Tag Archive for ‘The VV View’
Sir Brad wasn’t even off his bike when the phone rang; “Are you watching this? Isn’t it heartwarming, nostalgic? I’m almost in tears …” Yes, friend and sage of VeloVeritas, Vik had just watched the finale of the Gent Six Day on the box – so did I; for the first time in years I wasn’t there – that ‘real life’ stuff got in the way.
And last week’s Cycling Weekly brought us ’12 things you didn’t know about Jason and Laura Kenny’ – to push their new book (that one I said Vik has pre-ordered the other week): “Jason once ate four out-of-date yoghurts, despite not being hungry. And not liking yoghurt.”
Enough said, I think.
‘Why do you rant about cycling?’ they ask us. ‘Because someone has to!’ we reply. There has to be a voice in the wilderness …
Did you watch the Worlds? Dave, Ivan and Vik all boycotted it – although they admitted to watching the finale. The Belgian offensive in the desert would have done Field Marshal Erwin Rommel proud – but apart from that and Sagan’s killer finale the race was processional.
Sometimes it’s strange how something you’ve never heard of in your life until recently starts coming at you from different directions – I was discussing a mutual acquaintance’s drugs problems with a friend when he mentioned ‘Tramadol’ – my ears pricked up…
The VV View: Sky, Wiggins and the TUE Grey Area (Comments Off)
TUE’s – once again I’m reminded of Elton John’s words; ‘and all this science I don’t understand…’
The forums are ablaze with righteous indignation from carpet fitters and bike shop mechanics, all of whom are well versed in conditions which affect an athlete’s breathing and the treatment of any ailments related thereto.
Me? I’m a glazier originally and I can’t remember Prednisolone ever cropping up once during my ‘apprenticeship.’
The VV View: Whatever Happened to the Individual Pursuit? (Comments Off)
Who’s Filippo Ganna? Just the World Individual Pursuit Champion, that’s all. But don’t worry, we’d never heard of him either, until he won it.
The rot first set in when the UCI ‘unified’ the professional and amateur pursuit titles in 1993 and cut the distance back to 4000 metres – the pros had previously contested the title over 5000 metres. But wet rot gave way to even nastier dry rot after the Beijing Olympics when the UCI announced that the individual pursuit was being chopped from the Olympic programme.
As a ‘non-Olympic’ event the Federations immediately lost interest – it’s those Olympic medals which get you the funding, don’t you know? – and nowadays you’re lucky if you can find someone who can name the world pursuit champion.
We make no apology for more ranting – there’s much to get upset about in the sports firmament at the minute. It’s hard to believe that the public would be so naive as to believe that Athletics would be squeaky clean given the sums of money washing around and the vested interests of the massive sportswear companies who depend on big results from their sponsored athletes to shift their sweat shop trainers, track suits, sweats and Tee’s.
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.
The VV View: Astana, CAS and Righteous Indignation (Comments Off)
Righteous indignation – we’re all good at it. The Astana situation gives us the opportunity to use words like ‘scandal,’ ‘disgrace,’ ‘joke,’ ‘appalling’ and all the rest. Here’s the ‘but’: whilst here at VeloVeritas we’re not card carrying members of the UCI and Brian Cookson Fan Clubs we do understand that that the organisation has to work within a framework called ‘rules.’
When the UCI denied Katusha a licence a season or two ago, the Russians took their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and duly won; their licence was granted and the men from Aigle dropped big legal bucks. The reason they won was because the UCI had not issued an official warning to Kathusa that their licence was in jeopardy.
The VV View: On Inconsistent Attitudes (Comments Off)
You have to be in the right frame of mind to rant – unless you’re a Master, like Vik – VeloVeritas’s cycling sage and soothsayer, Vik can waken up ranting and probably rants in his sleep.
I can’t do it to order – but the stars have aligned this morning and there’s a lot to get off my chest…
The splendidly named ‘Bugatti and Musker’ released a disco classic in 1976; ‘Ain’t no Smoke Without Fire,’ it’s about a guy who’s worrying that his girl is straying. ‘Please don’t do nothin’ to make me ashamed of you . . . when I heard the news it broke me in two…
But it could just as well have been written about cycling’s problems. If you love the sport, really love it – not just the ‘Glam Gigs’ as Viktor would call the Grand Tours and Flanders Classics then the doping sagas break your heart.
Or maybe I’m a sad old fool?
I can remember perfectly where I was when Marco Pantani died; sitting in my living room in Dysart. The flash came over Eurosport News and I rang Viktor to tell him; ‘hardly surprising’ was the reply. I knew what he meant, the little Italian’s life had been on a self destructive spiral for a some time – rehab or disaster were the only two possible destinations.
It was the Spartan philosophers who first coined the expression, ‘never speak ill of the dead.’ And whilst it’s always dreadfully sad to see a young life wasted, I’m puzzled by the current revisionist accounts of his life which are doing the rounds on the 10th anniversary of his death.
VeloVeritas thanks you for reading in 2013, hopes that you are having a good holiday season, enjoyed the company of family and friends, ate and drank too much and didn’t have too many arguments.
We’ve now entered that no man’s land between Christmas and New Year and whilst we’ll do our best to keep the interviews coming from the track men who are making the boards hum, the rising talents and the men who skim through the mud as sweetly Fred Astaire coming down a staircase – the year cannot be let slip without a rant . . .
In the film, ‘A Few Good Men’ Tom Cruise’s military lawyer character is cross examining Jack Nicholson as a high ranking officer; ‘I want the truth!’ says Cruise. Jack’s reply has now entered movie folklore and cliché; ‘You can’t handle the truth!’
He got that one right, I can’t handle the truth – whilst I’m well aware that most of the peloton was kitted up for two decades and that it’s indefensible, I can’t see how yet another biopsy is going to change anything.
It creeps up on you, the need, nae, the burning desire to rant. The last straw was Chris Froome’s comments about the Tour organiser’s intention to include cobbles in the 2014 race. Chris isn’t keen – he wants just long, flat time trials and mountain stages; but we guess he’s OK with the sprinter stages. too?
The TT stages are for the specialists, the “rouleur” who can find the groove and churn the big gear. Anquetil, Indurain and Wiggins all fall into this mould – punish your opposition in the TT then hold on to your gains in the mountains. It’s the classic Grand Tour tactic; effective but not the most inspiring to watch…
On the one hand we don’t think that disinterring the dead is the way forward; the French Senate mass exhumation was a pointless exercise as far as we’re concerned. But once you have a Zabelombie walking the streets you have deal with it.
As I recall from George A. Romero’s classic ’78 movie – ‘Zombies, Dawn of the Dead’ you have to part the head from the body, shoot it in the head or at last poke a long screw driver through the ‘lug-hole’ (messy). But do we see a rush from the UCI to comment on the latest gore fest and efforts to contain the virus – originally returned on a space probe from Venus, if I remember correctly?
Or was it a laboratory in California?
The release of the French Senate ‘findings’ on the ’98 Tour – why do it now, what do it at all? What’s the point, other than to create a mess and give Brian Cookson a fresh crock of manure to hurl at Pat?
Justice is not meant to be a lottery – of course it’s not right that the riders named cheated but what can we do now? And if you’re going to have an expose then it has to be full – not selective. It’s not right that O’Grady gets crucified simply because he’s about the only one still racing – up until last Sunday, that is.