Thursday, July 9, 2020

Joe Waugh – Tyneside Climbing Legend of the ’70s and ’80s

Tyneside climbing legend and winner of everything from 10 mile time trials to Hill Climb Championships to international stage races in Europe, Mr. Joe Waugh. We should have caught up with Joe before now but better late than never.

Steve Taylor – Hanging out the ANC team car roof at the Tour

The legend of the ANC team and participation in the 1987 Tour de France - the story continues. Our man in Shropshire, Martyn Frank said to us recently; ‘you should speak to Steve Taylor, he was a mechanic with ANC.’

Andy Hillman – Soigneur to the WorldTour Stars

There are no palmarès to check for this guy, he’s one of cycle sport’s back room, ‘unsung heroes’ – but he’s worked with some of the sport’s biggest names; he takes us behind the scenes to look at the life of a soigneur in modern cycling. Mr. Andrew Hillman, aka ‘The Hillmanator.’
Mara Abbott

Mara Abbott – “I’ve always been very determined to forge my own path”

Mara Abbott is twice a winner of the overall GC in the Giro Rosa, picking up seven stages along the way not to mention two second places, a fourth, a fifth and 10th on GC. Abbott retired from the sport after finishing fourth in the Olympic Road Race in Rio, 2016. She took time to speak to us not long after her retirement; here’s what she had to say.

Mick Bennett – “I’d take that rainbow jersey in a heartbeat!”

Mick Bennett is well known these days as head of Sweetspot Management and Race Director of the Tour of Britain, but as an athlete in the '60s, '70s and '80s was a formidable track and road rider and was part of the Team Pursuit quartet which refused to take their rightful World Championship title. Here's his story.

Norrie Drummond – Reminiscing with Quality Trivia

It’s hard to believe but it’s now 13 years since VeloVeritas’ Belgium and East Europe archivist, Ivan and I drove through to Strathaven to meet Mr. Norrie Drummond, former racing cyclist of note in Auld Scotia and Belgium and patron of the Drummond Trophy Road Race, one of few remaining ‘landmark’ races in Scotland. We chatted to Norrie recently to hear some more stories about the old times...

Marianne Berglund – “Winning the Worlds really launched me in the USA”

She only started cycling to connect with a cute guy… that never happened but she did go on to win a World Road Race Championship and more than 100 races. Swedish-born but now a resident of the USA, Ms. Marianne Berglund took time recently to speak to us.

Rik Evans – Part Two; “It was a win that lost me my job”

Rik Evans continues telling his story, from giving away a Worlds title to Commonwealth Gold medal, top club 34 Nomads and his slide out of cycling but into depression. Evans has now settled in Australia and cycling has come back into his life.

Lorena Wiebes – “I want to step up to the highest...

Lorena Wiebes is just 21 years-old but is already shaping up to be the next Dynamic Dutchwoman. We caught up with her recently, soon after she joined Dutch [where else ?] ladies team Sunweb at the start of June.
My Best Ride

A Reader Writes: My Best Race

It was the best event VeloVeritas Reader John Day had ever been in - or would ever be in. It had been full-on for the last 45 of 100 miles, a true classic...
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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...

Viktor’s View – Rants of Love for Cycle Sport

Folks say to me that Viktor, "VeloVeritas's answer to Nostradamus" doesn’t exist, he’s just a vehicle for me to express extreme view points. They’re wrong. The man actually lives and breathes – and mostly for all things cycling and the Coronavirus crisis has seen him at his ranting best.

The VV View – All Set Up and No Race to...

It’s a fair old trek from Manchester to Fife after there was no race to watch, so what else was I going to do as I sat in the passenger seat but RANT! Let’s start with the only topic in town: Corona Virus and me...

The VeloVeritas Style Guide

The bike cost more than the car did and 300 dollars/euros/pounds shoes don’t faze you. But you still don’t feel you’re cutting it in the Sunday run posing stakes? Perhaps it’s time you had a style make over... But we warn you, some of what you’re about to read in our Style Guide might hurt.

The VV Review of 2019

It’s almost time for the VV Review of 2019, to file the season under ‘Nostalgia’ and look to season 2020, which will make it half a century I’ve been a fan of cycle sport. I can still remember watching Hugh Porter win the 1970 world professional pursuit championship under the spotlights at Leicester, on our tiny black and white tele. Where did those years go?

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...

Dunfermline Cyclo-Cross, Scottish CX Round 5

We took a trip to watch the Dunfermline Cyclo-Cross. It’s a wee while since we’ve been to a Scottish cyclo-cross race and the sport has changed beyond all recognition from the early 70’s when your ‘cross bike was your winter bike with the muddies removed.

Kyle Beattie takes the Scottish Hill Climb Championship 2019

On a dry morning with little wind and a temperature which varied from mild to chilly depending on how the clouds whirled into the Lomond Hills, 23 year-old Kyle Beattie (Cairngorm CC) took the Scottish Hill Climb Championship 2019 north with a 7 minutes 43 seconds ride; a margin of 12 seconds over Fife rider Robin Downie (Team Andrew Allan Architecture) who put a single second into bronze medalist, Tom Merry (Edinburgh University).

World Road Championships – Mads Pederson surprises to win the Elite Mens’ Road Race

Denmark’s Mads Pederson drops to the wet Yorkshire tarmac, a hundred metres past the finish line, he can’t take in what he’s just accomplished. He has out-sprinted one of the foxiest and fastest men around, Matteo Trentin of Italy - the hot pre-race favourites for the title on this horror of a day.

