When friends of VeloVeritas Dave and Vik – both devotees of Belgian palmarès websites tell me there’s a young British guy I should be speaking to then I take notice! Scott Auld is the man, with an ever-growing list of podium finishes in the Flatlands. We caught up with him recently...
La Vuelta a España 2008. The last day for us, but the sun was out, Cudillero and Asturias was looking at it's best and Bill Medley and Jennifer Warne were on Kiss FM; "I've had, the time of my life," - damn right! Cudillero is a nice spot, not unlike one of the 'smugglers villages' in Cornwall, piled high into a steep cleft in the cliffs. We were there before the teams and had time for a wander, a coffee and to buy an Asturias T-shirt, I'm 53, it's sad, I know.
Team Sky are delighted to announce the immediate signing of Eddie Dunbar. Dunbar, who is set to make his Team Sky debut on Saturday at Coppa Agostoni, has agreed a deal to the end of the 2019 season. The Irishman, 22, was contracted to Aqua Blue Sport for the 2018 season, but – following the closure of the team – Aqua Blue and the UCI have granted Dunbar permission to leave his contract early and sign for Team Sky.
A couple of months have passed since we first spoke to Tom Copeland, who's living and racing with the French Team Champions, Bic2000, in the Finistère region of Brittany, so we thought we'd get in touch with him and bring ourselves up-to-speed with what's been happening.
It's been a while since we spoke to our friendly Scottish Pro Evan Oliphant, so we figured this was a good time to get a progress report for the season so far, how life is treating him in Belgium and the setup in the new DFL team.
Lotto Lottery Ticket... There are three definite bunch sprints forthcoming in the Tour: the traditional Champs Elysee final stage, and the stages directly before and after the Alps. Today's relatively short stage may also be a bunchie. It's a very lumpy part of the world: virtually no flat, and no straight stretches of road make it an exhausting, but beautiful, area to drive through (let alone ride).
Dave Bonner's career was ending when I was just getting into cycling, but his name was one which kept cropping up in Cycling Weekly in the early 70's and in the chats where the 'young boys' learned from the older guys in the club about cycling's rich history. He was a star on the track, in time trials and on the road; and 40 years after he quit the pro scene he’s still riding his beloved Condor in the mountains of Southern Spain. Back in 2010 Cycling Weekly even ran a feature about his five hour runs through the mountains of Andalucía – good going for a 70 year-old.
In the ‘whatever happened to?’ file: Mr. Jim Linden, former four times Scottish BAR; six times Scottish individual time trial champion and three times Scottish record breaker. The good news is that we can report that he’s alive and well and living in Hong Kong where, at 84 years-of-age he’s still working as a consultant.
It's now 19.45 on Saturday evening, and we're sat in the car en route La Maddalena listening to The Pioneers, 'Let your yeah be yeah' - crucial, John. The ferry port at Maddalena is grid-locked, but we've got our reggae and a cold Dreher beer, so waiting for the ferry isn't so bad. We shared the ferry out with CSC and Saunier, but they are long-gone on the first ferry out. It's been a cracking day, weather and gig-wise.