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Tag: French Races
I was on a high from last week’s success before the Ronde des Combattants, a race with four stages over three days in Verdun. Teams were competing from Luxemburg, Germany and even a team from the CCM (UCI World Cycling Centre) in Switzerland (who host riders from poor countries without the support of large national federations).
Irish professional, 23 year-old Rory Townsend (Canyon dhb p/b Bloor Homes) took third in the UCI 1.1 French Cup, Classic Loire-Atlantique behind French riders, winner Rudy Barbier (Israel Cycling Academy) and man-on-form, multiple recent podium finisher, Marc Sarreau (Groupama-FDJ). We caught up with Rory to hear his tale, before he won the East Cleveland Klondike GP and - just today - finished third in the Rutland – Melton International CiCLE Classic...
Apologies for my silence on the James McKay Blog for the last six weeks. If you had read my last blog post, you would know that my start to the season has not been brilliant. In just my first week of racing in France, I crashed and broke both my finger and wrist. Since then I’ve had more hospital visits than outdoor rides but I am delighted to say I’ve just completed a week of riding outdoors again, and have placed on the podium too!
He was 1991 British Amateur Champion, won the Franco-Belge against top opposition and took the major French Classic, Paris-Chauny - but was out of the sport by the age of 25 with his best years yet to come. His name; John Hughes. We thought he’d have a good tale to tell...
In Part One of our interview with Irish rider Aidan Duff we heard about his six years based in Nantes, three of them riding for Jean Rene Bernadeau's top flight Vendee U squad, his experiences riding with Thomas Voeckler in the team, and his wins in the Herald Sun Tour and Tour of Brittany. We continue our chat by asking Aidan why he stopped racing and how he moved into the business side of the game, as well as the unusual methods involved in producing his custom-sized carbon fibre frames and bike builds...
Continuing on our recent Irish theme we caught up with Aidan Duff, former Vendee U professional and now owner of Fifty One Cycles – building bespoke carbon frames. 'Fifty One?' we hear you say... The race number for Merckx, Ocana, Thevenet and Hinault when they won the Tour de France. With tales of Jean Rene Bernadeau, Tommy Voeckler and building custom carbon – not ‘off the peg from Taiwan’ - we cover some interesting ground. Let’s go...
A long time ago, Dave, Victor, Ivan and I raced in Brittany; when we saw this young gentleman had two wins on roads we remember from our youth we just had to have a word. Like many of our interviewees - they are helping almost 40 young riders this year - Louis Modell is a beneficiary of assistance from the fabulous Dave Rayner fund.
Here at VeloVeritas we try to keep our eye out for young men who are ‘doing it’ – getting themselves over to Europe and trying to make the grade. Take 22 year-old American Joshua Berry, it’s a long way from his home town of Ketchum, Idaho to the French Mediterranean coast – but that’s where he’s riding, for La Pomme Marseille.
The last time VeloVeritas spoke to Douglas Dewey was at the British National Time Trial Championships in Scotland back in June where he finished fourth. But it wasn’t all places of honour for the Surrey man; there were six good wins in France, too. And some UK wins as well – but ‘they don’t count.’ The six wins obviously counted with French Division One team, Union Cycliste Nantes Atlantique, his équipe for season 2014.
Dewey has hit the ground running in France, with wins in the 138 kilometre/198 starters Etoille De Tressignaux – and you have to check out their website, the accordion music is cool – a stage win plus the GC in the two day Fleche d’Armor and a stage win and spell in yellow in the Tour de Lesneven. We caught up with Douglas on a trip back to Blighty to have a minor injury checked out.
Brittany, the summer of 1977 and a group of Scottish cyclists are over there as competitors in the Roscoff–Lorient road race as part of the ‘Festival Interceltique de Lorient.’ At one of these races, a criterium on a sunny day at a venue long forgotten, we met an English chap called Julian Wheat who had chucked his job and set up shop in the depths of Bretagne.
Christopher Jennings is best remembered by Scottish readers as the winner of the 2012 Davie Bell Memorial race. We interviewed him just after his win, back in the summer and used his biog, from the Rapha-Condor website to do the introductions. A slight rider and strong climber Jennings can also perform on the pave, and will be a useful addition to the team’s stage race potential in 2012.
It's a pleasure to be given the opportunity to write the Peter Smith Blog for the guys at VeloVeritas, and hopefully this might give a little insight as to what it's like for the lesser-known riders, trying to establish a career in such a cut-throat sport.
A couple of months have passed since we first spoke to Tom Copeland, who's living and racing with the French Team Champions, Bic2000, in the Finistère region of Brittany, so we thought we'd get in touch with him and bring ourselves up-to-speed with what's been happening.