The thing about being on a World Tour or Pro Conti professional team is that your fate doesn’t hang on just one ride. But it seems that it does with British Cycling. Mark Stewart, had a strong winter 2019/20 World Cup campaign, but despite those rides Stewart has been axed from the GB team on the strength of an admittedly below par 12th place ride in the World Points Race Championship in Berlin.
No Steve Cummings – saving it for the road race or just no form? - it looked like a shoot-out then between Dauphine winner, Geraint Thomas and chrono specialist Alex Dowsett (Katusha) for the British Time Trial Championships 2018. The sun was out, our spot on the hill was perfect, the marshal was sound with not a trace of Janitordom and Dave’s cheese and ham pieces were of exceptional quality. And Britain’s best bike riders were set to scoot past us. Not much more a man can want in life.
I braved the tourists and human statues up on Edinburgh’s High Street to see if I could get Monday’s L’Equipe in the International Newsagents – it’s the one for all the good Tour stats. But alas, no dice – I had to settle for Sunday’s Observer and Monday’s Guardian where it’s wall to wall Christopher and Sky.
We caught up with 18 year-old Killearn man, Lewis Stewart at the Bremen Six Day - one of the rare occasions when the sprint academy riders actually get out to race. The Bremen Six Day fans – as with those in Berlin and Rotterdam – like their sprinting with match races, keirins, flying laps and team sprints all included for the big guys. Despite me almost dropping Lewis as I held him up at the start of one race, he still took time to speak to VeloVeritas about being a young sprinter in the GB ‘system.’
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...
After a single day of respite from the searing heat of the majority of this race, we were back into a bright sunny day for TdF Stage 13 with high temperatures. This meant the support crew were back up the road helping our boys as best we were able on the big climbs.
Santander airport, the queues are horrible and we'll have another one for the Stansted to Prestwick flight, no doubt. After yesterday's grim weather we're bathed in beautiful sunshine today. The stage start was in Gijón so we rattled up from Cangas de Onis for our last look at the 2010 Vuelta.
After making such a good job of his diary for Pez in the Tour of Ireland, DFL professional Evan Oliphant will be giving VeloVeritas the low-down on his home Tour, which started in London today at Crystal Palace and finishes in Glasgow on Saturday; the Tour of Britain 2007. We caught-up with Evan, in the DFL team car, stuck in traffic, listening to the chart show [at max volume] on Radio One, here's what he had to say, (I think!).
It hasn't been the best of summers for going fast on a bicycle, but the last day of August saw the Westferry '10' course in a benign mood - Arthur Doyle (Dooleys) dipped under the magical 20 minute barrier with 19:45, not so far away now from Graeme Obree's 19:29 competition record. But the ladies' record did fall, with Jessica Wilson-Young (Edinburgh RC) updating the Scottish ladies mark by four seconds to 21:42.