cycling matters

Race rss

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 10: Mulhouse – La Planche des Belles Filles, 161 km. Nibali Wins, Contador Crashes(0)


July 14, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Epic. There’s no other word. In any Saga there are heroes and villains; but the only one of the latter to manifest herself on this day was Lady Luck.

Lashing out spitefully at Alberto Contador and casting a second Grand Favourite from the Tour. I can’t recall the last time I saw the Spaniard “chuck” a race so knew it was serious.

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 9; Gérardmer – Mulhouse, 166 km. Tony Martin Solo(0)


July 13, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Patrick Lefevre said today it was one of the greatest performances he has ever seen; Tony Martin fought for more than an hour to establish a gap of 30 seconds and then go away from the second group of 25 riders with the whole Europcar team trying to get him back.
Remember that Lefevre has been one of the most respected managers in the sport for two decades and isn’t prone to throwing praise around.

But surely the last words belong to Tony Gallopin; asked about his dreams for 2014 he says h
He wants to see France win the World Cup (sorry, Tone) and, ‘a win in the Tour de France.’

Nice to see a man realising a dream – even if just for a day.

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 8; Tomblaine – Gérardmer La Mauselaine, 161 km. Blel Kadri Enfin!(0)


July 12, 2014 • by Ed Hood

‘Enfin un Francais!’ – ‘At last a Frenchman!’ said the caption on French EuroSport. And a highly deserving one – Blel Kadri won in the grand manner; in the break for most of the day; dissolving the partnership with his companions when they were no longer of any use to him then holding off the maillot jaune group to win ‘en seule’.

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 7; Épernay – Nancy, 233 km. Matteo Trentin – Just!(0)


July 11, 2014 • by Ed Hood

QuickStep, you have to respect them.
 
They lost Cav but they’ve been contesting the sprints as if he was still here, with Renshaw grabbing places of honour.
 
And today again Kwiatkowski was there in the finale – yesterday he tried a ‘long one’ for himself, today he set it up beautifully for Matteo Trentin.
 


Patrick Lefevre has seen it all; a good pro himself, he won Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in his day, he manages to run a glossy, modern team which at the same time doesn’t forget that the sport belongs to the people.

A great day for QuickStep – at last – but the team press releases in general made for sad reading.

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 6; Arras – Reims, 194 km. Andre Greipel is Back(0)


July 10, 2014 • by Ed Hood

It was good to see ‘Le Gorille’ back and his relief at winning was palpable. The huge disappointment in the Lotto car when the big German crashed out of Gent-Wevelgem was forgotten after a stage win which effectively means Lotto’s Tour is a success, irrespective of what Jurgan Van Den Broeck can pull out of the hat.

If yesterday was brutal then today was savage; a 46.3 kph average through the rain with the last 10 kilometres at warp speed. Cav may have gone but QuickStep don’t seem to have noticed as they blitzed what was left of the peloton with Renshaw again in the frame – Kittel being the main victim of the killing pace they set.

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 5; Ypres – Arenberg Porte du Hainaut, 156 km. Boom Wins and Nibali Extends(0)


July 9, 2014 • by Ed Hood

When you’re in the Tour village, the sun is shining and the riders’ kit is so clean it almost glows, their tans are the colour of mahogany and the smiles for the pretty girls are a mile wide, who wouldn’t want to be a professional cyclist?

But when you see men like Sagan and Cancellara on their knees today, sodden, crash scarred and with the prospect of having to do it all again, tomorrow then you remember that it can also be a long ways from ‘ice cream and fairies’ on le Tour.

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 4; Le Touquet – Paris-Plage, 164 km. Marcel Kittel goes 3 from 4(0)


July 8, 2014 • by Ed Hood

I didn’t think Kristoff was as ultimately fast as that; I knew he’s a beast of a boy but didn’t think that a straight sprinters’ stage was tough enough for him – but he nearly proved me wrong in Lille at the end of Stage Four. The wily Paolini and strong-as-a-bear Russian Champion Alex Porsev dragged the Katusha Norwegian through the chaos and gave him a clear run – but Kittel was just too strong, again.

His Giant boys committed early at 25 K to go and were pretty much done by the red kite after QuickStep had dominated the run in.

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 3; Cambridge – London, 159 km. Kittel’s Second(0)


July 7, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Two riders away all day from kilometre zero, they get caught with six K to go, Giant dominates the finale, Kittel wins. And that was that – but ah, yes, it did rain for the finish. I guess the boys deserve a bit of R & R after yesterday’s mini-Ardennes death race – but a two man break holding the 194 man peloton off until they could almost hear the finish flag flapping ?

But as they say in the USA; ‘KUDOS’ to Bideau and Barta showing those Pro Tour wheels suckers how it’s done.

