Saturday, October 16, 2021
HomeStoriesHello, and Welcome to my Peter Smith Blog!

Hello, and Welcome to my Peter Smith Blog!


It’s a pleasure to be given the opportunity to write for the guys at VeloVeritas, with my new Peter Smith Blog and hopefully this might give a little insight as to what it’s like for the lesser-known riders, trying to establish a career in such a cut-throat sport.

But before we get to all that it seems appropriate to sort out the who, what, where, & how.

Peter Smith
Driving the break at ‘GP de Aubers – Fromelles’.


My name, well you know that much, but the rest goes like this.

Just on 25 years ago I was born in Perth, Australia but have lived 24 of those in Melbourne, which I consider home.

As a young man I did what the majority of young men do in Melbourne; I went to school, played Australian rules football in the winter, cricket in the summer, and ran around an athletics track in between.

Fresh out of school, it was more of the same. Weekdays spent in a university lecture theatre, enrolled in Property Management & Construction, and weekends on the field as a regional footballer.

As fate would have it, during an Advanced Construction 2B tutorial I found myself seated next to a keen cyclist and was introduced to a sport I knew literally nothing about.

And as they say, the rest is history.

Peter Smith
In the break at “Grand Prix Saint-Quentin”.


Professional cyclist. That’s what I want to be writing on my Customs Declaration Card. Or any administrative paperwork for that matter.

It may not have been the passion I grew up with, but ever since I first threw my leg over a road bike, just over five years ago, it was clear to me what I wanted to be.

So after a couple of seasons’ racing in Australia, and then having safely tucked that Uni degree in my back pocket, Europe was calling.

So here I am, having a crack at working my way up the ranks in order to establish a career in the sport, which is mind-boggingly unforgiving.

Peter Smith
Front group on a filthy day at “Troyes-Dijon”.


Villeneuve Saint Germain. A small village that buts itself onto the bigger city of Soissons, in the top-right corner of France.

The beauty of being based where I am is the vast majority of the national, and international, racing is up here in the surrounding regions. And being nestled halfway between Paris and Belgium, there is never a shortage of ‘difficulties’ to spice up any particular race.

Cobbles, crosswinds, climbs so steep they make your eyes water.

These types of things mean there’s never a dull moment, and granted the long mountain passes of the Alps or Pyrenees are not particularly ‘my thing’, it suits me just fine.

Peter Smith
My squad, CC Villeneuve-St-Germain.


W’s. “What’s a W?” It’s a Win. And wins are the sole currency of the cycling world. Plain and simple.

You might be able to make a good story out of it at the time, but sooner rather than later nobody is going to remember that without “that puncture” you would have been there sprinting for the win.

Or that “for sure” you would have been in the front crosswind split if “that idiot” hadn’t dropped the wheel in front of him.

Or that you were “just about” to launch the decisive attack when your chain got jammed.

So you came 12th? 5th? 2nd? Frankly, nobody cares. But cross the line with your arms in the air, and that’s money in the bank.

Peter Smith
Beaten in a freezing cold 2-up sprint at “Prix Montataire”.

So there’s a little intro.

Peter Smith

As far as the season goes though, we’re a bit beyond ‘Square One’. I make it just over a month since I kicked off my European season, with varying levels of luck and success thus far. A ‘mixed bag’, if you will.

Having scaled the podium a couple of times, supported by several top-10s, it’s not been a disastrous start to the 2012 campaign.

But arriving with the objective, however lofty it may sound, of winning a race each month, it’s not been entirely satisfying either.

Though somewhat succumbing to the banality of the phrase “the season is long”, it does ring true. And with a big May programme on the horizon, confidence is high and the ‘motivation tank’ is still full. Just as well I suppose, because I best start clearing the back-log of missing monthly W’s.

Lastly, if , like me, social media interests you, then feel free to keep an eye on my twitter feed; @petersmith35 as well as Instagram; plsmith555 .

Or simply come back to VeloVeritas each week to catch up on what’s been happening.

