Sunday, December 5, 2021

Finn Crockett – Thrilled to be Racing for Ribble Weldtite Next Season

We always try to spotlight young Scotsmen who are ‘just doing it’ – especially if they come from one of our favourite parts of Scotland, The Brahan and wearing the Ribble Weldtite squad’s blue jersey – or perhaps it will be ‘Tour of Britain Splatter?’ - for 2022 will be Scotland’s Finn Crockett.

James Shaw – You Can’t Keep a Good Man Down

This season James Shaw was racing the UK at continental level with the Ribble Weldtite team but next year he’s back to the World Tour, this time with EF Education Nippo.

Oscar Onley – “I can get on with the business of training, racing and seeking to improve”

We recently ran an interview with a young Scotsman who’s ‘just doing it,’ over the in Heartlands of Flanders, France and The Netherlands – 21 years-old Mr. Sean Flynn. Another even younger Scotsman who’s out there in the similar arenas, not to mention Norway, is 19 years-old Oscar Onley. 

Sean Flynn – the Young Scot with Top 12 and Top 20 in UCI 1.1 Races

In a solid 12th place at the British Road Race Championships in Lincoln was 21 year-old Scot, Sean Flynn, riding for top Dutch development team SEG Racing, in what was one of the team’s last races before sadly, it folded. We caught up with Sean not long after another fine ride, this time in the last race of the European season, the  188.5 kilometre UCI 1.1 Ronde van Drenthe.

Andrea Pogson – British 100 Mile TT Champion in 1998

Has a Scottish based woman ever won the British 100 mile time trial title championship before? The answer is ‘yes,’ in 1998; Andrea Pogson riding for Midlothian Racing Team did that very thing and kindly consented to delve back into her memory banks and give us her recollections of a highly successful time trialling career. 

Joss Lowden – the New Women’s World Hour Record Holder!

When we spoke to Britain’s Joss Lowden back in July she told us about her intention of attacking the world hour record. She’d already exceeded Bussi’s 48.007 kilometres in a ‘test’ ride. She turned intent into action on the boards of the Grenchen Velodrome in Switzerland with 48.405 kilometres on 30th September, well in excess of her own ‘test’ ride distance and Bussi’s record.

Vittoria Bussi – on Breaking the World Hour Record in 2018

We thought it would good to talk with the previous ‘Woman of the Hour,’ Ms. Bussi about her record of 48.007 kilometres set on September 13th 2018 at high altitude on the boards of the Aguascalientes velodrome in Mexico.

Dan Bigham – British Hour Record Breaker!

Ribble Weldtite track and chrono man, multiple British Champion and aero guru, Dan Bigham [Ribble Weldtite] produced a stunning 54.723 kilometre ride on the boards of Switzerland’s Grenchen Velodrome on October 1st, breaking the British Hour Record and recording the fourth fastest World Hour ride. 

Michael Mørkøv – Olympic Champion

In what many pundits describe as the best Madison they’ve ever witnessed, Michael Mørkøv and the man with whom he won the world title in the discipline, Lasse Norman Hansen, beat the cream of the world’s track riders to the top of the podium.

Robbie Mitchell – 24 Hour TT National Champion

Robbie Mitchell (Auchencrow Thistle CC) does things the hard way; he’s never ridden a 12 hour time trial but jumps right in at the deep end – a 24 hour time trial. And not just any old 24 hour time trial, the CTT National Championship; oh yes, and then he goes and wins the thing… 

Hamish Strachan – “I’m missing that last bit of nastiness that you need to be competitive”

‘Sorry, I fell asleep, I need my afternoon nap after one of Flavio’s training sessions – a 90 minute chain gang then six laps of a circuit with a steep ‘kicker’ in it.’ That was Hamish Strachan explaining to us why he’d missed our call – good to hear that the young man is back in the groove after a difficult start to his year.

Iain Macleod – 3:28:33; the fastest 100 mile time trial ever ridden on Scottish roads

It was 2019 when we last spoke to Iain Macleod - he was with Aberdeen Wheelers then but is now with Kelpie Racing - he’d just won the SC 50 mile championships and the man is making the headlines again; a couple of weeks ago he took the Scottish Cycling Olympic Time Trial title and before that recorded the fastest 100 mile time trial ever ridden on Scottish roads.

