDGE took third despite their chrono royalty not being present. Trek was unlucky, finishing the day in fourth but after a warm-up crash where the whole team tasted tar.

Commonwealth Games 2014 – Road Race, Elite Men. Geraint Thomas the Biggest Bear(0)

August 3, 2014 • by Ed Hood

We were there, walking the streets and parks of Glasgow – until the Monsoons came and discretion became the better part of valour at which times the words of Doctor Samuel Johnson have never rang more true; ‘There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.’ Especially if it has an HD tele . . .

Here’s the VeloVeritas take on our day in Glasgow – the good and the not so good.

Commonwealth Games 2014 – Time Trial, Elite Men. Dowsett Movistars on Glasgow Green(0)

July 31, 2014 • by Ed Hood and Martin Williamson

Essex boy Alex Dowsett proved that there is life after Sky with a brilliant time trial win in the Commonwealth Games event to add to his 2013 TT stage in the Giro, beating Aussie race favourite Rohan Denis into second and Wales Sky flyer Geraint Thomas into third on a blustery sunny Thursday afternoon around ‘The Dear Green Place’ that is Glasgow.

They say the watch doesn’t lie in a time trial but it can mislead you; Rohan had bested early leader Dowsett at the final time checks but as Dennis did his best Serhiy Honchar charging water buffalo impersonation and bludgeoned a mega gear home, losing seconds on every corner, sleek Walthamstow greyhound Dowsett kept the gears down and flew into Glasgow Green like a kermis king to grab gold.

Commonwealth Games 2014 – Time Trial, Elite Women, Villumsen for New Zealand(0)

July 31, 2014 • by Martin Williamson

Many times present on a major championship podium but never on the top step, New Zealand’s Linda Villumsen finally claimed her first gold medal today with a six second margin over former World Champion at the discipline Emma Pooley (England), riding her last time trial as a pro cyclist.

The bronze medal went to the German-born professional with Orica-AIS Katrin Garfoot, riding for Australia, who held off the strong late challenge from Kiwi Jaime Nielson by 16 seconds. In fifth place only one second further back was Scotland’s Katie Archibald, the 20-year-old showing her adaptability after racing last week on the track in the endurance events.

Commonwealth Games 2014 – Mountain Bike, Elite Men. Cooper the Strongest(0)

July 29, 2014 • by Martin Williamson

Despite being one of the youngest riders in the field, 19 year old New Zealander Anton Cooper proved to be the strongest and the savviest by surprising the two riders still with him heading towards the finish with a sudden and sharp acceleration off the front of the string to go clear with just a few hundred uphill metres remaining.

Teammate Samuel Gaze (himself only 18 years old) reacted quickly to pass Daniel McConnell (Australia) to take second place just three seconds behind Cooper, while it became clear the apparently still strong McConnell (who is currently fourth in the UCI MTB rankings) was in fact too tired to fight any more and he seemed happy enough to take the bronze.

Commonwealth Games 2014 – Cross Country Mountain Bike, Elite Women. Pendrel Takes Gold(0)

July 29, 2014 • by Martin Williamson

Three times the cross country mountain bike event has been in the Commonwealth Games (introduced in 2002, it didn’t feature on the programme in Dehli four years ago) and three times Canada have topped the womens’ podium.

This time it was the turn of Catharine Pendrel, who took control of the race midway round the first of five laps and wasn’t challenged again, soloing to a 70 second win over her teammate Emily Batty, with Australian rider Rebecca Henderson third a further 12 seconds back, after a race-long battle with Batty.

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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