The hotel I'm in for the Zürich Four Days 2011 is nice, a double bed, en-suite shower and beautiful breakfast spread - but it's a logistical pain. Kris has to 'make massage' with Jesper at lunchtime, but I don't want to hang around the hotel all morning - there's work to do at the track. I had to scrounge a lift - always a pain.
It’s a while since we had a decent VeloVeritas rant and the year end is always a good time to take stock; in this VV View edition we compare the Six Day men of then and now, Chris Froome's data, Cycling Weekly's change from specialist to generalist magazine, disc brakes and of course, sadly, doping.
He's another Vik 'find.'
Australia's Mr Sam Spokes, he had a good season in Belgium last year and this year he's with Etixx-Ihned Cycling Team - the QuickStep U23 feeder team.
Last week he pulled off his best win in the four stage Vysocina Tour in the Czech Republic and as is our way, we 'had a word.'
One man we can’t ignore is Orange Monkey’s Rab Wardell; he understands that as a professional athlete you have to engage the Press, keep them on side and make it easy to write about you. And that’s how we came to be sitting down with him in the Cafe of the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, recently.
'Beauty and the Beast' is the first entry in our Berlin Six Day 2018 scrapbook - handsome devil Denmark's Marc Hester warms up on his rollers as the German sprinters' mechanic waits for the next gear change job. Marc rode with Jesper Mørkøv ‘til kidney stones forced the younger Mørkøv bruv out. Meanwhile our boy Nico plays shy but Achim gives us a smile. Nico is the son of sprint legend, Lutz Hesslich - Berlin was his second last race - he calls 'time' after Copenhagen.
I felt like one of those football reporters at the racing here in Trinidad & Tobago at the Arima Velodrome, who has the copy all neatly spell checked; then the 2-1 down losing side bangs in two in the last 90 seconds. Roberto Chiappa was going to win the sprint final 2-0 against Home Boy, Sellier.
We're on the percorso early, today. Montevergine is the destination - the first real mountain top finish of the Giro. At the top it's 1,260 metres above sea level, it's 17.1 K long with a total altitude gain of 856 metres, average gradient 5% and maximum gradient 10%. It's always good to 'work the start' - get some pictures and quotes in the 90 minutes or so between the team buses arriving and the roll out but today we just don't have time.
That Kyle Gordon (RT23) fella marches on; selection for the Commonwealth Games, solid performances on the Gold Coast, the Scottish 25 mile title, a close encounter with the Scottish 10 mile record – and now the Scottish 50 title in a Scottish record 1:41:16, taking 1:48 off the legend that is Graeme Obree’s time and 6:14 off his own personal best. VeloVeritas just had to ‘have a word’ . . .
It's just under two weeks now until the 2007 European season starts with the GP d'Ouverture La Marseillaise in the south of France on February 6th. The first major tests come a few weeks later though, on the first weekend in March, far from the Mediterranean, to the north, in Flanders. Het Volk and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne are true classics in all but UCI category, albeit shorter than the Tour of Flanders with which they share many kilometres of parcours.