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 2; York – Sheffield, 198 km. Nibali in Yellow(0)


July 6, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Astana’s design team may not have made a good job of that Italian champion’s jersey but it’s wearer, Vincenzo Nibali certainly made a good job of Stage Two of the 2014 Tour de France, catching an elite group napping with 1700 metres to go to take stage and GC glory. ‘Shark Attack in Sheffield’ said the ASO press release – we like that.

The nay sayers were writing him off just a week or two ago but the man has won two of the three Grand Tours and has finished on the podium of all three – to underestimate him was folly.

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 1; Leeds – Harrogate, 191 km. Kittel from Sagan!(0)


July 5, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Welcome to VeloVeritas’ coverage of the Tour de France 2014. Stage one looked like a “truce” to VV – except for that finale, of course. We give our views on Cav and a few other aspects of the 2014 “Grand Boucle” (with a bittie to Yorkshire tacked on, that is.)

You’d have to be devoid of a soul not to feel sorry for the man – even more so when he puts his hand up and says; “my fault!”. Last year he wasn’t at his best in le Tour, despite the stage wins. He’d finished a very hard Giro – aren’t they all ? – and then rode the Tour.

Alistair Speed Memorial 50 Mile Time Trial 2014(0)


June 22, 2014 • by Ed Hood and Martin Williamson

It was 11:20 am on Thursday September 5th 2013 on the A91 road between Gateside and Strathmiglo when we lost Ali Speed. He was just 49 years-old, out on his bike and doing what he loved when he was snatched away. Ali rode his first race at just 12 years-old and was racing just days before he died.

VeloVeritas ran an obituary for Ali at the time of his death and it goes without saying that we had to attend the 50 mile time trial his sister Mhairi organised in his honour on behalf of Fife Cycling Association. We thought that rather than straight race reportage – albeit not ignoring Iain Grant’s (Dooleys) dazzling 1:47 to win – we’d drive most of the course and look at the roads and places Ali trained and raced on.

Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Championship 2014 – Three in a Row for Ian Grant(0)


June 8, 2014 • by Ed Hood and Martin Williamson

On a blustery, squally day on the dual carriageways of the A78 and A71 around Irvine and Kilmarnock on Sunday morning, Dooley’s Iain Grant added the Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial title to the “10” with a stunning 50:46 ride; a massive 1:39 clear of surprise second, Peter Murdoch (Paisley Velo) with Murdoch’s team mate Chris Smart a further 25 seconds back in the bronze medal position.

VeloVeritas had eventual fourth placed Arthur Doyle in the bronze medal spot, late in the race. But cramp hit Doyle in the closing miles and he had to freewheel across the line, two seconds down on Smart.

Il Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 21; Gemona – Trieste, 169 km. Luka Mezgec Takes the Finale(0)


June 1, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Mezgec’s sprint was timed to perfection in what was a real free-for-all of a finish. And isn’t that Giant jersey livery just so effective? – there was no doubt about which kind of bike had just won as Big Luka crossed the line.

Nacer Bouhanni (F des J & France) didn’t seem his usual desperate self, he said later he was too concerned about crossing the line upright and preserving his red points jersey; Tyler Farrar (Garmin & USA) simply isn’t as rapid as he once was and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek & Italy) must be wondering what he has to do to get a win – four second places.

Il Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 20; Maniago – Monte Zoncolan, 167 km. Michael Rogers Rides Clear(0)


May 31, 2014 • by Ed Hood

That final horrible grind up the mountain didn’t affect the GC much at all but Michael Rogers’ (Tinkoff & Australia) ride was wonderful to watch. It looked very much like he had the better of fellow breakaway survivor Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Bardiani & Italy) anyway, but we were denied their duel going any further by the moron who gave the man in green a push.

Already sitting close on the wheel, Bongiorno touched Rogers back tyre and had to unclip to avoid a crash – his rhythm and concentration broken the Italian couldn’t get back on terms with Rogers and it was left to the 34 year-old former Junior Points Race World Champion from New South Wales to take his most spectacular victory in the grand manner, alone, arms high in the air.

Il Giro d’Italia 2014 – Stage 19; Bassano del Grappa – Cima Grappa (ITT), 26.8 km. Nairo Quintana Excels(0)


May 30, 2014 • by Ed Hood

Today, the race started at 123 metres above sea level and finished at 1,712 metres above sea level – that’s an elevation of 1,589 metres. The climbing part of the race went on for some 12.5 miles with Quintana’s average speed – but with four/five miles of flat road in there which the ‘Bigs’ were covering at around 27 mph – an average 16.5 miles per hour.

Last finisher was Jeffry Johan Corredor (Colombia & Colombia) @ 18:00 minutes. Enough said, I think?


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.