Tuesday, January 18, 2022
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Viktor’s View – Rants of Love for Cycle Sport

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Folks say to me that Viktor, “VeloVeritas‘s answer to Nostradamus” doesn’t exist, he’s just a vehicle for me to express extreme view points.

They’re wrong.

The man actually lives and breathes – and mostly for all things cycling and the Coronavirus crisis has seen him at his ranting best.

 I thought I’d share some of his latest proclamations with you – and while some of his statements may seem extreme, others mirror what many people think but are afraid to articulate.

The Corona scare and subsequent cancellation of all UCI races hit Vik hard.

For him, the season starts when the flag drops to start Het Nieuwsblad and finishes when the winner steps down off the podium at Roubaix velodrome.

The loss of the six ‘Golden Weeks’ is nothing short of a tragedy to him.

Viktor
The ‘Opening Weekend’ hall. Photo©Ed Hood

But even his beloved ‘Omloop’ isn’t spared;

“This carry-on where the teams line up in the exhibition hall instead of in the square or the street; mark my words, they’ll be charging admission, next year!”

And there are some races he won’t miss.

Take my favourite race, Milan-Sanremo; in Vik’s view the first 280 or so kilometres should be axed and the race should start at the bottom of the Poggio and finish on the Via Roma,

In his view that’s the race, the rest is simply ‘padding.’

Viktor
Mark Cavendish near the front going over the Poggio. Photo©Ed Hood

He isn’t lamenting the Giro either;

“Too much flim flam, too many ridiculous hills and as for all that pink nonsense…”

Vik’s not a man of the mountains, he just about approves of La Redoute in Liege-Bastogne-Liege and anything that ends in ‘berg’ but ‘cols and passes?’ – nae, nae, nae! 

And Grand Tours should be two weeks maximum;

“Everyone is excited in the first week but loses interest in the middle then it picks up again towards the end, ditch the bit in the middle.

Viktor
Thibout Pinot on the Côte de Vieurals, Stage 15 of the 2017 Tour de France. Photo©Martin Williamson

He’s not a man of the Tour either;

“It only gets a big audience because everyone is on holiday and they’ve nothing better to do.

The poor Vuelta comes out worst;

“The Spanish Hill Climb Championship, the climbs there are ridiculous – goat tracks!

Viktor
Romain Sicard on the famous Bola Del Mondo on Stage 20 of the Vuelta a España 2012. Photo©Martin Williamson

The current generation of riders – ‘Kermis Kings’ in the autumn of their careers, like Guy Smet and Mario Willems are excluded, naturally – he doesn’t have much time for.

“Sagan is finished, the hunger has gone, he’s made his money.”

And on the subject of Remco his views will jar with wolf cub fans;

“Sure, he won San Sebastian but 80% of the peloton is wasted, just out of the Tour then into that race.”

And of the Merckx comparisons;

“Ridiculous – you cannot compare across generations, the cycling landscape is totally different to what it was in the 60’s and 70’s.

“Back then everyone rode every race going from February to October, that situation has changed dramatically – of current GC guys only Nibali could win a Classic and a big tour.”