Tag Archive for ‘Great Scottish Riders’
Dave Hannah – Scottish ’25’ Champion Eight Times! (Comments Off)
If you had to name one man who single handedly changed the face of Scottish time trialling? The man who made sure a ‘59’ wasn’t going to win you the ‘25’ champs anymore…
Dave Hannah is the man; VeloVeritas caught up with him recently at his home in Shieldhill for a long overdue chat.
Jim Gladwell – the current Scottish Hour Record Holder who’s planning another attempt (Comments Off)
When VeloVeritas was at the Copenhagen Six Day last month, we witnessed a successful attempt on the Danish Hour record by Martin Toft.
It got us thinking; ‘is Jim Gladwell still the Scottish Hour record holder?’
And indeed he is – ‘best have a word,’ we thought to ourselves…
George Edwards? The name might not mean much to you but along with Brian Smith, Robert Millar and David Miller he’s one of few Scotsmen who have won the British National Road Race Championship – in his case the BLRC version in 1946.
In that post-war period there were two governing bodies, the NCU (National Cyclists’ Union) and the BLRC (British League of Racing Cyclists), bitter rivals with the latter the flamboyant ‘new boys’ who wanted things to be like they were on the Continent whilst the NCU were much more conservative in their ideas.
We thought we should find out more about this man who played an important part in Scottish cycle sport history.
George passed away in 1992 at the age of 68 but Harry Tweed connected us with George’s son who shares the same Christian name and now lives in the Netherlands.
Here’s what George had to say to VeloVeritas, recently.
The Peace Race; when I was a lad it was spoken of in hushed tones, the toughest amateur stage race on the planet – the ‘Eastern Bloc Tour de France’ as many would have it. But more than a race, a clash of ideologies, tough, Communist East meets decadent, Capitalist West and also an opportunity for the Soviet Union’s forcibly adopted children – East Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia to bite their giant Russian step-parent’s ankles.
Only once has an English speaker won this event – in 1952 Scotland’s own Ian Steel took the honours. We were fortunate at VeloVeritas to interview the great man before his death, last year and before we’re done we’d like to speak to all surviving Scots who’ve participated in this historic event.
Sandy Gilchrist, Jimmy Rae, Martin Coll and Ken Clark have all been kind enough to give of their time to us; next on our agenda is former Scottish 50 mile record holder, Velo Sportiv stalwart and all rounder, Mr. Ron Gardner.
Mark Stewart – “I realise AN Post is ‘the real deal'” (Comments Off)
The last time we spoke to Scotland’s top endurance track rider, Mark Stewart he’d just added to his growing medal collection at the European Championships with bronze in the team pursuit and silver in the scratch.
Some nice road results in the Ronde van Oost Vlaanderen followed where he made his breakthrough from riding as a domestique and/or ‘getting round’ to being a serious contender for stage and overall honours.
But it wasn’t long before he would be back on the boards – he is a trackman, after all.
The Rás. A race to strike fear in the strongest heart; huge fields, big hills and mad uncontrollable stages with fearless Irishmen continually firing off the front in death or glory bids.
The winners include: ’10’ and ’25’ record holder, Polish strong man, Marcin Bialoblocki; AG2R’s Lithuanian beast Gediminas Bagdonas and World Time Trial Champion, Tony Martin, and… Jamie McGahan of Scotland. Not only did he win it in 1981, he finished second in 1982 and third in 1983. He also won the 1983 The Tour of Scotland ‘Health Race’ – beating a certain Teun Van Vliet in the process. Van Vliet would go on to a successful pro career with Panasonic.
High times VeloVeritas ‘had a word’ with Mr.McGahan..
In part one of our interview with Martin Coll we discussed his career – but any chat with Martin wouldn’t be complete without mention of the times he spent with his brother-in-law; the legend that is Graeme Obree.
Martin became The Flying Scotsman’s manager, confidante, driver and personal assistant during the period when Graeme and ‘Old Faithful’ were much in demand on the continental boards.