Andy Smallwood & Jamie Burrow talk Ribble’s New “Ultra Road”

The Ribble ‘Ultra Aero’ is a beautiful piece of machinery and in the manner of the best British speed machines – Aston Martin, Jaguar, Lotus, Norton – pulls off that trick of looking very quick even when it’s standing still. We caught up with Ribble CEO, Andy Smallwood and ex-pro and DS, Jamie Burrow, Ribble’s head of product development; here’s what they had to say.

Christina Mackenzie – Land’s End to John O’Groats Record Breaker!

Congratulations are in order as Christina Mackenzie became the fastest-ever woman to traverse the largest of the British Isles from it’s south western to north eastern tips. Christina, originally from the Isle of Lewis but now Stirling-based took time to speak to VeloVeritas a day or two after her epic ride.

Bernie Nolan – Racing in Oz; “the happiest time of my life”

Bernie Nolan wanted to race as a Pro in Europe but prior to that he sought fame and fortune in the Antipodes – under the Aussie sun, and surely the racing down there wouldn’t be as savage as Belgium?

Ribble ‘Ultra Road’ Redefines Aero

Ribble Cycles launch the all-new Ultra Road following the brief to develop the world’s most aerodynamically advanced road platform. The Ultra Road is designed to be superfast, following an extensive and ground-breaking R&D process of market-leading CFD, Wind Tunnel testing and Real World Analysis.

Louise Garbett – the First Ever Tour Féminin White Jersey Winner

Just turned 19 years-old, Louise Garbett finished the biggest race in the world on the Champs-Élysées in Paris and was escorted to the podium along with Laurent Fignon and Greg Lemond to receive the overall White Jersey for the first ever Tour de France Feminine.

The VV View: Sandy’s Palmarès, Rapha CC?, Flapjack Recipes and Couttsy

In this Rant, we remember Sandy Wallace's palmarès and Alex Coutts' career, ponder Rapha CC and cycling as a middle class pastime, and try to imagine when Elia Viviani will get to wear his Rainbow Jersey.

The VV View: Lefevere’s Comments, UCI and Gravel Bikes, and more…

It’s a while since we had a rant so we discuss Patrick Lefevere's recent comments, what exactly is 'Project GO'?, the UCI getting it's claws on gravel biking, and John Purser fondly remembers Norman Hill.

Scottish Riders in Le Tour de France

With le Grande Boucle set to depart on Saturday June 26th from Brittany – which shares Celtic culture with Scotland - we thought we should have a look at the Scottish riders who have participated in the biggest race on the planet, over the years.

The VV View: In the Bleak MidWinter

Brexit, Covid, desperate weather, it’s been a long hard winter and we're still in what might be termed the Bleak Mid-Winter, made even worse by the sad news that former Scottish cyclo-cross, grass track and MTB Champion Craig Hardie has lost his fight with cancer. VeloVeritas offers deepest condolences to his friends, supporters and family.

The VV View: Scotland’s Young Turks

As the sleeping beast that is the 2020 cycling season stirs after it’s long snooze, we thought it would be good to look at how Scotland’s ‘Young Turks’ spent lock down and what their plans are for the rest of this strange year.

The VV View: Everesting, Zwifting and Jockey Wheels for a Grand!

It's been a while since we ranted, so in this edition of the VeloVeritas View we offer a thought or two on Strava, Zwift, Everesting and other Covid-19 aspects of cycling - as well as whether we consider jockey wheels for a grand a good deal...

Your Comments about Mrs Deene, George, and their cyclists’ Guesthouse

The piece we ran recently by reader John Day about staying with Mrs Deene in Belgium aroused a lot of interest on social media but it was spread over a number of different pages and apps. We thought it would be a shame to let some fascinating and funny comments go to waste so we pulled a selection together for you.

The VV View: Our Top 12 British Classics Rides

‘Cycling Weekly’ printed a list of their ‘10 best Classic Races of all time.’ It’s not the usual time of year for ‘retro’ pieces, the Classics should be in full swing but Covid-19 has blown apart a lot of well laid plans this spring. So here’s our top dozen British Classics Rides, in what we see as order of merit...

