A clean sprint and Evan Oliphant bags win number seven in the Scottish Road Race Championship. I suspect it wasn’t coincidence that he was assigned number 7 as his race number today, a nice touch. The result had a familiar ring to it though, if you were to look at the past ten years of championship results. Don't however, be deceived into thinking this was anything other than a very well organised race on a very demanding circuit and what was lacking in glamour was more than made up for in grit shown by the riders on a day of mixed weather on bleak moorland roads.
It's that time of year; the teams all have their riders signed and gathered at camp (or, "rosters filled" as our North American chums would say), and presentations to the press abound, giving us the chance to see the stars in their new kit for the first time. We've brought together some of the more controversial, recently announced team kits, which are dividing opinion up and down the land, and asking the question: Cycling Kit Designers - what are they thinking?
It took six days but we got there in the end – the Giro has finally started; no gimmick locations, horrible transfers or rider protests. Simply hard racing in the beautiful Italian countryside and sunshine at the finish – that’s more like it. But before we look at Stage Five we have last words on the Stage Four debacle from our resident sage and prophet, Vik. He couldn’t be contacted after the stage, retreating to his cave high in the Pentland Hills to ponder the ‘semi-neutralisation’ of the Stage Four due to rain.
It's 6.30 pm and there's more pics being taken around the pool here at the Saunier Duval Team Launch 2007, somebody is late and the photographer isn't happy 'cos he's lost the light. Enthusiasm isn't high: a six hour run saw to that today. It's another six hour job tomorrow too.
The David Rayner has been helping young riders realise their continental dreams since 1995 with David Millar one of the first to benefit, and Theo Hartley from Bolton in Lancs will be one of the grant recipients in 2018. He'll be joining the Belgian Illi Bikes squad, run by long term Six Day soigneur and track aficionado, Etienne Illegems and his son Ken who was for a time a mechanic with Team Sky but could get round a tough kermis on his good days.
Don’t worry! You’ll get no lectures or swear words from me; just one old cycling lover’s random personal remembrances of another wonderful two weeks spent in La Belle France... is it really just three years since the memorable famous first British victory in the race for Bradley Wiggins? Can Chris Froome take the country's tally to three in a month's time?
When I count up all the brilliant places I get to visit, or live in, or pass through, they’re in their hundreds. When I try and recount whether or not I have made the most of all the places I’ve been in, the answer is a resounding no. I decided that was about to change. For the last three years I have spent the winter on the South-East coast of Spain in my apartment down here.
This week Andy Fenn was able to put a tick against 'sign for a big team'-they don't come much bigger than Patrick Lefevre's QuickStep, who have just signed the 21 year-old from Hertfordshire who qualifies to ride the Commonwealth Games for Scotland thanks to his mother being Scottish.
Continuing on our recent Irish theme we caught up with Aidan Duff, former Vendee U professional and now owner of Fifty One Cycles – 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...