He was a ‘name’ when I first got into cycling in 1970 and some 50 years later he’s still a ‘name’; Mr. Geoff Cooke, British and Commonwealth Champion ‘back in the day’ and multiple British and World Masters Champion and record holder in recent years.
Dave Dungworth was just a little before my time but when I got into the sport back in 1970 his name was spoken in hushed tones as a twice holder of the ‘Holy Grail’ record in time trialling - the ’25.’ He was also twice a 30 mile record holder and twice a double champion, winning both the ‘25’ and ’50’ titles for two consecutive years.
Remember Peter Murdoch? He raced at a high level as a junior on the road. In those days he roomed with a guy named Bradley Wiggins, whatever happened to him? Peter runs Blanca Bikes, providing the full package for those who want some serious training in the sunshine – or who just want to potter ‘sans thermals’ and enjoy a beer and some tapas with that vibe that you only get in those old Spanish bars.
Kiwi’s in the peloton are no rarity these days; George Bennett, Shane Archbold, Paddy Bevin, Jack Bauer are all well-known figures on the World Tour but the spiritual Godfather of these men whilst as Kiwi as they come was actually born in The Netherlands; Mr. Tino Tabak is definitely old school 70’s and ‘tells it like it is.’
I know, I had a ‘pop’ at ‘Everesting’ in a recent rant but when AN Post Flatlands veteran, Ronan McLaughlin contacts me to tell me he’s just broken the Irish record with 8 hour 09 minutes, the fifth best time in history behind Bert Contador’s 7:27, I have to pay attention…
Professional triathlete Joe Skipper, making up for the disappointment of ‘turning short’ and being technically "DNF" in last year’s CTT 12 hour championship has recorded the first 27 mph 12 hour time trial - 325.5 miles in the CC Breckland event in Norfolk. Here’s what Joe had to say just two days after his historic ride.
How many juniors do you know who train three times every day, clocking up 1,000 kilometres each week? That’s what it took to make Nikolai Razouvaev World Junior Team Time Trial Champion in 1984.
We’ve been big on the ‘retro’ lately – for obvious reasons – but with the season starting to come back to life we’ve been speaking to one of the ‘men of the future’, Lewis Askey. Askey is just 19 years-old and probably best known for winning the 2018 edition of the junior Paris-Roubaix; for season 2020 he’s with Equipe continentale Groupama-FDJ, based in Besancon.
If we asked 'who is the current World Sprint Champion?' back in 1970 few would have had any hesitancy in saying that the amateur champion was legendary Frenchman Daniel Morelon and the Professional Sprint king was Aussie, Gordon Johnson, mounted on a British-made Carlton.
In Part One we spoke about Jim Linden’s achievements, the early days and his training; in Part Two we open with the $64,000 question; why come back?
In the ‘whatever happened to?’ file: Mr. Jim Linden, former four times Scottish BAR; six times Scottish individual time trial champion and three times Scottish record breaker. The good news is that we can report that he’s alive and well and living in Hong Kong where, at 84 years-of-age he’s still working as a consultant.
Martyn Roach was one of the strongest riders of his generation but despite offers to move to foreign shores he remained a ‘true blue’ GB amateur, working full time all through a beautiful career which lasted from the 60’s to the 80’s.
Ireland’s ‘Rás,’ a cult bike race; Marcin Bialoblocki, Tony Martin, Stephen Roche and Scotland’s own Jamie McGahan number among the GC winners....
Pat McQuaid, former UCI President; people forget that before he moved into cycling ‘politics’ he was a good bike rider. We thought it was time someone gave him a break, stopped asking about Lance and Hein and took him back to those days when he was pushing the pedals rather than a pen…
Rolf Gölz might not be a name that readily comes to mind, but from 1983 to 1993 the man from West Germany filled his palmarès with Olympic and World medals, National championships, Tour stage wins, Classics and a list of other race wins. Ed Hood caught up with Rolf for a chat over old times.
It’s a wee while since last we spoke to Scottish ‘Zappi Man’ Calum Johnston who’s out there in Bella Italia, chasing the dream - but when we heard he was stuck on a volcano in Sicily we just had to learn more.
Tyneside climbing legend and winner of everything from 10 mile time trials to Hill Climb Championships to international stage races in Europe, Mr. Joe Waugh. We should have caught up with Joe before now but better late than never.
The legend of the ANC team and participation in the 1987 Tour de France - the story continues. Our man in Shropshire, Martyn Frank said to us recently; ‘you should speak to Steve Taylor, he was a mechanic with ANC.’
