Tag Archive for ‘World Championships’
Editor: Here! Ed! Shouldn’t we be doing a piece about the World Track Champs?
Ed: They’ve never been the same since Daniel Morelon retired and Hughie Porter had that crash, then they ditched the big motors and…
Editor: Hold on – go and speak to Craig MacLean!
Ed: Aye, right, he’ll know a bit, being an ex-world champ and all…
It wasn’t until the Belgian guy pointed it out to me today, but it wasn’t the friendliest of championships. The Press Centre you expect to be a clique-ridden, unfriendly, verging on hostile place.
I think it’s because a lot of those that work there are freelance and any new face could be taking work from them. But even in the ‘real’ world, if you don’t speak first, no one will talk to you.
It was warm today, it’s a cliche, but what a difference nice weather makes.
The ladies race was on first: I have to rant, I’m afraid. What is Jeanie Longo doing? What is the French Federation doing? What is the UCI doing? It’s not good for the sport for a woman who looks about 60 to finish in the bunch; she’s a remarkable athlete, no doubt. But that’s not the point, it’s time to stop, Jeanie. Now! OK, I feel better now.
I got my Hugh Porter interview, it’s not often that you get the chance to meet your hero, sometimes they disappoint, not Hughie, a cool guy who certainly doesn’t live in the past, like many old pros do.
Today was “course preview” day, I had hoped to borrow a bike, but eventually I thought; ‘ach, I’ll just walk!’ for the first couple of hours this was fine, especially since there was lots to see; not least ‘still banned’ Danilo Di Luca, training with the Italian team.
Press Centre 09.45, I’m meant to have an interview with Hugh Porter at 10.00 and I’m looking forward to that.
It’s a wet day in Stuttgart, there are still nearly three hours until Simon Zahner of Switzerland rolls-down the ramp as first starter in the Elite time trial, let’s hope that the skies have cleared by then, apart from me wanting to keep dry, a lot of the course will be damn dangerous if it’s damp.
I’m sitting in the press room, sharing a table with my boyhood hero, Hugh Porter, four time world pursuit champion and on the podium in that event for seven years straight-he’ll need to get interviewed, I can’t let that opportunity go!
We’re here for the Worlds in Stuttgart, the Under-23 time trial was this morning and ladies time trial was this afternoon. I was lucky-enough to follow the Latvian rider, Gatis Smukulis in the test.
We caught up with Scottish rider Ross Edgar recently to chat about the World Championships and the British team setup; here’s what he had to say…
It’s 3.45 pm CET. I’ve been doing the tourist thing today. Salzburg is beautiful no-doubt, but it’s a tad de-caffeinated, a good place to come with your girl but lacking that real-life’ edge of say a Gent or a Lisbon.
It’s hard to find a proper bar but this one seems OK, complete with busty barmaid.
It’s Sunday now and Paolo Bettini is World Champion.
Erik Zabel’s last chance of a rainbow jersey is surely gone, Valverde has another Worlds medal and I’d better try to get this diary up to date.
I left you yesterday as the women’s race was running its course.
I was up before the bells, showered, washing done and on the street. Even at 08. 00 it’s buzzing.
The first rider I saw was from Brazil, then the Russian team – looking good in their Itera kit on white carbon Looks. 177 riders from all over the globe; 47 nations. I just saw the Mexicans sign-on.
Not much exciting so far and its gone 2.00 pm. I awoke to the bells at about 7.30 and was first in the shower room. Breakfast was fine, but there’s still no small-talk n there; it’s not a bad thing I guess-you are out the door pronto.
I was sat in the press centre immediately it opened at 9.00 and I’ve been writing ever since. I did my piece about Vino, Zabriskie and Cancellara plus their respective bikes and since then I’ve been getting the old VeloVeritas dairy up to date.
It was a 04.00 alarm job to get ready to leave at 06.00 and I hadn’t had time to pack the night before.
It’s always the same driving to Prestwick-you think you are making great time until you get to Stepps and the vast car park that is the M8 during the rush-hour.
Check-in at Prestwick wasn’t too bad but the Colgate had to go-I wouldn’t mind but it drives me crazy not knowing how to convert it into an explosive device.