Ben Swift Retains the British Men’s Road Championship

On a day when we watched hard men like Gran Piemonte winner, Matt Walls and Tro Bro victor, Connor Swift crack before our very eyes it was reigning champion, Ben Swift who extended his tenure in that lovely jersey from 2019 through 2020 and 2021 into at least June 2022.

Tour de Trossachs 2021 goes to Robbie Friel

We missed you last year Tour de Trossachs, so let’s begin with a large ‘thank you’ to Jason Roberts and his team for reviving this great race and organising it so well. Men of the day: Messrs. Friel, Maclean and Creber; Woman of the day: Lynsey Curran.

Tour of the Campsies 2021 Goes to Chris Smart

We liked our jaunt to the Tour of the Campsies last year and feel at home among the rolling countryside and green hills there so we headed west, first of all paying our respects to the Robert Millar mural at the foot of the Crow Road; when you watch Roglič take the Lagos di Covadonga stage in the Vuelta it’s difficult to imagine the wee fella from Glasgow winning that stage – but win it he did.

The 2021 Tour of Britain in Hawick

We had a look around Hawick as the 2021 Tour of Britain race carnival hit town, we caught up with friends then headed out on the course, hiding from the wind on Wanside Rig to see the peloton as it headed towards Gifford...

Iain Macleod takes the Scottish Cycling Olympic Time Trial 2021

With victories already this season in various time trial distances ranging from 25 to 100 miles (with a two mile hill climb win too), Iain Macleod (Kelpie Racing) added the Scottish Cycling Olympic Time Trial 2021 title to his growing palmarès.

Scottish Road Race Championships 2021

We used to have Brian Blessed as the voice on the satnav. Today however it was Daffy but even with our little American Black Duck guiding us it’s a fair old hike from Peebles to Bridge of Alford to watch the Scottish Road Race Championships 2021.

Merlin Cycles Classic TT Series – Round 3, Loch Ken

Perhaps I shouldn’t have had that last Strega on top of the Erdinger, Malbec and Grappa last night? But when we got an invite to the Loch Ken Round of the Merlin Cycles Classic TT Series from the organiser and he takes the trouble to send you the start sheet and rider information sheet, hangovers must be ignored.

CTT Team Time Trial Championships 2021

Defending champions and race favourites, Ribble Weldtite with strong men Dan Bigham, James Shaw and Simon Wilson took the CTT Team Time Trial Championships title on a cool, damp but still morning at Irvine on the west coast of Scotland, with a time of 54:01, averaging 55.9 kph to best their own ‘B’ team by 2:32, the line up there being Zeb Kyffin, Joe Wilson and Matt Gibson.

Tour of the Campsies 2020 Goes to Cameron Richardson

I thought I’d check out what where the expression, “awa’ the Crow Road” came from before Davie and I headed for the Tour of the Campsies; ‘Crows take your soul to the hereafter it’s thought in many cultures and superstition.’

Kasper Keeps Cool in Kuurne Brussels Kuurne 2020

I love the drive from Gent up to Kuurne for the Kuurne Brussels Kuurne semi-classic... staring out of the car window at the fields, the canals, tree-lined avenues, the steeples, tiny concrete roads that would be great to explore on the bike. There was a little rain on the way up but by the time we got to Kuurne it was a mild, sunny morning; ideal for wandering down the main drag where the busses line up and checking out 2020’s new hardware.

Roadside at Het Nieuwsblad 2020

We're roadside at Het Nieuwsblad 2020; since the race went World Tour the start just isn’t the same; the buses used to line up in the street, you could look at the bikes right until start time and brush shoulders with the riders as they pedalled to the sign-on. Not now, whilst some of the buses park up outside, the majority park in the huge 30’s exhibition hall adjacent to the Kuipke Velodrome in Ghent...

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Chris Lawless takes GC at the 2019 Tour de Yorkshire – Stage 4

Chris Lawless became the first British winner of the Tour de Yorkshire after defending champion Greg Van Avermaet won an enthralling final stage in Leeds. Van Avermaet (CCC Team) forged clear with Lawless and his Team Ineos team-mate Eddie Dunbar as the 175km trek from Halifax neared its conclusion, and while it was Van Avermaet who sprinted to victory along The Headrow, Lawless came home in second to seal the biggest overall race win of his fledgling career.

