Nostalgia: “describes a sentimental longing for the past” defines the dictionary. I’m not one to sit and say that everything was better when I was a youngster – bikes certainly weren’t; much of the equipment available was scrap and would get laughed out of court in 2013.
Cycling clothing was horrible and cycling shoes were positively medieval. Albeit cars were cooler, music was better and so was the cycling scene.Full Story»
Jonathan Bellis was one of British Cycling’s brightest lights – until a life threatening scooter crash on September 19th 2009 in his then home of Tuscany. The versatile man from the Isle of Man spent practically a year in hospital and even then had to return for another operation at the end of 2010. Prior to the accident it looked as if Bellis was headed for the very top.
Whilst we were at the Copenhagen Six Day a few weeks ago we met Etienne Ilegems who’s a soigneur at the Sixes as well as working for Topsport Vlaanderen on occasion. With his ex-Sky mechanic son, Ken he also runs the Belgian amateur squad, ILLI-Bikes Cycling Team – and that’s how we got to hear where Jonathan was going to spend 2013. In our usual fashion, we thought we’d best ‘have a word.’
This is the first of several excerpts from my book “The Cycling Professor”, to give you a flavour of the topics I discuss in it. Thanks to the guys at VeloVeritas for the opportunity to do this. In this extract, which is a short chapter about my idea that professionals cyclists are essentially entrepreneurs, with a product to market that is at once time-limited, unique and fragile – themselves.
I explain that despite being employed by a team, most riders have to organise their finances themselves – things that regular employees take a little for-granted such as health insurance, pension contributions and savings plans.
I hope you enjoy the chapter “Entrepreneurs on the Saddle”.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Emile Abraham has been on the international pro scene for a long time; 2013 will be his 12th season.
But he’s still grabbing those podium places on the super-fast US criterium scene, not to mention racking up the stage wins year on year in his home race, the Tour of Tobago.
Italian professional Marco Pinotti’s new book, “The Cycling Professor” isn’t so much a classic biography as a collection of anecdotes and experiences. In the book, the 36 year-old BMC rider from Bergamo takes the reader through his fourteen years as a professional cyclist, why he began in the sport later than his peers, his thoughts on the changes to the roads and training methods, and he details his views on some personalities and the major races on the calendar.
Marco has said that compared to riding a three week national tour, writing a book is much harder, but we’re not convinced and caught up with him before the BMC team launch in Belgium to ask him about his extra-curricular project ourselves…
I was speaking to Vik, the other day.
I shan’t use the word which he did to describe Brad’s opponents, but it wasn’t complimentary.
After yesterday’s display, it’s hard to disagree; whilst there was drama at the end with Brajkovic’s crash – more of which later – when we drove the course it seemed to us a perfect opportunity for Nibali and his descending skills.
I watched the stage finale at Casa Vik, today. It was kind of him to invite me over; I wouldn’t have made it home in time to see the finish. But it wasn’t the same, not being there, not being part of it all.
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and more sentimental, but this year I felt the strongest connection to the race I’ve had in the seven times I’ve covered it.
‘First race today, took it pretty easy, finished 14th – feel good.’ Yes, Hamish Haynes is back to start his 10th season in the flatlands. No World Class Performance Plans, no Lottery funding, just hard graft and dedication. Haynes came late to sport but has been racing and winning in the Flanders since 2003.
In the last decade the 37 year-old Haynes has ridden for the DFL, Cyclingnews, Maestro and Jartazi pro teams, but more recently with solid Belgian amateur and Continental teams such as Yawadoo and Colba-Mercury.
The Berlin Six Day finished with a win for the Aussie World Champions Cameron Meyer and Leigh Howard (wine gum thief), we hope you enjoyed our daily diaries from the inside.
Also at the track to capture the racing was our pal John Young, of Fietsenphotography, and once again he’s been very nice and supplied us with loads of great images.
Sundays at German Sixes are and have always been ‘family day’ when the programme of sport and entertainment is held during the afternoon rather than in the evening or night. On a cold wind-chilled winter afternoon, local families came along to the Landsberger Allee Velodrome to enjoy the racing and pass on the tradition from one generation to the next.
The race programme kicked off with a series of Sprints won by Kalz – Bengsch who are looking like the real deal this time around and should continue to challenge for a podium place.
Back in mid-December, VeloVeritas pal Mike Zagorski noticed that 2009 Formula One World Champion Jenson Button was in Hawaii, by happy coincidence the same island that he lives on.
As it turns out, Jenson was on a bit of a holiday with his girlfriend, a Japanese model named Jessica Michibata, and long-time friend Chris Buncombe (24hr Le Mans driver) – and they had brought their bikes!
Mike made contact with Jenson and within a day or two had managed to nail down a time and place to ride.
Here’s a few photos from the Bremen Six Day that we haven’t used in other articles.
Our friend John Young, of Fietsenphotography fame, worked at the Rotterdam Six Day this year, and sent us a bunch of photos.
We thought you’d like them!
‘There’s a time to come and a time to go,’ the words of Danny Stam when he announced that he would retire at the end of this winter season, the Dutchman is 39 years-old.
But whilst the former British under 23 road race champion, twice British hill climb champion and Tour of the Pyrenees winner, Dan Fleeman is 10 years younger than the six day man, he’s arrived at the same conclusion.
Today is an interesting stage. It’s too hard to be a sprint, too easy over the final 40km to cause any concern to the GC lads, and so is a difficult, and likely stressful in-between day where nothing much changes, other than everyone’s a day tireder and one bloke has picked up a big victory.