Tag Archive for ‘Stars of the Future’
If ever there was a race tailor made for the King of the hard men, Sean Kelly it was the Ronde van Vlaanderen; but three second places aren’t the same as one win – it remains the only Monument the brilliant Irishman didn’t add to his palmarès. But a man from the Emerald Isle has finally made amends for Kelly’s disappointments and won over the cobbles and ramps of de Ronde – albeit his win was in the U23 version of the fabled event.
Despite his flyweight 56 kilos Eddie Dunbar has already established himself as one of the worlds’ best U23 riders with top ten finishes in the European and World U23 Time Trial Championships – and riding for the Irish team rather than his usual US Axeon-Hagens Berman team he took Ronde victory in that bike riders’ Mecca, historic Oudenaarde.
VeloVeritas caught up with the 20 year-old from County Cork not long after his beautiful win thanks to the good offices of Axeon’s press guru, Sean Weide.
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’…
Following in the footsteps of Scottish track stars Mark Stewart and Katie Archibald, we believe Scotland’s Joe Nally to be the youngest ever winner of the British Senior Points Race Championship at just 17 years-of-age. The race was held at the Manchester Velodrome but Nally is another product of Glasgow’s beautiful indoor track; taking bronze in the team pursuit to go with his points gold.
‘Best have a word with the man,’ we thought ourselves here at VeloVeritas.
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.
Stuart Balfour – Moving up to French DN1; “A big focus in 2017 is making a name for myself” (Comments Off)
Young Scot, Stuart Balfour is off to France again for season 2017 – VeloVeritas decided we needed to hear this young man’s story…
The last time we spoke to Dan Gardner he’d just ridden the 2015 Worlds TTT in Virginia as part of the American Astellas team. This season saw him back with Astellas for the first part of the season before a mid-season move to the Heartland – Flanders – and a ride with the Baguet Bicycle Center Cycling Academy. The man behind the team, Serge Baguet is a Belgian ex-professional who rode for Lotto and QuickStep and can count a Belgian Elite Road Championship and Tour de France stage among his palmarès.
And for 2017 things just keep getting better for young Mr. Gardner with a ride for cult Belgo/Irish squad, AN Post. We caught up with Dan in late November with the first team get together coming in Calpe in December.
The VV View: Snakes and Ladders (Comments Off)
Snakes and Ladders; Let’s be positive and start with the guys on the way up; 17 year-old Englishman Thomas Pidcock for instance, who won the European Junior Cyclo-Cross Championship in France recently. He’s now one of the favourites for the Worlds in Luxembourg come late January; he was fifth in the Worlds last year and is a year wiser and stronger.
But if there are ladders then there are snakes, too. It’s over Matt Goss; he won a World Team Pursuit Title, Grand Tour Stages, a Worlds Elite Road race Silver, Plouay and – The Primavera. That last result means he’s a Legend.
It was Mark Stewart suggested we have a word with this young man, Gabriel Cullaigh; he’s been riding strongly for the GB U23 Academy in Italy but recently decided to make his own way in the tough world of continental bike racing, joining strong Dutch Continental outfit, SEG Racing Academy. Here’s what Gabriel had to say to us just the other day…
VeloVeritas senior mentors and pundits Dave and Vik are always quick to let us know if there’s a name to be chasing over in the Flatlands – step forward Irishman Conor Hennebry who’s making a name for himself in the Kermis School.
In time honoured VV fashion we tracked the man down and ‘had a word.’
Angus Claxton – from Plockton to Kortrijk (Comments Off)
According to our research, the village of Plockton in Ross and Cromarty has a population of 378 – but it should actually be ‘377 and one would-be Kermis King.’
And you thought Plockton was only famous for ‘Hamish Macbeth’ and one of VeloVeritas’s favourite movies, ‘The Wicker man.’
Enter young Angus Claxton . . .
His name has been brought to our attention by our long term Flatlands race watcher, Viktor; ‘the laddie’s getting round all right,’ said the great man – praise indeed from Vik. We spoke to Angus just before British Cycling announced his acceptance into the Academy.
Four Scots have been selected for the Great Britain Cycling Team heading to the UEC Junior and Under-23 European Track Championships taking place in Montichiari from 12 – 17 July.
Under-23 riders Mark Stewart and Jack Carlin will be joining Juniors Lewis Stewart and Jenny Holl – who were also selected for the UCI Junior Track World Championships earlier this month.
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.
Jez McCann – First Elite Kermis win at Zedelgem (Comments Off)
It’s a while since VeloVeritas last spoke to Steve Skuse; Vik and I used to bump into him on our trips to the kermises. Steve got in touch the other day to tell us about another young man he’s looking after and who’s pulled off that difficult trick of winning a kermis in the Flatlands.
And the better news is, he qualifies to ride for Bonnie Scotland… Jez McCann is the man; 19 years-old, raised in Gravesend, riding for Richardsons-Trek.
Mark Stewart – “The GB Academy is pretty intense” (Comments Off)
It’s wee while since top Scottish trackman, Mark Stewart featured in our pages but he was home recently from GB squad duties and his base in ‘la Bella Italia’ for his brother’s wedding and has been taking in a few local time trials in preparation for next Thursday’s British Cycling Time Trial Championships at Stockton-on-Tees.
We thought we best ‘have a word’ before he’s off around Europe, again.
He’s been making the headlines again, that Mark Stewart laddie.
We last spoke to him after his wins in the British scratch and team pursuit championships – not forgetting his silver in the points race.
This time it was success in the second round of the UCI World Cup in New Zealand where he won the scratch race.