World Road Championships – Controversy at the U23 Men Road Race as Nils Eeekhoff...

There was controversy today; none of us – including Pidcock – knew that the ‘jury was out’ on big Dutchman, Nils Eeekhoff’s ‘victory.’

David Griffiths and Anna Fairweather take the Scottish Hill Climb Championships

On a day when a raw wind scythed across the Borders hills, that slim man who must feel the cold more than most, David Griffiths (Pro Vision Scotland) defended his Scottish Hill Climb Championship on the savage, technical climb out of Stow Village in the rolling Scottish Borders. Griffiths tells us he’s heavier than last year but still looks pretty damn skinny to us.

Scottish Road Race Championships 2011, Evan Takes His Fifth!

On a day of sunshine, wind and squals over 12 laps of a rolling circuit around Balfron, Evan Oliphant (Endura Racing) defended his Scottish road race championship in fine style; riding away from the day long break with two laps to go and opening a big gap over Gary Hand (Endura/Pedal Power) and Ross Creber (Cycle Premier/Metaltek) who also slipped the bunch to sprint it out for silver and bronze respectively.

Sid Barras – Part One; “Some would say I was just...

‘Super Sid’ was what they called him; his tarmac graffiti artist fans used to paint; “screw ‘em Sid!’ on any suitable stretch of road surface. Sidney Barras was his Sunday name and few people have won more bike races than this man. A fixture on the British professional scene for 18 years from 1970 onwards, it was high time we caught up with him.

Nokere – Koerse 2012

Francesco Chicchi (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) started his season well with two stage victories at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina in February and the opening road Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen last week, and he continued his great form with a superb sprint victory in Nokere - Koerse 2012 today

Lotto Zesdaagse van Hasselt 2007 – Day 1

Lotto Zesdaagse van Hasselt 2007. Kris picked me up at Dusseldorf Weeze airport at tea time yesterday (Wednesday), it's actually only about two kilometres from Holland so it wasn't long before we found a frites stand. Hasselt is in the Limburg region of Belgium, Flemish speaking and with a population of about 70,000. The local tourist office brochure tries hard to talk the town up but there's not much to say - a nice-enough place though.

World Road Championships 2006 – Day 1: Getting there

Off to the World Road Championships 2006. 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.

The Carnage Continues – TDF 2012 St 4

Andre Greipel, the big man with enough horsepower to be a chance at beating Cav in a straight sprint took the stage win today. We, the fans unfortunately didn’t have tthe chance to see the two great men going head to head as they did on Stage 2 (one of the best sprints I’ve ever seen) as Cav was caught in a crash and hit the road a couple of km from the finish. The Carnage Continues...

Youcef Reguigui – the Tour de Langkawi 2015 Winner Tells All

Millionaires living in Monaco and the late, great Alan Van Heerden apart, the recent Tour de Langkawi saw perhaps the best ever result for an African cyclist with Algerian and MTN Qhubeka climber/sprinter Youcef Reguigui taking the penultimate stage up Fraser’s Hill, grabbing the leader’s jersey and holding on to it through the frantic last stage criterium in Kuala Lumpur.

Le Tour de France 2008 – Day 3: Rest Day

Ciao! It was gone midnight when we hit the hay, last night. There was no thought of food, just sleep, it seemed to take an age to get off the mountain at Pratto and get to our digs at Racconigi - maybe it was just because we were so tired. Breakfast was chronic, stale bread, no cheese, no ham and everything else in polythene wrappers. First mission of the day was to meet Stuey O'Grady at the CSC press conference. He's a buddy of Martin's pal, Pete Jacques.

Justin Grace – the Kiwi who is France’s Track Coach

In the ‘old days’ it used to be that the ‘smaller’ and emerging cycling nations would rely on expertise from the ‘Old World’ – European coaches could be found all over the world. But these days it’s all different; and perhaps the biggest surprise in the past year has been first division track nation, France taking on a New Zealander as their coach. Justin Grace is the man, here’s his tale...

Le Tour de France, Stage 7: Tournus – Station des Rousses;...

Chavanel! A great day for him and QuickStep - their second stage, the maillot jaune regained and the polka dot jersey retained in gallant fashion.

Zürich Six Day 2012 – Part II

It's 05:30 CET Monday in the North Sea, somewhere. Our epic through the night time snow of Central Europe after the Zürich Six Day was rewarded by a nice autumn morning in The Netherlands, even if the coffee was extortionate at the services. We were in plenty of time for the 17:00 ferry to Newcastle. I couldn't keep my eyes open after 20:00, so that's why I'm up and about at 05:00 am - and that North Sea air is fresh. But let's talk winter track racing - I can't say 'Six Days' in this case.

Le Tour de France 2010, Stage 15: Pamiers – Bagneres-de-Luchon; Tommy...

Voeckler, you have to admire him, he's a racer. Whatever happens, it's been a good Tour for Bbox, Charteau in polka dots for a good stretch and now Tommy takes a big one. Going down to Pro Continental doesn't seem to have affected them one bit - and it's saved them a fortune. It was a tad mad up on the Port de Bales today but great to be there - Monday afternoon, high in the Pyrenees under a clear blue sky with the world's best cyclists just inches away.

Glasgow’s Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome awarded a round of the UCI...

Cycling’s world governing body Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), have today announced that Glasgow’s Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome will host a round of the 2012/13 UCI Track World Cup series, which will see British Cycling deliver an event in which the world’s best riders compete at the venue for the first time.

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!