One of the nice things about going to the Tour of Britain start in Holyrood Park was catching up with old friends and making some new ones, like Madison-Genesis DS and former Grand Tour stalwart – 16 ridden - and Giro stage winner, Joan Horrach. Joan is an amigo of team manager/DS, former British Elite road and ‘cross champion and Paris-Roubaix podium finisher, Roger Hammond; and when the Englishman needs extra help – like at the Tour of Britain – he gives Joan a ring and the Mallorquín jumps on a plane in his native Illes Balears and heads for sunny England.
Kuurne Brussels Kuurne 2007. The portents for Sunday were better: we weren't hung-over; the sun was out; and we got up to the start at Kuurne without one wrong turning. The chemists were shut though, so Pozzato couldn't buy his hair gel. The start at Kuurne is always a real, "organised chaos" job, there's a riders enclosure but somehow, some riders get mixed up with the crowd and can't get back in to the start enclosure, so have to wait on the roll-out beginning, then cajole their way through the sea of people so as they can go to work.
Viktor has barred us from attending any races which are patronised by Graham Baxter Tours, this means that the Tour of Flanders is out.
The next-best thing therefore, is Driedaagse van De Panne. It covers many of the roads that Flanders does, the 'Flanders fever' is in full flow but the security is non-existent so you can skek bikes and annoy mechanics to your heart's content.
the end of the season has arrived on the Dan Patten Blog. All in all it's been a good year - I've learned a lot, showed my strength (although sometimes a little too much) and certainly had some success along the way.
July 1960, the GB Tour de France team hotel somewhere in France. Britain's white hope for Tour de France glory, the late, great Tom Simpson is discussing the events of the day with team mate, Brian Robinson. Simpson had punctured during the stage and one of his GB team domestiques had brought him back up to the bunch; "I'll tell you what, Brian - that John Kennedy is strong, he was riding like ten men today when we were coming back from that puncture."
We were there, walking the streets and parks of Glasgow - until the Monsoons came and discretion became the better part of valour at which times the words of Doctor Samuel Johnson have never rang more true; 'There is nothing which has yet been contrived by man, by which so much happiness is produced as by a good tavern or inn.' Especially if it has an HD tele.
Last weekend saw Endura's Davie Lines realise one of his big goals in the sport in winning the Scottish Criterium Championships. We had a word with 'Falkirk's Flying Fireman' (sorry), here's what he had to say.
Much of the Trinidad & Tobago 'Soca' music is topical, dealing with social issues like drugs and gang violence; political, blaming the politicians for high prices and squandering public funds or be-rating certain ethnic groups - I'm not sure a lot of it would get played in the UK.