Friday, August 23, 2019
Home Thirteen Years

Thirteen Years

For over 13 years we’ve been bringing you our thoughts and diaries on Pro and local racing, coverage from the Grand Tours, World Championships, Classics and Monuments, as well as the grass-roots time trials and national road races. In this section, we’ve selected one piece for each year which together sums up our ethos and ethic, and hopefully gives a taste of VeloVeritas and how much we love this sport.

You're in the form of your life, you've breasted the biggest climb of the race with the 'Bigs' and there's just one mountain stage to go before you become that rarest of birds, A Grand Tour Winner. But you lose concentration for a moment on the descent, smack a snow bank and come down hard...
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.
It's almost time for the Commonwealth Games again, this time around they're being held in Australia's Gold Coast, on the eastern edge of the country and this edition will be the first time the men and women compete in the same number of events. In 2014 though, all the excitement was around the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the third time Scotland had played host to the huge number of athletes from around the world.
It's hard to believe it's nearly five years since we sat down with hime and conducted the David Walsh Interviews, his dogged pursuit of the American Armstrong's own doping and team-enablement, and the recently-published USADA "Reasoned Decision" to ban Armstrong for life and to strip all seven Tour de France wins from his palmarès. David had been in Edinburgh to give a talk in the city's Lyceum Theatre as part of his speaking tour on the subject, and we took the opportunity to spend a few hours with him the following morning at his hotel.
VeloVeritas mentor and soothsayer, Viktor maintains that if it's a 'road race' then it should be just that - a public highway, not a concrete track to nowhere. And the Bola Del Mundo certainly goes nowhere, there's nothing to do at the top but come back down again. But when you're up there, the sun is out, the fans are going crazy and you could reach out and touch Alberto as he grimaces past, you can't help but get bound up in the sheer wonderful madness of it all...
When Martin suggested we use the RIP Wouter Weylandt obituary as our 2011 article in our 'Years of VeloVeritas' series it stirred memories of such a sad day. It's not something I've mentioned to many but on that day of despair I had been waiting to speak to Wouter at the Leopard-Trek bus before the race - but with the depart looming we had to vamoose and get a head start on the peloton. I sometimes wonder that if we'd waited a little longer, met Wouter and spent even a few moments with him then perhaps it may have changed the whole dynamic of his day?
VeloVeritas's soothsayer Viktor would say; 'It's just a big hill!' But if you've ever been up at the Lagos de Covadonga then you'll know there's much more to it than that. High on the bleak moor which is skirted by the parcours, back in the year 722 AD the Asturian King, Pelagius defeated the hitherto invulnerable Moors (Arabs we'd call them now) who ruled Spain at that time at the Battle of Covadonga.
You know when you're getting old when 'young guys' you were with on their first race come round to retiring. At the Copenhagen Six Day 2009 we saw Danes Alex Rasmussen and Michael Mørkøv take their home Six for the first time. I was lucky enough to be working for them as their 'runner'... Let's look back to 2009 and some great memories.
Shane Sutton is a man who divides opinion; he's either a messianic coach and mentor - or a crude, sexist, bully of a man. For our part he's only ever been polite, friendly and helpful. Given the near hysteria surrounding the mention of the man's name and as part of our 'The First 11 Years of VeloVeritas' series of 'look-backs'  we thought you may like to see an interview we did with him after his GB track squad's triumphs in Beijing in 2008.
A decade?  Surely not? But it was 2007 when we met up with Dave Chapman in London and VeloVeritas headed for the ferry to the 'Hell of the North.' Most of the names we mention have gone from the peloton - Flecha, Boonen, Cancellara, Stuart O'Grady, Backstedt - but Pippo just keeps going, looking little different from how he did on the sunny Sunday, 10 years ago. Have a wee wander down memory lane with us we continue our 'Best of VeloVeritas' Years in The Saddle.'
2006 in Bonnie Scotland we had a lot to cheer about as the late, great Jason Macintyre had a fantastic season, winning the British Circuit TT Championship and the 'Blue Riband,' the British 25 Mile TTl Championship to join the likes of Alf Engers, Sean Yates, Chris Boardman and Graeme Obree on the roll of honour.
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