The last time we spoke to 22 year-old Englishman Matt Gibson he’d just won the European u23 Scratch Championship. Since then he’s gravitated away from the track spending the last two seasons with John Herety’s JLT-Condor team.
The issue of weather for Het Nieuwsblad 2011 (or Gent - Gent as the locals still call it) is a dichotomy: if it's wet it's a proper man's race but you get frozen and soaked whilst spectating; but if it's a nice day and you're not near-death when you stumble into your favourite bar to watch the finale then you end up watching 100-plus riders contesting the finish.
Stage two is the longest at nearly 230 K, from Zottegem to Sint-Idesbald, a quick breenge around the bergs then a charge back to the coast and two finishing laps. Viktor wanted to see his hero, Guy Smet at a kermesse near Bruges, so my race watching was courtesy of the plasma screen in a cafe.
The Salle de Presse in Saint-Amand-Montrond, 17.30 Saturday 26th July and Carlos Sastre has just won the Tour de France, it won't be official until tomorrow after the big show on the Champs Elysee, but it's won. Personally I'm happy with the result; at least Sastre took the race by the scruff of the neck on L'Alpe D'Huez, an 'exploit.' Evans strategy of following may have been dictated by the weakness of his team, but it would have been hard to be enthusiastic about him as a Tour winner.
Cav: he really is impressive - we were at five K to go when Oss passed on his death or glory bid out of the break; he was flying. The bunch Like some high speed linear motored Japanese train - whhoooooooossssshhhhh! Those carbon rims slice the air.
If you’re not on one of the National Federation programmes there’s only one way to catch the eye and sign that coveted first pro contract. That is, either as an individual or with your team you head for Belgium, France or Italy and fight for results. It’s the time honoured way, good enough for Tom Simpson, Robert Millar and David Millar. A name which caught our eye recently in the Belgian kermises was 23 year-old Aussie, Jayden Copp (Bianchi DCM Arbitrage) with two fourth places, a second then a win. Well worth a word we thought.
There is no doubt that British cycling is alive and well at the highest echelons of performance - Britons won the Tour, the world champs and pretty much the entire velodrome; there's also no doubt that British cycling is alive and kicking at the grass roots level too - membership has doubled since 2007. It makes sense to assume that all is well in between, too, right?
Unfortunately not; BC is the governing body for beginner’s racing, Regional racing (2nd and 3rd cats), all levels of women's road racing, National level racing (Elites and 1st cats) and the semi professional/professional teams below Sky. All of these parts of the sport are in trouble - but particularly at the higher end.
We thought that you might like to hear what it was like to be a Six Day runner back in a time when the Sixes meant more than they do now. The big road stars were in action and it was full houses all across Europe – particularly in Germany. John Purser is the man’s name and here’s his tale.
This year the winner of the Gifford Road Race 'A' event this year was also clearly the strongest rider on the day; Tom Bustard (Velosure - Giordana RT) was the first to make a serious attack on the first lap, pulling a break of several riders clear which cemented itself as more riders made it across over the next couple of laps.