There are no palmarès to check for this guy, he’s one of cycle sport’s back room, ‘unsung heroes’ – but he’s worked with some of the sport’s biggest names; he takes us behind the scenes to look at the life of a soigneur in modern cycling. Mr. Andrew Hillman, aka ‘The Hillmanator.’
Mara Abbott is twice a winner of the overall GC in the Giro Rosa, picking up seven stages along the way not to mention two second places, a fourth, a fifth and 10th on GC. Abbott retired from the sport after finishing fourth in the Olympic Road Race in Rio, 2016. She took time to speak to us not long after her retirement; here’s what she had to say.
Mick Bennett is well known these days as head of Sweetspot Management and Race Director of the Tour of Britain, but as an athlete in the '60s, '70s and '80s was a formidable track and road rider and was part of the Team Pursuit quartet which refused to take their rightful World Championship title. Here's his story.
It’s hard to believe but it’s now 13 years since VeloVeritas’ Belgium and East Europe archivist, Ivan and I drove through to Strathaven to meet Mr. Norrie Drummond, former racing cyclist of note in Auld Scotia and Belgium and patron of the Drummond Trophy Road Race, one of few remaining ‘landmark’ races in Scotland. We chatted to Norrie recently to hear some more stories about the old times...
She only started cycling to connect with a cute guy… that never happened but she did go on to win a World Road Race Championship and more than 100 races. Swedish-born but now a resident of the USA, Ms. Marianne Berglund took time recently to speak to us.
Rik Evans continues telling his story, from giving away a Worlds title to Commonwealth Gold medal, top club 34 Nomads and his slide out of cycling but into depression. Evans has now settled in Australia and cycling has come back into his life.
You students of track cycling out there, which was the year the mighty GB squad won their first team pursuit world title. Did you say, 2005? Then you’d be wrong. The GB team pursuit squad won the event some 30 years earlier, in 1973 but ‘gave away’ the title. This is the story of one of the team and that huge decision to let a world title go; from the precocious talent that was Rik Evans.
Mark Walsham, one of the “Crit Kings and Men of the 80’s” - there can only be one first question: How many wins in total is it, Mark? "Just over 200 all included."
In Part One of our interview with Bob Cary we covered that part of his career up to his third year with TI Raleigh and the end of 1976. For 1977 he was back in the UK with the Carlton-Weinmann team alongside riders like Olympic team pursuit medallists, Mick Bennett and Robin Croker not to mention British pro scene stalwart, Reg Smith.
In Peter Post's TI-Raleigh squad everything mattered; the bikes had to be the best, the clothing had to look the most stylish and fit properly, the cars had to look stunning. Winning was everything. Post was completely in charge and German ‘Golden Boy’ Dietrich Thurau was on board but still with a smattering of GB riders. By 1976 the team had gone ‘total Euro’ save for two names, Dave Lloyd and one Bob Cary. We spoke to Bob to hear his story.
A DS on the British race scene in the 80’s and 90’s? Easy life – cool team padded jacket, smart team car to drive, the soigneur prepares your packed lunch every day whilst the sponsors are throwing money at you... Well, maybe that last bit needs clarifying; Keith Lambert seemed like a good man to ask.
Lorena Wiebes is just 21 years-old but is already shaping up to be the next Dynamic Dutchwoman. We caught up with her recently, soon after she joined Dutch [where else ?] ladies team Sunweb at the start of June.
In these times devoid of racing it’s that much harder to produce content so we look back at work we’ve done in the past for inspiration. A decade ago I was fortunate to get an introduction from professional - and now DS with EF – Charly Wegelius, to the late, great, Aldo Sassi one of the most respected coaches of his generation.
David Gibson is one of those guys that seems to never have stopped, although in reality it's been few years since he last raced. To be fair it seems reasonable for him to at last ease up a bit although he takes full advantage of the early morning drop-in sessions at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome to keep himself in shape.
In recent years John Herety is best known for his work as manager of the various incarnations of the popular and successful Condor continental team. But he’s a man who’s ‘got the T-shirt’ – British and French amateur Classic wins, a Peace Race stage, a year with ACBB, three years with Coop Mercier, the British Professional Road Championship, the GP Pino Cerami (nearly) and a stage in the Tour of Britain Milk Race (eventually).
How long a career do you need to have to win 10 [yes ten] World titles? US ‘chrono girl,’ Chloé Dygert Owen has won that many and she’s still only 23 years-old; and there are two Pan Am golds and an Olympic silver in the dresser drawer too. High times we ‘had a word’ with the young lady out of Indiana.
He’s a man we should have caught up with long ago – but one of the few good things about ‘lockdown’ is that it has given us the time to catch up with riders who have ‘slipped through the VeloVeritas net.’ At last; Mr. David Whitehall...
