Englishman Steve Penny is a long time track enthusiast and writer - this will be his 17th consecutive edition of Flanders' mythical Six Day. Here's his take on the 72nd edition of what is now unquestionably the hardest six day race on the calendar. VeloVeritas will be there for Sunday afternoon's Grand Finale. Champions of the World, or The Prodigal Son - that's the question which can only be answered on the steep bankings of the Kuipke velodrome.'
The World Ports Classic is making its debut on the international cycling calendar on August 31, when it begins its two-day trek from Rotterdam to Antwerp and back. Several great riders who thrive in windy conditions and sprints have already included it in their programmes, including a three-time stage winner in the first two weeks of this Tour de France, André Greipel, and the hero of this year’s spring classics, Tom Boonen.
Like it or not, the sport of professional cycle racing is largely defined by one race – the Tour de France. To aficionados the Primavera, Ronde, Hell of the North and Classic of the Falling Leaves are eagerly awaited then devoured and endlessly analysed. But mention any of these races to the ‘man in the street’ and you’ll be met with a blank stare. The Giro and Vuelta will elicit a similar response - Paris-Nice? Forget it. But tell a ‘lay person’ you’re going to the Tour de France and in response you’ll get; ‘Lance, Cav, yellow jersey’ – and ‘drugs,’ naturally.
Fast and furious street racing for a summer evening in Peebles. It’s really three events in one – first the families (and anyone with a bike who wants to join in riding round the course for a ‘victory’ lap), then a full-on women’s race, before the headline men’s racing kicks off. The circuit is short and spectacular, with high speeds and tricky corners for the top riders, and big crowds and a party atmosphere to shout them on. It’s run as a Belgian-style Kermesse event, with lots of the community involved.
Rapha-Condor-Sharp rider James McCallum has pledged his intention to defend his title at the South Carrick David Bell Memorial, a 'monument' of Scottish cycling aspiring to join the Premier Calendar series in 2013. The promoting club, Ayr Roads-Harry Fairbairn BMW have already secured 'National A' status for the 47th running of the 100mile event to be held on Sunday June 10th 2012, guaranteeing the best possible line up of British professional and elite cyclists.
On Tuesday 14th of June we have a major new event for a summer evening in Peebles, in the Scottish Borders. For the first time, a major new road event will be taking place in the town centre: a Belgian-style kermis event with lots of the community involved and pubs and restaurants along the circuit; The Peebles Criterium 2011.
The best cyclists in Scotland will descend on South Ayrshire this Sunday, the 5th of June, as Ayr Roads Cycling Club/Harry Fairbairn BMW play host to round four of the Scottish Power Renewables SuP6R Six series at the 2011 David Bell Memorial Road Race. The event has attracted a full field for the first time in over two decades, with the riders lining up to complete the gruelling 120km marathon over the hilly roads around Straiton.
Balfron in Stirlingshire will host Vortex RT's promotion of the 2011 Scottish Cycling Road Race Championships on Sunday 22nd May. This year's event will be based on a challenging circuit of approx 11km, which will have a race run on it for the first time. As tradition demands, the ladies go first, and their race will be 67km long, six full laps of the circuit starting at 9:30am.
A Scottish team has again been invited to ride the end of season event in France — the 14th International Critérium de Levallois - which will take place on Sunday 17th October. As always the race will be 60 laps of a 1.8 km circuit, a total distance of 108 kms (approx. 70 miles).
Promoted by Sandy Wallace Cycles, the Scottish Hill Climb Championships 2010 takes place on Sunday on the Purrin Den ascent in Fife, and around 35 hardy souls are preparing to put themselves through the seven minutes (and more) of pain it'll take to see the relay station at the finish...
Although the start sheet for the Tour de Trossachs is still to be finalised, it's looking to be a very interesting race - the field has been extended to accommodate 140 because the race is proving to be popular with riders of all abilities, and sees National Champions and World Champions taking part, as well as newcomers interested in trying out this classic course. Arthur Doyle (Dooleys RT) will defend his title for the third time, but the big question is will he manage to beat both the hill climb and course record set by Jason McIntyre in 2007...
