Team Wiggins ? Fear not, VeloVeritas is on the case. Our man in Gent, Ian Whitehead informed us that his amigo of some 25 years, Simon Cope is ‘Chat Show Sensation’ (it says here) Wiggins’ DS for the new venture. We checked Mr. Cope out and he’s got the T-shirt, the DVD and the box set – originally a 34 Nomad before he turned pro and a British champion on road and track.
Saturday dawns crisp, cold and sunny for the Omloop Gent Gent. We have a copy of Het Nieusblaad which has all the information we need about the route so its time to head for the start. It's moved this year to the S.M.A.K complex, site of the Gent Six Day. As the car park fills with the now de rigueur coaches, ushered in by whistle blowing attendants we grab a quick pic of world champ Peter Sagan's Specialized before being asked to move on by an unfriendly team staffer...
Its not every day you get the chance to talk to a Tour de France winner, so when I received the invitation from Team Astana's press office to spend some time with Alberto Contador, I jumped at it. It meant an early rise and a couple of hours drive, but it was well worth it to see a Pro-Tour team at work and hear what the top man had to say.
Former World Scratch and Madison Champion, rapid roadman sprinter, not to mention Berlin, Bremen, Copenhagen, Ghent and Grenoble Six Day winner, Denmark’s Alex Rasmussen happens to be Zwift’s ‘man in Scandinavia’ – no-one better to ask about e-racing.
I remember, in 1992, watching Clas' Tony Rominger win the Tour of Lombardy, churning a huge gear along a straight, flat road to the finish for kilometre after kilometre; even Duffers was lost for words. Like that font of cycling wisdom Viktor would say; "Watchin' paint dry!" It's different now - the finale is frantic. Ghisallo, Civiglio, Battaglia... there's no room for error and no time to relax.
One of the names missing from Gila (one of the big US early season races) is that of Bissell’s, 21 year-old Paddy Bevin. The New Zealander preferring to keep closer to sea level as he starts his build up for the Tour of California.
Oh no! Not another drugs article! Yes, but this one is positive - ah, no, not that kind of a 'positive!' Dan Fleeman texted me the other day to tell me that he'll be getting a bit of an airing on the Bike Pure site, due to his decision to continue with UCI Biological Passport level blood testing with Raleigh - at his own expense.
Joshua Shubert, on a blowy Monday at the start of November under the strict conditions which apply to RRA record attempts, dipped under three hours for the RRA 100 mile ‘straight out’ time trial, averaging a staggering 2:57:38 - that’s 33.6 mph or 54 kph.
It's been a while since we last spoke to Englishman Matt Green at the tail-end of 2011, when he was off across the pond to ride in the 'States, and a lot has happened to him since then - not least of which a very serious accident which kept him out of action for most of last season. Matt's recovered from his injuries now, is back on the bike and back in training, with a contract to race again for a fourth year with the US team Astellas Professional Cycling - plus a new blog recording how his year pans-out starting soon, right here on VeloVeritas! Let's catch up with Matt and hear about what's been happening...