cycling matters

Tag Archive for ‘Belgian Races’

David Hewett Blog – Back to the Drawing Board (Comments Off)


June 9, 2017 • by David Hewett • in PCT Tomacc's David Hewett's Blog

I’m not really sure what to say about the month of May. I haven’t been training very well, I haven’t really performed in most races (best result has been 20th in a 1.12A kermesse, one of only two races I’ve finished this month), and on the whole I haven’t particularly enjoyed riding my bike all that much.

The more I’ve been into cycling seriously, the more I’ve come to realise it’s not so much a physical sport but a mental one. Sure, it’s highly demanding physically, perhaps more so than any other sport in the world. You have to flog yourself in all conditions for hours upon hours each day, even when you’re exhausted, and then on top of that you’re only ever one pedal stroke away from sustaining anything from painful road rash which you have to continue riding with, or a career ending injury, or worse…

David Hewett Blog – A Challenging Start to the Season (Comments Off)


May 15, 2017 • by David Hewett • in PCT Tomacc's David Hewett's Blog

The beginning of April finally marked the start of my 2017 race season in Belgium, after a long winter’s preparation. An unfortunate issue with the team’s accommodation arrangements for the year meant I had to head home unexpectedly immediately after arriving in Belgium, and this knocked me a bit sideways mentally for a while.

Despite this, I managed to organise a 16 day racing trip along with my British teammate, George Wells, in which time we stayed in Lille and I lined up at seven kermesses and one interclub. Clearly, doing a race on average every other day is very demanding, but the idea was to do as much racing as possible during this two week block. This would hopefully have the effect of sharpening up the legs by getting some race speed in them and generally getting back into the rhythm of the fast-paced style of racing found in Belgium…

Scrapbook: Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne 2017 (Comments Off)


March 4, 2017 • by Ed Hood • in Diaries

Ghent, or rather ‘Gent’ we love it; the bars, the people and the fact you can walk into a filling station and there are six quality cycling magazines on the shelf to chose from, and you have to love a city where they have taps to discharge the rainwater. Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, the first real races of the year – Down Under, the Desert races, Langkawi? Come on!

Dan Gardner – After a season of two halves, it’s destination AN Post (Comments Off)


November 28, 2016 • by Ed Hood • in Interviews

The last time we spoke to Dan Gardner he’d just ridden the 2015 Worlds TTT in Virginia as part of the American Astellas team. This season saw him back with Astellas for the first part of the season before a mid-season move to the Heartland – Flanders – and a ride with the Baguet Bicycle Center Cycling Academy. The man behind the team, Serge Baguet is a Belgian ex-professional who rode for Lotto and QuickStep and can count a Belgian Elite Road Championship and Tour de France stage among his palmarès.

And for 2017 things just keep getting better for young Mr. Gardner with a ride for cult Belgo/Irish squad, AN Post. We caught up with Dan in late November with the first team get together coming in Calpe in December.

David Hewett – “I’m totally committed to chasing the dream” (Comments Off)


November 5, 2016 • by Ed Hood • in Interviews

They’re not all going to make it; some do – Dan McLay, Adam Blythe, Jack Bauer… But they keep heading for the Heartland.

And we’ve got another name for you to conjure with; David Hewett, is on the kermis trail in search of that elusive crisp World Tour contract – here’s his tale…

Angus Claxton – from Plockton to Kortrijk (Comments Off)


October 11, 2016 • by Ed Hood • in Interviews

According to our research, the village of Plockton in Ross and Cromarty has a population of 378 – but it should actually be ‘377 and one would-be Kermis King.’

And you thought Plockton was only famous for ‘Hamish Macbeth’ and one of VeloVeritas’s favourite movies, ‘The Wicker man.’

Enter young Angus Claxton . . .

His name has been brought to our attention by our long term Flatlands race watcher, Viktor; ‘the laddie’s getting round all right,’ said the great man – praise indeed from Vik. We spoke to Angus just before British Cycling announced his acceptance into the Academy.

Paul Watson – Part of the Legendary 1987 Tour de France Team to 2016 World Champion! (Comments Off)


August 17, 2016 • by Ed Hood • in Interviews

It’s hard to believe it’s 10 years since last I spoke to Paul Watson about a great ride he pulled off in 1987.

Paul was British Amateur Road Champion in 1985, the same year as he was third in the Tour of Britain, ‘Milk Race’ behind Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner, Eric Van Lancker of Belgium and the man who should have been a super star but never quite was, Roy Knickman (USA). He rode pro with Van Lancker’s Belgian Fangio team at the end of that year but returned to Britain to ride for Raleigh in 1986.