We're pleased to help announce the launch of the 2010 British Downhill Series (BDS), the only National race series in the World with UCI ranking points, £10,000 in prize money and over :£15,000 in prizes. Formerly the NPS the "British Downhill Series" is the new name for the Nationals. A new Decade and a brand new race series for you to get your tyres dug into.
The La Vuelta a España 2010 presentation was in Sevilla this year (normally Madrid), the start town of next year's race. Some of the old stars of cycling where in attendance; Thevenet, Olano, Hinault and introducing the show Pedro Delgado. Hinault pointed out that one of his hardest day on a bike was the stage to Avila in 1983 which he won stage and overall.
- by Janette Hazlett - I rode round the course for the Trossachs time trial the other day - ouch... now I'm feeling just a little bit guilty that I make them race round it! There were no crowds for me on the Duke's Pass - and I was flying up it too, honest!
Some hill climbs boast a long and colourful history, some have gruelling gradients that are talked about in revered tone throughout clubrooms the length & breadth of the country, whilst others claim to have the richest prize list in the UK. Well, the Bec CC Hill Climb can claim to have all three of those, plus - and it's a big plus - it has probably the most enthusiastic hordes of spectators that will ever be found at any Hill Climb event, including the Nationals, if comments from past riders and spectators are anything to go by.
Organiser Isobel Smith is certainly hoping the recent run of fine weather continues for her race on Sunday morning, the Scottish National 25 Mile Time Trial Championship 2009. Promoted by Aberdeen & District CA, and held on the fast AB25/8 course, with Arthur Doyle (Dooleys RT) and Peter Ettles (Forres CC), first and second at the recent 10 Mile Time Trial Champs competing, chased by fourth-placed Mark Atkinson (Sandy Wallace Cycles) it looks like it'll be a good contest.
A phone call from Craig MacLean the other day; "I'll be up in Edinburgh on Monday morning, to do some promo for the Edinburgh Nocturne races at the end of the month, fancy catching up?" For sure mate. And so I pottered along to the press launch of the Nocturne event today, which centered around an exhibition of roller racing, with the wonderful backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.
The only thing that is certain about Sunday's Scottish National 25 Mile Time Trial Championship, is that there will be a new champion. Reigning champion, Jason Macintyre was snatched from us before we saw the very best of him; we miss you, Jason. Sunday morning's championship is organised by Isobel Smith on the rolling dual carriageways of the A90 near Strathcathro Services between Dundee and Aberdeen. The start is near Fordoun, just a mile or two from Arbuthnott - Lewis Grassick Gibbon country.
The Scottish Cycling Super 6 Duncan McGregor Memorial races will start with 5 or 10 minute gap between them. Race A off first. Both races will tackle the climb to Largo Ward which will prove a challenge, race B have a prime the first time up the climb with race getting a lap to warm up before the first prime points are fought out.
Gary Hand (Pedal Power), race winner at Gifford in Round 1 carries his Scottish Cycling Super 6 Series lead into Round 2 at Scotland's highest village of Wanlockhead on Saturday. The village sits at 467 metres (1531 feet) and used to be known as 'God's Treasure House', due to the local mineral wealth.
Rob Wardell emailed to tell us about the first round of the Scottish Cross Country Mountain Bike Series which is due to take place in less than 3 weeks' time, at Laggan Woftrax. Online entries are now being taken at EntryCentral. Riders who enter online at EntryCentral will also receive a :£5.00 discount over postal entries and entries on the day.
Snowdrops by the roadside, fluffy white clouds scurrying across a blue sky, bright sunshine requiring the Ray Bans to get dusted-off, and a breeze that was fresh but not chilling-has Spring arrived in Gifford on this February Sunday? Nah! It'll be snowing, tomorrow! Still, it was a lovely day to recce the course for the first of James McCallum's 'Super Six' series; the timing was perfect, organiser Chris Harney pulled-on the brakes of his Orbea outside Gifford town hall, just as I stopped the Toyota beside the village green.
