Continuing our series of pre-Track Worlds interviews with riders who came from the 'left field' of the velodrome, in this second part we talk to Mike McCarthy.
Mike didn't quite come from nowhere to win the 1992 World Professional Pursuit Championship but certainly shocked the world of the Euro Pros to take what was arguably then, the most prestigious of all the track titles.
Yes, Scotland has two Olympic champions on the Commonwealth Games squad for The Gold Coast; Katie Archibald and Callum Skinner. We also have double European U23 champion, Mark Stewart and World Cup gold medallist, Neah Evans. But there’s another name which isn’t so obvious, that of 26 year-old Jonny Wale – born and raised in Scotland, British team pursuit champion and author of a 1:01.1 kilometre.
We caught up with Jonny recently to get his story. He’s recovering from a training crash which resulted in a broken collarbone but hasn’t kept him out of the gym or off the turbo – the man wants to get to the Gold Coast, real bad!
I first heard of Fabio Aru (Astana & Italy) when he won the 2011 Giro della Val d’Aosta U23 stage race in Italy from US rider Joe Dombrowski – who’s now professional with Sky. Aosta along with the Tour de l’Avenir and the U23 Worlds are the big shop windows for the professional talent scouts. Aru had been fourth in Aosta the year previous and would win it again in 2012.
Early Shows Of Form... The “Mini Liege” Stage has been done and dusted, and the next big thing in bike racing (if he isn’t already there) has shown he will be competitive at the very highest level. Peter Sagan entered the stage as one of the favourites for the win, and was flawless in executing his victory. He is not as quick as Cav (and never will be) but can contest so many more finales as he is able to stay with the leaders on tougher stages.
The first climbing day of the Tour has been and gone, and nothing major has changed, it's surprisingly static. We're still unsure of the form of the Schlecks (and particularly Andy); Contador still has a tower of work to do to get back into the race; Evans still looks very good; and Hushovd still has the yellow! So while there have been no significant changes, there has been a significant surprise.
Sometimes on the big tours you have to change plans; road closures, janitors, barrier crews, motorway crashes can all influence your 'best laid plans.' At the end of the day you may not have missed deadline - we rarely do - but there'll be that feeling that you could have done better. Then there are days when you have to struggle then struggle some more but eventually it comes together, you get to where you want to be and get those special pictures.
Oh dear. I hate this carry on, writing about drugs scandals. And please, Froomists don’t pick me up on a point of semantics; to the man in the street, it’s a ‘drug scandal,’ pure and simple. OK, here goes. What’s up?
The winner of the 2017 Vuelta a España, Christopher Froome of Team Sky returned an Adverse Analytical Finding for the asthma drug ‘salbutamol’ on Stage 18 of the race.
Off no.45, Michael Nicolson (Dooleys RT) never looked like being beaten in the Scottish 50 Mile TT Championship 2009, but a but a clutch of riders fought it our for the minor placings in the mens competition, whilst Jessica Wilson -Young (Edinburgh RC) took a comfortable win in the women's race.
And Now ... I love that scene from Dude Where’s My Car? So here we sit: Rest Day 2 already! And yet it feels like forever since the Tour started. Weird stuff happens to sports fans in July. The last few days of racing have been typically explosive, with Cav making it 19 TdF career stage wins (good grief the man can find the finish line) yesterday...