Tag Archive for ‘In Memoriam’
Gerry McDaid (Comments Off)
Here at VeloVeritas we were saddened to learn of the death of Scottish Cycling stalwart, Gerry McDaid. Gerry died on 20th November in the Cochrane Care Home, Johnstone aged 77 years.
As I young club cyclist I used to hear stories from my roadie friends about Gerry; they conveyed an image of ‘The Maximum Commissaire’ – an official not to be messed with. I carried this image with me for years but when I got to know the man I found him to affable and of the ‘common sense’ school of race officiating.
Daniël (Danny) Willems (Comments Off)
In Scotland the last two weeks have seen us lose two fine young men from our cycling scene; gone before their time, Ben Abrahams and Dougie Young.
But over in the Belgian Heartland they’ve suffered too – with the recent passing of Daniel (Danny) Willems at 60 years of age.
‘Who’s Danny Willems?’ I hear you ask.
I’m not surprised you should ask that; there’s been very little reaction to Willems demise – but those of my generation remember him as tall, stylish, classy and a big name in pro cycle sport in the late 70’s and early 80’s.
Dougie Young (Comments Off)
It’s with much sadness that VeloVeritas has to report the passing of another young man who’s life hadn’t really begun. Just days after Ben Abrahams was taken from us, Dougie Young has gone too.
Rest in peace, Dougie. Sincere condolences to his friends, family and loved ones from Martin and Ed here at VeloVeritas.
Ben Abrahams (Comments Off)
Obituaries, part of the deal if you write about cycling; check their palmares, think about when you saw them race when you were a boy then put a piece together.
But when it’s someone you knew, liked, laughed with, there’s more to it than that – the randomness of life; one minute a friend is there and happy with a whole life to look forward to, the next, he’s gone. A car crash involving a lorry and Ben Abrahams, and here I am writing this.
Ben Abrahams, Scottish Champion, husband, father, and ‘one of the boys’. Rest in peace, we’ll miss you.
Rudi Altig (Comments Off)
In the passing of Rudi Altig from cancer on June 11th 2016 from cancer at 79 years-of-age, Germany and the sport of cycling have lost one of it’s giants.
He was a man who could win everything from his nation’s amateur national sprint championship to the Vuelta by way of the world professional pursuit and road race titles, Monuments and Six Day races.
Jocelyn Lovell (Comments Off)
It’s with much sadness that VeloVeritas reports the passing of Canadian Cycling Legend, Jocelyn Lovell on June 3rd at 65 years of age.
‘Controversial,’ ‘outspoken,’ ‘colourful,’ are all adjectives which have been used to describe the sleek, blond kilometre specialist but for me he’ll always simply be, ‘one of the coolest.’
Always immaculate, slim and long limbed; astride a track bike with that beautiful pale blue with white sleeves and maple leaves Canadian national jersey on his back he looked like he’d been born to perform the role.
The VV View: End of Year Rant (Comments Off)
It’s a while since we had a decent VeloVeritas rant and the year end is always a good time to take stock; in this VV View edition we compare the Six Day men of then and now, Chris Froome’s data, Cycling Weekly’s change from specialist to generalist magazine, disc brakes and of course, sadly, doping.
John F. Murray – Sponsor of GS Modena in the 1990’s (Comments Off)
It’s always sad when you lose a friend – when it happens on Christmas Day it makes it all the more painful. So it’s with particular sadness we report the loss of John F. Murray, sponsor for several years of Scottish cycling team, GS Modena / M & M Windows. John and I set up M & M in 1988; hitherto GS Modena had been sponsored by CR Smith.
When I left Smith’s and teamed up with John to set up M & M Windows I had to explain that I came with ‘baggage’ – namely a cycling team. John took a longer than usual draw on his fag, hit me one of his stinging ‘one liners’ and that was it, we were in business with John as our loyal and supportive sponsor.
Erik De Vlaeminck (Comments Off)
If you’re of this generation then Sven Nys will probably be your King of ‘crosses – but if you grew up in the 70’s then you’ll know that the true Monarch of the Mud was that stocky man of Flanders; Erik De Vlaeminck, big brother to ‘Monsieur Paris-Roubaix’ Roger De Vlaeminck.
Sadly, the elder De Vlaeminck brother died today in the town where he was born, Eeklo in the heart of East Flanders.
Ian Steel (Comments Off)
We learnt with sadness yesterday that Scottish rider Ian Steel had passed away, at the age of 86.
Ian became national champion in 1952 and rode and won the famous Peace Race by taking the lead on stage eight of twelve as his British team won both the individual and team titles.
We thought readers would appreciate revisiting out interview with Ian from a few years ago.
Claude Criquielion (Comments Off)
The death of Claude Criquielion was announced to me in a simple text message from my English friend, Ian Whitehead who lives in Gent; ‘Claudy has died.’
During the night of 15/16 February 2015, Criquielion suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized in critical condition; he died at 9:00 am on 18 February 2015 in hospital in Aalst, Belgium.
Charlie Hebdo Massacre (Comments Off)
If you’re a VeloVeritas regular you’ll be aware that we take full advantage of our, “right to rant.”
Freedom of Speech is something we take for granted in a Western Democracy.
But recent events in Paris remind us that it’s a principle which people surrender their lives to uphold.
E.V. Ernie Mitchell – R.I.P. (Comments Off)
We learnt recently that Ernie Mitchell, or ‘E.V.’ as he was known, Scottish star of the 1950’s has passed away.
As a tribute to him we thought we would re-run the interview he gave us last year where he told us about being the first man in the country to break the two-hour mark for 50 miles, virtually owning the pursuit crown and motor pacing behind his brother’s bus …
Alan Hewitt (Comments Off)
I wasn’t privileged enough to call Alan Hewitt a close friend but he was certainly a pal and on the infrequent – unfortunately for me – occasions I met him in recent years he would always greet me as a long lost brother with that smile, a hearty chuckle and a big, strong handshake.
Alas, there’ll be no more of those.
I first encountered Alan when he burst on to the short distance time trial scene back in the 70’s riding for Glasgow United before joining the then all-conquering Regent CC alongside Dave Hannah. Like Hannah he didn’t have much in the way of muscle definition in those tree trunk legs but also like Hannah he could power those big gears round to great effect. He was quick.
It was 11:20 am on Thursday September 5th 2013 on the A91 road between Gateside and Strathmiglo when we lost Ali Speed. He was just 49 years-old, out on his bike and doing what he loved when he was snatched away. Ali rode his first race at just 12 years-old and was racing just days before he died.
VeloVeritas ran an obituary for Ali at the time of his death and it goes without saying that we had to attend the 50 mile time trial his sister Mhairi organised in his honour on behalf of Fife Cycling Association. We thought that rather than straight race reportage – albeit not ignoring Iain Grant’s (Dooleys) dazzling 1:47 to win – we’d drive most of the course and look at the roads and places Ali trained and raced on.