Sean Newington – Ready to Move Up a Level

hatever happened to Sean Newington?' says me to Vik. The next day, Vik's back on the phone: 'he's in Belgium - I saw his name in the results.' Time for that detective work!

Laurence Morgan and the TI Raleigh Vintage Cycling Club

Laurence Morgan from Perth was a team TI Raleigh fan back in the 80’s having fallen in love with a 753 Raleigh he saw at the 1982 Scottish Health Race. It’s been an enduring love affair and this year he started the TI Raleigh Vintage Cycling Club – good timing with ‘retro’ the word of the moment. At VeloVeritas we like a man who’s obsessed with 70’s and 80’s bikes and riders; we decided we’d best ‘have a word...

SRAM – the new kids on the block with their Force Groupset

SRAM Force Groupset; it’s been tried before - trying to grab a slice of that top-end equipment pie from those greedy Campagnolo and Shimano dudes who want to keep gobbling it all up between them. In the 70’s a French union of Stronglight, Simplex and Mafac failed, despite Bernard Thevenet winning two Tours on the kit. Shimano’s Japanese rivals Sugino and Sun Tour tried to get in on the act and despite the neat Sun Tour groupset being ridden by Jan Raas-managed Dutch pro teams in the 80’s, it never made the breakthrough.

The VV View: Smugness Or Sadness?

I've known John for 43 years; we went to school together and although there have been spells when our lives have gone in different directions for a while, it takes us about three minutes to pick up the thread and it's as if we've never been out of touch. John has lung cancer, one tumour in his lungs and three in his brain; he starts chemo and radio therapy, this week. When his son asked me what I thought, immediately I said; 'look at old Lance, he was at death's door and came back to win seven Tours.'

Paul Sherwen

‘Well Phil,’ the words that we all remember so well, used by Paul Sherwen when he was about to put co-commentator Phil Liggett right about something during one of the hundreds of Tour de France stages the pair covered for TV networks from England to Australia via the USA. Sadly, we’ll hear that catch phrase no more, the 62 year-old Briton having passed away in his sleep at his home in Kampala in his adopted nation of Uganda on Sunday.

Introducing Our New Blogger – Omega-Pharma Lotto’s Adam Hansen

T-Mobile, Slipstream and HTC stalwart Adam Hansen; a key cog in the 'Cavendish sprint machine,' surprised many when he decided to leave the US team and follow HTC's 'other sprinter,' Andre Greipel to Lotto. But that's not all!

Le Tour de France 2013 – Stage 14: Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule > Lyon, 191km. Trentin Takes It

Winner today: Trentin, Quote of the day: this comes from a gentleman of Ivan’s acquaintance; ‘It's not fair what Contador did to Froome, using his team like that in the wind.’ Damned Johnny Foreigner – no wonder they don’t play cricket.

Tim Mountford, Part One – Tandem Sprinting at the ’64 Olympics

Tim Mountford was one of the pioneers of US professional cycling in the 60’s and 70’s; he recently gave freely of his time to tell VeloVeritas about his adventures in what was a golden age for European cycling.

Loudoun Moscow APR 2007

Blue skies, sunshine, daffodils and a cool easterly wind greeted a full complement of 60 riders, divided into five groups for the 35 mile Moscow APR race. Group one was given a seven minute headstart on the small scratch group which contained the veteran >50 winner from The Lake APR last Sunday, Jocky Johnstone (East Kilbride Road Club).

James Moss – “I’m Much Further On”

In the autumn of 2009 James Moss was still a surveyor and a 'weekend warrior' on the bike-within weeks he was a full time pro with Scotland's Endura team, dueling with the Pro Tour squads in the Tour of the Mediterranean and Tour of Murcia. We thought we'd catch up for a 'Xmas end of term report` on his first Pro season with the 25 year-old from Newcastle.

Julian Wheat – Winning French Races in the ’70s, and ‘the Mafia’

Brittany, the summer of 1977 and a group of Scottish cyclists are over there as competitors in the Roscoff–Lorient road race as part of the ‘Festival Interceltique de Lorient.’ At one of these races, a criterium on a sunny day at a venue long forgotten, we met an English chap called Julian Wheat who had chucked his job and set up shop in the depths of Bretagne.