The 2006 edition of the Bec CC Hill Climb was absolutely remarkable on several fronts. Firstly, for the very first time in the history of the event we had a dead heat for 1st place. Gary Dodd of Sigma Sport, and Bill Bell of the Gemini B.C. battled to the line, in atrocious weather to both record a time of 1.49.17. Neither of these 'Kings of the Hill' have, as yet, stuck their heads above the turret for this years event, and neither have they been spotted out reconoitering White Lane in prep for another crack at taking the honours.
Fullerton Wheelers present the Scottish Olympic Time Trial Championships 2007 this weekend, with double British TT Champion Jason MacIntyre (Edge RT) starting number 39 and last off, in a small field which all the same contains a lot of quality riders.
The 2007 Ingliston Criterium Series sponsored by Cycling Scotland kicked off last Thursday, the 12th April, at the Royal Highland Showground just west of Edinburgh. Now in its 9th season and this year expanded to 6 events, the series is expected to attract many of Scotland's top elite, women and junior riders.
The Lake APR (Australian Pursuit Race) is a classic early season event on the Scottish road race calendar and is promoted by Glasgow Nightingale Cycling Club. The event kicks off at 10.30am on the A811 just east of Buchlyvie and the course runs anti-clockwise twice round the Lake of Menteith finishing on the A875 after an uphill final stretch north through Balfron.
The Scottish Season starts and VeloVeritas begins it's coverage of the Scottish season this Sunday, with the Hugh Dornan Memorial race on the Rosneath peninsula. We're starting a bit late but "day jobs", flu, gum surgery and Het Volk have all played their part in keeping us away from Scotland's lay-bys.
‘The best Commonwealth Games performance ever by the Scottish cycling team’ – that’s for sure. VeloVeritas hopes to speak to all of the athletes concerned and we’re proud to start with individual pursuit silver medallist, John Archibald.
‘I’m a Believer,’ a great song, the Monkees had the hit back in 1968. I used to be a ‘Believer’ and can remember the sense of relief when we discovered that Lance’s Tour ‘positive’ back in 1999 was all a big mistake; those tricky corticosteroids had been in a cream he used to treat a saddle sore and he had a TUE to cover it. What a relief.
In 2016 in Belgium Ethan Hayter won the tough junior races, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, GP Serge Baguet, De Klijte-Heuvaelland, was in the winning team in junior European team pursuit champs and was British Madison champion with Joe Holt. Last year he won the u23 Berlin Six Day with Matt Walls, took a medal in every British track championship he rode and was part of the winning u23 Europeans team pursuit squad. This season he began training with the senior team in January and was world champion within weeks, at 19 years-of-age.
That man John Archibald is back in action again – and with a 48 minutes and 13 seconds ‘BANG !’ down on the Westferry course in the CTT ‘25’ Champs on Sunday past. It gave us a good excuse to catch up with the Commonwealth Games individual pursuit silver medallist and see what he’s been up to since The Gold Coast and what’s next on the agenda for him?
Despite his flyweight 56 kilos Eddie Dunbar has already established himself as one of the worlds' best U23 riders with top ten finishes in the European and World U23 Time Trial Championships - and riding for the Irish team rather than his usual US Axeon Hagens Berman team he took Ronde victory in that bike riders’ Mecca, historic Oudenaarde.
Sometimes on the big tours you have to change plans; road closures, janitors, barrier crews, motorway crashes can all influence your 'best laid plans.' At the end of the day you may not have missed deadline - we rarely do - but there'll be that feeling that you could have done better. Then there are days when you have to struggle then struggle some more but eventually it comes together, you get to where you want to be and get those special pictures. This day was such a day; lost, lost again, a massive detour through the mountains - against race route to the top of the Colle Delle Finestre - but we really enjoyed our pizza after this one...