The 1987 season saw him join the now legendary ANC squad and pull off some excellent results like third in the hotly contested season opening La Marseillaise and a stunning sixth among the very best of company – Roche, Criquielion, Madiot, Golz – in the tough Ardennes Classic the Flèche-Wallonne.

Jez McCann – First Elite Kermis win at Zedelgem (Comments Off)


June 22, 2016 • by Ed Hood • in Interviews

It’s a while since VeloVeritas last spoke to Steve Skuse; Vik and I used to bump into him on our trips to the kermises. Steve got in touch the other day to tell us about another young man he’s looking after and who’s pulled off that difficult trick of winning a kermis in the Flatlands.

And the better news is, he qualifies to ride for Bonnie Scotland… Jez McCann is the man; 19 years-old, raised in Gravesend, riding for Richardsons-Trek.

The VV View: Recovery Ramblings from the Sofa (Comments Off)


March 15, 2016 • by Ed Hood • in Nuggets

There’s never a good time to be in hospital but Grand Tour times apart, the start of March isn’t bad with cycling printed matter and video footage aplenty readily available.

Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne Bikes (Comments Off)


March 1, 2016 • by Callum MacGregor • in Stories

It was Sean Connery’s character in the film “The Untouchables” who suggested you don’t bring a knife to a gun fight and it was clear that the weapons of choice at the opening classics weekend in Belgium would contribute to the outcome and individual’s performance.

Having wandered around the teams at both the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne it became clear there was a lot of nice kit being readied to race. Weapons of choice? Well the pro’s do get paid to ride them so ask a pro what’s the best bike he has ever ridden and common sense will normally dictate they confirm it’s the one they are currently riding. Sensible response, however what about the weekend warriors or those who like to have the show pony even if it’s not being tested to the max, what would you choose?

Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne 2016 Goes To Stuyven (Comments Off)


February 28, 2016 • by Callum MacGregor • in Diaries, Race Reviews

The Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne adventure began when I met Craig Grieve, Spokes bike shop owner and U23 race team backer, early Friday morning, to get a picture of the newly-logoed team car.

For Craig, the journey to Kuurne is a long haul; catching a ferry from Hull, arriving Saturday in time for the riders to recce part of the course. We caught up with them on Saturday night in Kortrijk for a pizza and to hear how their preparation has gone and to plan for the race.

Het Nieuwsblad 2016 goes to GVA (Comments Off)


February 27, 2016 • by Callum MacGregor • in Diaries, Race Reviews

Saturday dawns crisp, cold and sunny for the Omloop Gent Gent. We have a copy of Het Nieusblaad which has all the information we need about the route so its time to head for the start. It’s moved this year to the S.M.A.K complex, site of the Gent Six Day.

As the car park fills with the now de rigueur coaches, ushered in by whistle blowing attendants we grab a quick pic of world champ Peter Sagan’s Specialized before being asked to move on by an unfriendly team staffer…

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne 2016 Preview (Comments Off)


February 23, 2016 • by Callum MacGregor • in Race Previews

The first weekend of the classic season is fast approaching, with the ‘semi-classics’, the 71st Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Elite 1.HC) on Saturday 27th Feb and 68th Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne (1.HC) the next day; the heat and sun of the Middle East and Australasia being replaced with the cold and biting wind of the Flemish Heartland.

Ian Stannard doesn’t appear on the start sheet so he won’t be back to defend his Omloop title despite his master class last year against the combined might of Etixx Quick Step who will doubtless be out to right that wrong and appease team boss Patrick Levere.

Robert Smail – Winning Belgian Kermises and Top Three in InterClubs (Comments Off)


October 9, 2015 • by Ed Hood • in Interviews

It was last Autumn when we last heard from Robert Smail, one of those ‘forgotten men’ out there jousting with the Eeckhouts, Willems, Smets and Caethovens of this world in the land of the frites, cross winds and kermises.

High time we had another word…

James Spragg – Back in the Groove with Strong European Results (Comments Off)


September 28, 2015 • by Ed Hood • in Interviews

“James Spragg,” now there’s a name which hasn’t appeared in our pages for a while – but he’s back in harness and doing nicely thank you with some solid performances. We first came across James back in 2010 when he rode for the Qin Cycling Team and he’s with Continental Team, Champion System for 2015 and back in the groove with some good results – like 10th on GC in the recent Baltic Chain stage race in Estonia.

High-time we ‘had a word’ we decided.

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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