Tag Archive for ‘World Road Championships’
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…
Ponferrada World Road Championships 2014 – Elite Men. Michal Kwiatkowski Times it Perfectly (Comments Off)
Spanish sports paper, Mundo Deportivo says; ‘El Tigre, en la Lieja-Ponferrada-Lieja’ comparing the race to an Ardennes Classic. ‘A complete cyclist with a brilliant future,’ they say of the 24 year-old Pole. Despite a tiny box on the front cover, the race gets two-and-a-half pages with nice colour pictures.
The second of the Nation’s four sports dailies, Marca concentrates on Valverde’s medal, ‘El hombre de bronce,’ again with colour photography and two full pages – if back on page 40. AS too goes with Valverde, ‘La sexta de Valverde’ – his fourth bronze and two silver medals take him two medals clear in the tables of seven riders on four podiums: Freire, Binda, Van Steenbergen, Lemond, Van Looy, Darrigade and Poulidor. Albeit all of them save Poulidor won the race at least once…
Ponferrara World Road Championships 2014 – Juniors & Women. Jonas Bokeloh & Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Comments Off)
I hate to keep moaning about these Worlds, but … There’s no way you can get from the two K to go sign at the foot of the final descent and up onto the climb. Barriers, tapes, police, volantarios (volunteer janitors) – grim! A man who can’t walk the course ends up in too many bars.
The junior race was mad – crashes aplenty but a good finish with the big German lad too fast for everyone. The wee Russian lad who was second looks ‘well hard’ he’d get no lip from anyone in a chip shop in Whitburn.
Well, if there’s a pizza place in Ponferrada, we can’t find it. It’s rude to criticise your host’s abode but we’re mystified by how the Worlds came to be here. The communications are terrible, it’s four-and-a-half hours by road or rail out of Madrid or get transfer flights up to the North West and more driving.
The town is ‘any town Spain/Italy’ and with the exception of the beautiful Knights Templar Castle there’s very little which is photogenic. It’s ‘just a town,’ like Broxburn or Kelty – which is fine but maybe we’re looking for more from the biggest week of racing on the planet ?
Sometimes you can just tell a rider is a bit special, BMC’s Swiss road and track man, Silvan Dillier is one such rider. We first came across him on Six Day duties, he made the podium in Gent and Zürich but was forging a name for himself in the summer, too.
A stage win in the Tour de l’Avenir in 2012 then the GC in the Tour de Normandie, last year were preludes to a stage win in the 2013 Tour of Alberta whilst riding as a stagiaire and meant there was little doubt about his moving up from the BMC Development squad to the World Tour team.
And now, as a first year full pro, Silvan is an Elite World Champion….
Young Sky star, Alex Dowsett’s early season was compromised by a bad crash in the Three Days of West Flanders – but he’s come back strongly.
He took eighth in the World Elite TT champs, rode strongly in the Tour of Beijing, aiding team mate Boasson Hagen on to the podium and closed his season with second place with Luke Rowe in the Duo Normand two-up time trial. And the former European U23 Time Trial Champion achieves these results while suffering from haemophilia.
We chatted to him as he put his feet up for the start of his well earned winter break.
As the Worlds memories begin to fade and thoughts turn to the late season classics in northern Italy and France, VeloVeritas takes a last look back at the Cauberg. But this time through the eyes of a man who rode that beast of a hill all 11 times on Sunday, Ireland’s Ronan McLaughlin.
McLaughlin finished 105th @ 8:55 in a group which contained men like Ryder Hesjedal and Zdenek Stybar; after working hard for Dan Martin and Nico Roche.
The ‘best world championships ever’ the organisers are saying – but I guess they would say that? It was certainly a good race; and if last year’s race in Copenhagen was a model of GB team work for Cav, then this year was all about Belgium and ‘Phil.’
Having walked the parcours and seen all of the road races up to and including the U23 end in a bunch sprint, I thought that it would be a bunch sprint. The parcours weren’t as tough as we all thought – the surfaces were good and two bergs apart, it was very fast.
But when I saw Marianne Vos win on Saturday afternoon, I got to thinking; ‘Gilbert could do the same thing, maybe?’ And so it proved.
It’s a nice afternoon in Limburg for bike racing, the sun is out, there’s not a lot of wind and The Netherlands’ Olympic road race champion Marianne Vos has just bridged up to the break; so the crowd is happy.
Yes, yes, I’m watching another women’s race. No report though, I’m just out of the press room. I had the report to write up and pictures to process for the U23 race from this morning. It started at 09:00 am so I had to leave the camper at 07:30 to work the start area.
There’s only been one winner of the Cycle Time Trials 50 mile championship in the 21st century – and that’s Ulsterman Michael Hutchinson who has won the event 13 times, straight.
We caught up with the 38 year-old who just keeps getting faster and faster, the day after the World Elite TT Championship in Limburg, where he finished 46th @ 5:22 behind Tony Martin.
In fairness to the man who this year has broken the British 10 and 25 mile records, he did have the worst of the day – cold stinging rain which made the parcours very dangerous in parts.
When you write and then put your words out there into the ether, you set yourself up.
Whilst there’s nothing better than someone taking the time to say that they like your work.
On the other side of that coin is that there will always be folks who have a real go at you. I understand and accept that, but what’s difficult to accept is uninformed criticism, where people don’t really understand the situation.
There are time trials – and then there are time trials.
Dual carriageways with high traffic counts on balmy Essex afternoons are one thing; Limburg in the autumn rain with a parcours which includes the Cauberg is another.
The VV camper is parked on the road race parcours on the opposite side of the circuit from the finish/press centre tented village.
The elite TT parcours merges into the road race circuit just 200 yard from the campsite, making it easy for us to pick up the route and walk perhaps the last seven kilometres.
Did I say that having the camper van here meant that I didn’t have to walk to the press room?
Cancel that – I’d forgotten that the protocol is once you hook the van up to the electrics, you’re here for the duration. Kris has his electric bike – I have my shoes. A three kilometre walk through the back roads of Limburg to the press room and back is good for the soul – I suppose.
The party’s over, there’s no more nice wee room in Valkenburg and ambling down for breakfast, with the patron asking if you’d like a fried egg to go with your rolls, cheese and ham.
Its camper van time – but at least I won’t have that four kilometre forced march to the press room, we can drive.
There were two races today, the junior time trial and the U23 time trial.
I resisted the bars of Valkenburg and was in bed not long after 10:00 on Saturday night.
The body clock woke me for 06:15 and I was on the Cauberg before 07:00.
I decided to do my Cauberg piece early on Sunday because the junior time trial starts early on Monday and the police won’t let you walk on the parcours, so best to get a bit of peace and quiet whilst I could.