Cheers, Pete

Related Articles

GP de Saint-Dié and Bigger Thighs; James McKay Blog

Grand Prix de Saint-Dié-des-Vosges My latest antics in the gym meant that my quads have got too big for my (non-cycling) shorts, which resulted...

James McKay Blog – Season Ended by a Car

Since the last round of the French cup, I’ve been training hard for the Tour of Moselle. The three-day stage race was my main target for the second half of the season. Unfortunately, my preparations were cut-short when I was hit by a car in training last week and that's my season ended.

Tony Mills – 1960’s Pro, Dauphin Sport Owner, and Helper of Many Riders

With little to write about in terms of current Scottish racing we’re staying on the Retro Trail; going back a little before even my time – to the 60’s and Mr. Tony Mills who’s still involved in the sport, helping Dave Rayner Fund riders find their feet in La Belle France.

Tom Copeland – Season’s Over, Bike’s Handed Back

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.

John Hughes – Top amateur in the ’90s; “winning the National Road Race was nice but it’s not like racing in Europe”

He was 1991 British Amateur Champion, won the Franco-Belge against top opposition and took the major French Classic, Paris-Chauny - but was out of the sport by the age of 25 with his best years yet to come. His name; John Hughes. We thought he’d have a good tale to tell...

James McKay Blog – Supersized at the Tour de Beauce

After a week home in London, I remembered how bad riding a bicycle is and in the end returned to Nancy for some more peaceful roads. But before I got too comfortable cruising around the gloriously empty local countryside, we were on the road for 12 days with the Coupe de France and the Tour de Beauce in Canada.

At Random

Dave Dungworth – 1960’s ’25’ and ’50’ TT Champion – Twice

Dave Dungworth was just a little before my time but when I got into the sport back in 1970 his name was spoken in hushed tones as a twice holder of the ‘Holy Grail’ record in time trialling - the ’25.’ He was also twice a 30 mile record holder and twice a double champion, winning both the ‘25’ and ’50’ titles for two consecutive years.

Michael Broadwith – Breaking the Lands End to John O’Groats Record at 19.438mph!

VeloVeritas has spoken to Michael Broadwith in the past, when he won the national 24 hour championship in 2015 with a monstrous 537 miles. This time the distance was even more extreme: 844 miles, the distance between Lands End and John O’Groats, which he covered at an average speed of 19.438 mph. I try to be sparing with the superlatives but that is truly an amazing performance. Michael kindly gave of his time to us just a few days after his gargantuan ride.

Le Tour de France 2013 – Stage 21: Versailles > Paris Champs-Élysées, 118km. Marcel Kittel Wins a Fourth

Marcel Kittel won today, but yesterday, Saturday night, was sore - 4.5 hours on the road after the race then straight into the best of two falls or a submission with the motel wi-fi. However a chance meet with the night porter and we were 'in' on the staff password - words and pics all safely on their way.

Justin Grace – the Kiwi who is France’s Track Coach

In the ‘old days’ it used to be that the ‘smaller’ and emerging cycling nations would rely on expertise from the ‘Old World’ – European coaches could be found all over the world. But these days it’s all different; and perhaps the biggest surprise in the past year has been first division track nation, France taking on a New Zealander as their coach. Justin Grace is the man, here’s his tale...

Berlin Six Day 2013 – Sunday Report, “Familientag”

Sundays at German Six Day races have always traditionally been ‘Family Day’ (Familientag) with the programme of sport and entertainment held during the afternoon rather than in the evening / night.

Tour DoonHame 2011 Finalé

"Ate that bunny on main climb of day! Went down a treat!" It's texts like that which make it all worthwhile - mission accomplished; Dan Fleeman's Easter bunnies delivered. Vik, Dave and Ivan all 'passed' on the Doon Hame gig; that left it down to Jimmy Leslie and I. The Saturday night crit around Victory Park used to be the traditional pilgrimage - now it's Easter Monday.