"The Escape Artist" by Matt Seaton, the critically acclaimed memoir about his obsession for cycling and how that obsession was tamed. For a time there were four bikes in Matt Seaton's life. His evenings were spent 'doing the miles' on the roads out of south London and into the hills of the North Downs and Kent Weald.
Who were the men of the Giro? There was Ryder, certainly – and Rodriguez; but there was also Guardini’s confirmation; Ferrari’s transformation from from villain to hero; Cav and Taylor Phinney’s displays of grinta; Marco Pinotti’s class in winning the last time trial and Basso’s heroic but ultimately doomed bid for the podium. But perhaps the man of the race was Belgium’s Thomas De Gendt, who threatened to turn the Hesjedal/Rodriguez battle into a sideshow...
I was the one who said that the Giro d’Italia doesn’t have a great field – but the fact is, ‘so what?’ It’s only stage three but already the ‘Bigs’ are at it, knocking lumps out of each other. I was thinking of an ABC of ‘key words’ for each of today’s protagonists – for big Ryder Hesjedal it was ‘aggressive’ but maybe it should be ‘anxious?’
It’s been a wee while since we last spoke to former world professional pursuit champion, Colin Sturgess. When we heard he was back in harness – winning the League of Veteran Racing Cyclist time trial championship this autumn we thought we’d best have a word.
The German Junior Madison Championships came Rick Zabel’s way in 2009 with more track podiums at national junior level in 2010 in the points, team pursuit and Madison. There were a raft of strong junior road results in 2011 with a fifth place in the Junior Worlds as a high point. His first year as a U23 in 2012 saw him lift the national U23 road race title for Rabobank Continental for whom he also won the U23 Ronde van Vlaanderen in 2013. Last year saw him step up to the World Tour with BMC Racing Team and land a share of a win in the Tour of Trentino TTT.
In a classic Six Day finale points shoot-out with the result not confirmed until the finish line, classy Home Boy Michael Mørkøv paired with the current Capo of the Six Day boards, Belgium's Kenny De Ketele to land his seventh Copenhagen Six Day at midnight on Tuesday on the wide boards of the 250 metre Ballerup track.
Despite my bemusement at the popularity of Sportives - as Vik says; 'you go out on your bike to get away from folk, not ride round with 500 others!' there's no denying their popularity.
Rob Simpson is the man behind 'Velo Sportive' who organise participation in Sportives and will be promoting his first sportiv in April - we decided to reach out to him and seek enlightenment.
We spoke to Dan Patten a couple of times last year, when he was a member of the Magnus Maximus team. This year, he's off in search of cobbles, riding for a famous name - ASFRA-Flanders, the team started by the late and sadly missed, Frans Assez.
It was last Autumn when we last heard from Robert Smail, one of those ‘forgotten men’ out there jousting with the Eeckhouts, Willems, Smets and Caethovens of this world in the land of the frites, cross winds and kermises. High time we had another word...