The Girvan Three Day; a Scottish Easter racing institution but now late lamented – sunshine, ice, snow and everything else in between but whatever the weather it was never a race for the faint-hearted. Bialoblocki, Downing, House, Elliott, Hayles, Curran, Lloyd, Doyle, Yates – some of the biggest names in British bike racing have won over that tough South West Scotland parcours.
Let’s go back to 1986; aforementioned Paul Curran is after his third win in the event – but Scotland’s Martin Coll has other ideas… We recently caught up with Martin at his home in Arizona to ‘talk a little Girvan’ and – the Peace Race.
Vic Haines – “I was pissed off with Obree, but I’m not now” (Comments Off)
Vic Haines – does the name ring a bell? If you’re into time trialling you’ll know him as a long-term sponsor in English cycling and a multiple tandem time trial record holder. Closer to home you’ll recognise him as the man who organised Graeme Obree’s successful Hour Record attempt in Hamar, Norway.
But his controversial ‘split’ with Obree came not long after the Scottish phenomenon had eclipsed Italian legend, Francesco Moser’s record – with, according to Haines, the new Ayrshire Hour Record holder due him a lot of money. We thought a chat with the man might be worthwhile…
It’s not often we have a professor in the pages of VeloVeritas but that’s exactly what Richard Davison is; as well as Assistant Dean (International) at the University of the West Coast of Scotland.
He was also instrumental in the setting up of British Cycling’s current coaching system and does ‘one on one’ coaching with riders. Richard was also a successful rider on the Scottish scene a year or two back – and that’s where our interview starts…
Mark Stewart – “I think I have a lot more to come.” (Comments Off)
He’s been a busy boy, that Mark Stewart, since last we spoke with him back in June – first there was success in the Euro U23 track champs in the scratch and team pursuit. Both events where he’s building a solid reputation; as well as in the points race – another of the Dundee man’s […]
Katie Archibald – Olympic Team Pursuit Champion! (Comments Off)
At an Edinburgh Book Festival event last week Chris Boardman was asked about his experiences commentating at the recent Olympics, and his standout moments and riders.
Chris mentioned that he spent some time with one of the riders who he reckons is an amazing woman and a very interesting character. We’ve spoken to her enough times to agree with that and to add that she’s also an incredible bike rider – and we had a feeling she’d do the business in Rio… of course, we’re talking about Ms. Katie Archibald, Olympic Team Pursuit Champion.
Callum Skinner – Olympic Champion! (Comments Off)
We’ve interviewed him as a World Cup winner, British and European Champion – and now we’re very pleased to be able to interview him as Olympic Team Sprint Champion – not to mention Individual Sprint silver medallist.
Mr. Callum Skinner …
John McMillan – Reminiscing about the “Okolo Slovenska” (Comments Off)
VeloVeritas interviewed Scottish Legend John McMillan, last year – doing some research into the ‘Peace Race’ recently we asked John if he’s ever ridden the Warsaw-Berlin-Prague. He said he hadn’t – but he had ridden the Okolo Slovenska, the seven day Tour of Slovakia, which in 1965 was part of Communist-controlled Czechoslovakia and which had the aim of celebrating the liberation of Slovakia by the Red Army in 1945.
The Scottish Team received invites to ‘Iron Curtain’ countries because the President of the SCU, Arthur Campbell, was a committed Communist, and used the races to further his contacts within the various East European countries’ cycling bodies; Arthur always had two suitcases; the second was full of duty-free whisky for his buddies…
Rio is his eighth Olympics; and there are six Commonwealth Games and ‘over 30’ World Championships in there too – and whilst we’re talking chiffres (as the French call figures) how about 60-odd Scottish Championships including 14 Scottish Hill Climb Championships and nine Tours de Trossachs?
Yes, it’s that man Sandy Gilchrist, who, along with Robert Millar was Scottish Cycling in the 70’s and into the 80’s. He rode the Peace Race, Tour de L’Avenir, Milk Race and World Championships in a long and varied career which continues to this day as he just keeps on wielding those spanners at the sport’s highest levels.
VeloVeritas caught up with him before he headed for Rio to mechanic for the Irish team and triathletes on Specialized machines for a long overdue chat.