Sunday, November 28, 2021

Death Of The Curse

-

Death Of The Curse. There is a theory within cycling circles that the person who is the current world champion (and thus wearer of the Rainbow Jersey) is stricken by a curse, meaning their season in the Bands is a poor one. That appears to have changed.

For two years in a row, the defending world champion, and wearer of the Rainbow Jersey has held the Yellow Jersey at the Tour. Last year, despite a broken arm from a crash on the stage, Cadel Evans rode to the yellow jersey at the Tour.

Death Of The Curse
The Great Man.

And now, with the Garmin dream run continuing, on Stage 4 Thor Hushovd has bullocked his way into a hyper elite selection at the top of a climb that he had no right to be in, and has defended his Yellow Jersey brilliantly.

Yesterday was an essentially flat stage that ended with a 2km kicker averaging over 6% grade, in which all of the big hitters came out to play trying to ensure none of their immediate rivals gained time on them.

George Hincapie set the scene with a massive turn for Cadel at the bottom of the hill, and stringing the whole peloton out as a result. Jurgen Van Den Broeck had a shot, then Contador put in a devastating attack, which was covered by Cadel, finally Gilbert dropped the hammer, again Cadel had enough, went again, and only Contador could match him, but… not quite!

And all along, Hushovd just kept on trucking, making each selection as it happened. A truly brilliant ride. Chapeau.

In Velogames, I’m going woefully sitting 3rd last. Tom Hopper (ex-Garmin mechanic) and Rob Brown (gun physio) are smashing up the top of the ladder, with Rhysco & Alan Sherborne in touch. At the other end of the ladder, Sam Conrad, Troy Fidler & Tim Collins are keeping me company at the back of the pack.

In CyclingCentral, we’re still waiting on the results. Tick tick tick!! Anyhoo, onwards and upwards (the sooner it goes up the better — my squad men are more climbers than sprinters).

Previous articleGilbert Gilbert
Next articleTurned Tables
Toby Watsonhttps://www.veloveritas.co.uk
Ex-Garmin Transitions physiotherapist and soigneur Toby Watson brings you inside the squad, and shows you what it's like to be working with a top team on the biggest races in the world. Through his regular blog updates, Toby shares his sense of drama and fun that were essential parts of his job. Toby is Australian, and currently lives in Girona with his fiancee Amanda. If he has any time, he enjoys reading and running, and occasionally skiing too, when he can.

Related Articles

Bad Day Of Racing – Johnny Hoogerland forced into barbed wire fence!

Ouch. What a tough day in the saddle for the boys, particularly Johnny Hoogerland. Everything was under control, with the break only a couple of minutes out in front, Thor getting over the climbs comfortably, and plenty of time to reel the break back in when BOOM! Zabriskie hit the deck, a couple of big hitters also went down from other teams (Kloden, Vino and VDB in particular) and there is a decision made to wait for everyone affected in the crash to catch back up.

Le Tour de France 2011, Stage 15 – kicking around the Limoux départ

Le Tour de France 2011 and We couldn't get out of Andorra quickly enough. Before 08:00 we got the lift down from the 5th floor of the hotel, to be greeted by great plumes of cigarette smoke belching out of the breakfast area. Last night's determination to "make a fuss about the lack of advertised weefee" evaporated, as we just wanted to put distance between us and this horrid place as fast as possible.

Three Weeks to Go

Three Weeks to Go. We're approaching mid-June, and the cycling world in Europe is building to a frenzy of anticipation: three weeks 'til the Tour! Most teams will have had five or six of their riders locked in as starters since before the season began, with only a badly-timed injury preventing big hitters like Thor Hushovd, Ryder Hesjedal and Christian Vande Velde from Garmin from starting.

Duelling Trains

Duelling Trains. There's something about certain sporting moments when two competitors meet each other in their pomp and just go head to head. There's a minimum of tactics, and a maximum of fireworks, and we, the interested onlookers can only marvel at how good this is, and wonder who will crack first?

Back Swinging

Back Swinging. After what seems like both forever, and no time at all, we're headed to the final stanza of this year's Tour. Today's stage is another medium mountain stage, with only one Cat. 2 climb to deal with, followed by a short descent into the town of Gap. The day is a steady climb uphill for the majority of the day, with two sharp descents that may be of note for general standings-the descent that leads to the Col de Manse (the climb of the day) and then the 11km after the summit of the Col, which is all downhill to the finish.

Frank Schleck, One For The History Books

If you were lucky enough to watch Stage 18 last night, you saw one of the best days of bike racing in years. Andy and Frank Schleck finally attacked and got it right, using their double-threat to maximum advantage, and as a result achieved another stage win, jumped in the GC to now be in a dominant position, and Andy has ridden a stage that will be talked about for years.

At Random

Bob Cary – Part Two; Life After TI-Raleigh

In Part One of our interview with Bob Cary we covered that part of his career up to his third year with TI Raleigh and the end of 1976. For 1977 he was back in the UK with the Carlton-Weinmann team alongside riders like Olympic team pursuit medallists, Mick Bennett and Robin Croker not to mention British pro scene stalwart, Reg Smith.

Wade Mangham – Happy in Belgium and Working Hard

The phone rings, it's Vik; "Why haven't you spoken to that Wade Mangham boy? He's getting round all right in Flanders." In line with VeloVeritas policy of trying to keep abreast of who's 'up and coming' in the Flatlands, we tracked young Mr. Langham down - here's what he had to tell us about dodgy club presidents, Shane Archbold's mullet - and he has a chat with his bottle cages.

John F Murray – Sponsor of GS Modena in the 1990’s

It's always sad when you lose a friend - when it happens on Christmas Day it makes it all the more painful. So it's with particular sadness we report the loss of John F. Murray, sponsor for several years of Scottish cycling team, GS Modena / M & M Windows. John and I set up M & M in 1988; hitherto GS Modena had been sponsored by CR Smith.

The VeloVeritas Years – 2007: Stuart O’Grady Tops Career with Paris-Roubaix

A decade?  Surely not? But it was 2007 when we met up with Dave Chapman in London and VeloVeritas headed for the ferry to the 'Hell of the North.' Most of the names we mention have gone from the peloton - Flecha, Boonen, Cancellara, Stuart O'Grady, Backstedt - but Pippo just keeps going, looking little different from how he did on the sunny Sunday, 10 years ago. Have a wee wander down memory lane with us we continue our 'Best of VeloVeritas' Years in The Saddle.'

Scottish National 25 mile Time Trial Championship 2012

On a grey, damp but mild and fast Sunday morning on the roads around Blairdrummond near Stirling, Dooleys' Ian Grant added the '25' title to the '50' with a fine 52:26; besting Sandy Wallace's Silas Goldsworthy - whose fight back over the closing miles hauled back a 17 second deficit on Grant down to six at the line. Last year's '50' champion Alan Thomson, took another medal for Sandy Wallace with bronze in 53:09. The event was not without controversy, however.

La Vuelta a España 2014 – Stage 9; Carbonera de Guadaza – Valdelinares, 181 km. Winner Wins and Chad Chats

Stage Nine to Valdelinares; a horrible day after the baking heat of Andalucía - but joy at last for Lampre with Anacona after the Ulissi and Horner debacles. But where the hell is Pippo? Perfect tactics from Movistar; "we’ve got a man in the break, why would we chase?..." And they keep the jersey – and despite the best efforts of the Media to rustle up a feud, Quintana and Valverde seem to us to be working a perfect ‘one – two.’