Tag Archive for ‘English Professionals’
‘When I were a lad’ next to the Milk Race the biggest deal in UK cycling was the BBAR (Best British All Rounder) to find Britain’s best ‘tester’ – over 50 and 100 miles plus the 12 hour. The competition still exists but do you know who the BBAR is? Me neither.
Yorkshire’s Peter Hill won the BBAR twice in the 60’s but instead of going for his ‘hat trick’ he completely changed direction and headed across the English Channel to France and established himself as one of the world’s leading amateur time trial exponents before turning professional with Peugeot – but in those Machiavellian days it didn’t work out. Here’s his story…
We first spoke to Harry Tanfield a couple of years ago having seen him ride well in the Gordon Arms time trial – most recently we spoke to him after he won the David Campbell Memorial road race in Fife back in the spring of 2016.
So when we opened this week’s ‘Cycling Weekly’ and there he was spread across two pages as the UK’s number one rated Elite rider we thought we best ‘have a word’…
Tao Geoghegan Hart – The New u23 British Champion (Comments Off)
It was the end of 2013 when we last spoke to Tao Geoghegan Hart (Axeon Hagens-Berman). He has a name that’s hard to miss, Tao Geoghegan Hart; with 2013 results to match – two of Europe’s premier junior stage races and a podium in the junior Paris-Roubaix. Since then a lot of races have flowed under the bridge and he’s had strong results in more than his fair share of them.
Sunday saw him take arguably the biggest result of his career; finishing sixth behind Messrs. Blythe, Cavendish, Fenn, MvNally and Thwaites in the British Elite Road Race title event – and taking the U23 jersey champion’s in the process.
Steve Cummings? He’s the real deal; a world champion on the track in the team pursuit; he paid his dues with Landbouwkrediet and Barloworld; rode for the ‘mega’ teams, Discovery, Sky, BMC; was part of that famous team which carried Cav to a rainbow jersey in Copenhagen but now he’s found his true niche – with South African squad Dimension Data. Last year the team raced as MTN-Qhubeka with Cummings netting a brilliant stage win in le Tour; this year the squad, with new sponsors has taken Cav on board and moved up to the World Tour.
And the big man from the Wirral has just taken his third major stage win of season 2016, in the Critérium du Dauphiné, to go with his wins in Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour of the Basque Country.
Buoyed by the great reception our piece on Shane Sutton received – Darryl Webster branded it; “utter garbage” – we thought we’d fire off a few more opinions on what’s been happening recently in our ‘King of Sports.’
Sky finally got their Monument, not from a ‘Brit’ though; Lowlands hard man Wout Poels was first into that most unglamorous of Monument finishes – the retail park in Ans.
Hugh Carthy – Ninth and Best Young Rider in Catalunya; “It was a real pleasure to be the protected rider” (Comments Off)
Hugh Carthy took his finest results yet, winning the Young Rider classification ahead of Cannondale’s Davide Formolo (already a Giro stage winner) in the Volta Ciclista Catalunya and finishing ninth overall in a field which would have done justice to any Grand Tour, including riders of the quality of Nairo Quintana, Alberto Contador, Dan Martin, Richie Porte and Romain Bardet
Hugh took time the day after the finish in Barcelona to tell VeloVeritas about his sparkling rides.
Starting Again; Training on Sanibel Island, Florida (Comments Off)
Florida would be a great place for time-trialling. Its pan flat. The only elevation you find are bridges. It’s flatter than both Holland and Belgium which is saying something. It’s rarely windy which means as soon as you’re out riding holding 20mph (32kph) is child’s-play.
That makes riding really quite fun. Endurance rides are around 35kph and you really get the miles clocked up. Sometimes it feels like you’re in a race you’re going so fast.
Matt Green – “It’s Good to be Back!” (Comments Off)
It’s been a while since we last spoke to Englishman Matt Green at the tail-end of 2011, when he was off across the pond to ride in the ‘States, and a lot has happened to him since then – not least of which a very serious accident which kept him out of action for most of last season.
Matt’s recovered from his injuries now, is back on the bike and back in training, with a contract to race again for a fourth year with the US team Astellas Professional Cycling – plus a new blog recording how his year pans-out starting soon, right here on VeloVeritas! Let’s catch up with Matt and hear about what’s been happening…
Chris Latham – World Cup Omnium Silver Medallist (Comments Off)
If there’s one negative you can fire at British Cycling’s hugely successful track cycling campaign over the last decade it’s that perhaps the young talent hasn’t come through as fast we’d expected – Burke, Clancy and Wiggins are far from unfamiliar names. The Aussies seem to be far more adept at bringing the new names up year on year.
