Tag Archive for ‘Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014’
‘Back in the day’ when he was World Team Sprint Champion and a silver medallist in the World Individual Sprint Championship we used to speak to Scottish fast man Craig Maclean on a regular basis.
Since then he’s gone on to be a successful tandem pilot on the paralympic scene and, he’s gone into coaching – as well as ‘playing in the band.’ High times VeloVeritas ‘had a word.’
As the Commonwealth Games fade in our memory to be replaced by The Vuelta and Worlds we thought there should be a ‘last word’ on the biggest week of cycle sport in Scotland’s history.
And who better to provide it than Scottish Cycling President, Alasdair MacLennan who kindly agreed to share his thoughts with VeloVeritas.
The famous mullet may be gone – but unlike Samson, the strength has remained. Kiwi flyer, Shane Archbold was one of the ‘Men of the Games’ – medalling (God ! I hate that expression) in the team pursuit and scratch before setting Jack Bauer up for silver in the Vietnamese Rainy Season Sunday which hosted the Games road race.
Last season saw in the colours of AN Post a crop of New Zealand track medals and a stage win in the Ras. Before his Games successes in 2014 he’s obtained top placings in races as diverse as the Ras and Tour of Azerbaijan.
Shane kindly took the time to answer VeloVeritas’s questions about his own and the New Zealand squad’s great performances in the Commonwealth Games.
We were there, walking the streets and parks of Glasgow – until the Monsoons came and discretion became the better part of valour at which times the words of Doctor Samuel Johnson have never rang more true; ‘There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.’ Especially if it has an HD tele . . .
Here’s the VeloVeritas take on our day in Glasgow – the good and the not so good.
Essex boy Alex Dowsett proved that there is life after Sky with a brilliant time trial win in the Commonwealth Games event to add to his 2013 TT stage in the Giro, beating Aussie race favourite Rohan Denis into second and Wales Sky flyer Geraint Thomas into third on a blustery sunny Thursday afternoon around ‘The Dear Green Place’ that is Glasgow.
They say the watch doesn’t lie in a time trial but it can mislead you; Rohan had bested early leader Dowsett at the final time checks but as Dennis did his best Serhiy Honchar charging water buffalo impersonation and bludgeoned a mega gear home, losing seconds on every corner, sleek Walthamstow greyhound Dowsett kept the gears down and flew into Glasgow Green like a kermis king to grab gold.
Many times present on a major championship podium but never on the top step, New Zealand’s Linda Villumsen finally claimed her first gold medal today with a six second margin over former World Champion at the discipline Emma Pooley (England), riding her last time trial as a pro cyclist.
The bronze medal went to the German-born professional with Orica-AIS Katrin Garfoot, riding for Australia, who held off the strong late challenge from Kiwi Jaime Nielson by 16 seconds. In fifth place only one second further back was Scotland’s Katie Archibald, the 20-year-old showing her adaptability after racing last week on the track in the endurance events.
Despite being one of the youngest riders in the field, 19 year old New Zealander Anton Cooper proved to be the strongest and the savviest by surprising the two riders still with him heading towards the finish with a sudden and sharp acceleration off the front of the string to go clear with just a few hundred uphill metres remaining.
Teammate Samuel Gaze (himself only 18 years old) reacted quickly to pass Daniel McConnell (Australia) to take second place just three seconds behind Cooper, while it became clear the apparently still strong McConnell (who is currently fourth in the UCI MTB rankings) was in fact too tired to fight any more and he seemed happy enough to take the bronze.
Three times the cross country mountain bike event has been in the Commonwealth Games (introduced in 2002, it didn’t feature on the programme in Dehli four years ago) and three times Canada have topped the womens’ podium.
This time it was the turn of Catharine Pendrel, who took control of the race midway round the first of five laps and wasn’t challenged again, soloing to a 70 second win over her teammate Emily Batty, with Australian rider Rebecca Henderson third a further 12 seconds back, after a race-long battle with Batty.
Australia had another great day at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome, collecting another five medals to add to the previous two days haul of ten, putting them top of the cycling table with six more than any other country.
For the second day in a row, the Men’s Para Tandem provided one of the most memorable moments. This time it was the Sprint competition and again it was the Scottish pair of Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean, winning the final two-matches-to-one and celebrating with their families whilst the crowd joined in singing to them, who brought the proceedings to a halt.
Highlight of the day at the Commonwealth Games 2014 velodrome was without doubt the gold medal won by Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean in the Para B2 Tandem Kilo Time Trial.
Going off last and fastest at every check, the pair were carried along by the enormous, ear-splitting roar from the full-capacity crowd, with lots of Scots but also a fair percentage of other nations too all voicing their support for the effort and spectacle.
It’s the first day of competition in the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the chat in the riders’ enclosure before the start of the first track cycling session was that Australia and New Zealand had brought a team at the top of their game – and it didn’t take long to become apparent this was true.
Australia dominated the first day in a packed Sir Chris Hoy velodrome in Glasgow, taking six medals back to the athletes’ village just down the road; two golds, a silver and three bronzes.
Brian is the man who won Scotland’s first cycling medal back in 1970 when the Commonwealth Games came to Edinburgh for the first time.
Australia and England were the top cycling nations in the competition with riders like Englishman Ian Hallam (who won the pursuit) and Australian John Nicholson (who won the sprint) and were expected to dominate the 10 mile; but a break comprising Vernon Stauble (Trinidad), Jocelyn Lovell (Canada) and Temple sneaked away from the Big Guns and stayed away. The youthful Lovell took the win – his first big international result en route to becoming a cycling legend – and Temple gave Stauble the slip to take home silver.
Brian recently took time to speak to VeloVeritas about his career.
VeloVeritas has just about caught up with merry-go-round of new teams and transfers for 2014 – and one of the rotations we noticed is that former Scottish Criterium Champion, Davie Lines moves from the baby blue of MG Maxifuel Pro Cycling to the more aggressive red and black of Starley Primal Pro Cycling. Here’s what he had to say to VeloVeritas just the other day…
One man we can’t ignore is Orange Monkey’s Rab Wardell; he understands that as a professional athlete you have to engage the Press, keep them on side and make it easy to write about you.
And that’s how we came to be sitting down with him in the Cafe of the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, recently.
It’s not along since we interviewed Katie Archibald – as a member of the GB team which took the world record for the ladies four kilometre team pursuit at the World Cup in Mexico at the end of last year. We make no apology for speaking to her again – but this time we speak to her as world champion in the discipline.
GB qualified fastest in Cali but in the final the British quartet narrowly avoided disaster to run out winners despite a very ragged last lap. Just one of the things we asked the lady from Milngavie about…