Monday, June 27, 2022
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Aidan Duff – Part One; Six Years Racing in France, Victories and Voeckler

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Continuing on our recent Irish theme we caught up with Aidan Duff, former Vendee U professional and now owner of Fifty One Bikes – building bespoke carbon frames.

‘Fifty One?’ we hear you say…

The race number for Merckx, Ocana, Thevenet and Hinault when they won the Tour de France.

With tales of Jean Rene Bernadeau, Tommy Voeckler and building custom carbon – not ‘off the peg from Taiwan’ – we cover some interesting ground.

Let’s go…

Aidan Duff
Aidan in between a couple of other decent Irish bike riders. Photo©supplied

Tell us how you got a ride with the Vendee U team please, Aidan?

“I was a pretty good junior in Ireland, winning several national championships – a big fish in a small pond, I guess?

Peter Crinnion, who’s a legend in Irish Cycling was my club mate in the Bray Wheelers and I said to him that when I turned first year senior I wanted to go and race in France.

“Peter spoke to Stephen Roche on my behalf and Stephen advised I should ride my first senior season in Ireland to avoid being ‘machine gunned on the Normandy Beaches’!

“I put his advice in the shredder and headed for Nantes and a team with ‘great structure’ – which turned out to be the French cycling equivalent of Fawlty Towers. I regretted not following Stephen’s advice but I did manage