But this season we have seen the emergence of GB young blood, Scotsman Mark Stewart and madison partner Germain Burton are two – and so is team pursuiter and now World Cup omnium silver medallist, Chris Latham, who VeloVeritas caught up with after his return from New Zealand…
Mark McNally – Everything geared to the Tour of Britain (Comments Off)
The summer is coming to an end so it must be time for Madison-Genesis rider Mark McNally to come to form… McNally is a product of the British ‘cycling academy’ system and was a member of the winning team in the European junior team pursuit championship in 2007 and European U23 team pursuit championship in 2008.
‘Let go’ by the academy, McNally rode as a UK domestic professional for Halfords in 2009 before crossing the North Sea and signing up for Irish/Belgian hard man’s team AN Post, where he’s remained since until this season where he’s with Madison-Genesis. As the days get shorter his form has risen; 10th in the GP Stad Zottegem, a winner in the Erpe Mere kermis – with rapid Belgian Champion Preben Van Hecke in third spot – then third in the GP Jef Scherens behind wily Belgian Bjorn Leukemans.
We just had to ‘have a word’ a day or two after the Scherens as McNally enjoyed a well earned day off the bike.
Our recent chat with 70’s pursuit king, Hugh Porter having been well received we thought you may like to hear what another ‘man of the 70’s’ – Les West had to say to us a year or two ago.
“West is best!”, that’s what his fans used to say and most of the time they were right; twice British amateur road race champion and twice British professional road race champion.
Despite never taking the plunge and embarking upon a full continental pro career, West twice made the finalé of the world road race championships; in 1966 as an amateur and in 1970 as a pro.
The 70’s are the ‘decade that taste forgot’ according to the Media; which is strange because I remember the era as having the best cars, music, films – and bike riders. On the continent the exploits of Sercu, Ocana, Merckx, Hoban, Gimondi, Verbeeck, Thevenet, De Vlaeminck and all the rest of a ‘Golden Generation’ of hard men made the disappointment of ‘The Comic’ being late once again all the harder to bear.
One of my personal favourites was Londoner, Reg Barnett who was one of the top ten track sprinters on the planet in the late 60’s but then turned his hand to the road where as well as the inevitable seafront criteriums he could win stages in the tough stage races of the day. He’s a man I’ve long wanted to quiz and last week over the course of an hour long phone call, I got my wish.
The ride of the Commonwealth Games for me? Russ Downing’s fourth place in the road race – ‘grinta’ is the man’s middle name. As the World Tour stars headed into the pits, Russ just kept riding through the wind and rain – the man is dogged.
His name featured in a recent press release we received from the Luxembourg/Danish Continental squad Cult, they’re going Pro Continental for 2015 and yes, Mr. Downing is on board. Time to have another word with the man, whose done it all from madisons to the Giro, from the team pursuit to Flanders, from Linda McCartney to Sky.
We’d expected to be able to hang this interview on another English team pursuit gold in Glasgow – but not so. And for the first time since 2009 the GB team failed to make the podium in the track Worlds back in the spring – probably no big deal in the overall scheme of things where The Olympics are what really count to BC, these days.
How times change. The GB team pursuit Renaissance began in 2000 in Manchester and since then the men in the red, white and blue skinsuits – along with the Australians – have been the men to beat in this most precise and exacting of disciplines.
As Sky and Cav grab the headlines in the pre-Tour roster debates and the ‘glamour races’ as VeloVeritas sage and soothsayer Viktor would describe them, the ‘real’ world of cycling – without which there would be no top tier – carries on. It may be lost in the chat about Brad’s ambitions for this July or the Team Pursuit in two years’ time and that dodgy Italian Viviani having the nerve to beat Cav a couple of times; but those Rapha Condor JLT boys just get on with the job.
The Tour du Loir-et-Cher, Edmond Provost is a UCI 2.2 with 2014 as the 55th edition; riders as diverse – and talented – as German Olympic team pursuit star Guido Fulst and Norwegian ex-World Elite Road Race Champion Thor Hushovd have won the race and in 2002 a certain Philippe Gilbert was second on GC.