In Part One of our interview with Shaun Wallace we covered up to the end of his international pursuiting successes. But there were more honours to come on the big stage before he slipped the tyre covers on for the last time...
Shaun Wallace was a multiple British champion, twice Worlds silver medallist and three times a Commonwealth Games silver medallist as well as a world record holder on two occasions. High times we caught up with the man; he was at home in San Diego where he settled 22 years ago to ‘escape the winters.’
Rejected by the US system, Marion Clignet said ‘ciao’ to Chicago Illinois and ‘bonjour’ to Brittany. The US Federation’s loss was the French Federation’s gain with the girl who the USCF thought was ‘too much of a risk to have on the team, as an epileptic,’ bringing home six world titles and two Olympic silver medals to the land of her parents’ birth – she still enjoys dual US/French citizenship – but is now firmly rooted in La Republique.
Dave Akam is best remembered as the first man to crack the 30 mph barrier for a 10 mile time trial, recording 19:50 on the Portsmouth Road in 1980 in the colours of the Gemini BC. But there’s a wee bit more to the man than that, like wins in the British Pursuit Championship, the amateur Trofeo Baracchi in Italy; French chrono classics the Grand Prix de France and Chrono de Herbiers, not to mention the prestigious GP Timmermans time trial in the Netherlands and a shed load of road wins in France and The Netherlands.
The career of John Patston lasted three decades; he represented GB at The Worlds, was a multiple Division and National Champion and medallist, he won Star Trophy races, the Cycling Weekly Campagnolo ‘25’ Trophy series and in 1975 he notched-up 63 wins; 42 on the road and 21 against the watch. And despite being a bank manager, a pillar of the Establishment, his rebellious streak got him into trouble with the RTTC more than once, with the inevitable suspensions following.
Steve Jones is one of the ‘forgotten men’ of 70’s and 80’s cycling but he was British Junior 25 Mile Time Trial Champion - a Dutch Champion too, a serial winner as an amateur on the roads of Belgium and The Netherlands, an Olympian, winner of the amateur version of the Trofeo Baracchi, a team mate of some of the sport’s biggest names and a professional for a decade. Oh yes, and he rode for Mr. Capper’s ANC team.
We’ve opened the ‘whatever happened to’ file again and this time it’s Liverpudlian gone Flatlands native, Mark McNally. It was VeloVeritas mentor and expert on all things Belgian, Viktor who suggested that we contact the man originally from Liverpool but who has now made Belgium his home.
The ANC saga continues, albeit Mr. Vern Hanaray maintains that he wasn’t really the mechanic with the team, he ‘just washed the bikes then passed them to a real mechanic.’ But before he donned his Wellington boots and picked up a sponge he wasn’t at all bad on a bike himself; three times champion of New Zealand and a winner of major events in the UK, Netherlands and Belgium.
Harry Tanfield signed a two year deal with World Tour outfit Katusha Alpecin at the start of last season and raced from the Mallorca ‘training’ races in early February through to the Tour of Guangxi in late October but the team folded at the end of 2019 with Tanfield moving across to French World Tour team AG2R-La Mondiale.
It occurred to me that VeloVeritas had never spoken to the man who won the last edition of the famous Tour of Britain Milk Race back in 1993; Chris Lillywhite. A quick message to our friend Martyn Frank, who was on management with Chris on the late, lamented Wiggins team and we were in touch.
A cold Friday night during the winter of 1971/72. My Kirkcaldy & District CC club mate, Rab Speirs and I are walking up the A93 near the infamous ‘Devil’s Elbow’ hairpin en route the Braemar youth hostel. Behind us we hear the sound of bike tyre on tarmac, two figures totting enormous saddle bags heave past us; Mr. George Berwick, who was reigning Scottish 12 Hour Champion at the time....
That Matt Rendell bloke, who’s on the tele, always asking folk questions? Isn’t it time someone asked him some questions? Especially since he’s got a new book out about one of his passions; Colombian Cycling – ‘Colombia Es Pasion’...
When I asked Drew Wilson (or 'Mr. Visualbikefit', as he’s known on social media) if he’d like to do a wee interview with us here at VeloVeritas he replied that he wasn’t sure he had enough interesting things to say? We said that we’d risk it and we’re glad we did…
In Part Two of our interview with British professional legend, Sid Barras we discuss the race he was favourite for every year for a decade but which it took him 10 years to win; the British Professional Road Race Championship.
‘Super Sid’ was what they called him; his tarmac graffiti artist fans used to paint; “screw ‘em Sid!’ on any suitable stretch of road surface. Sidney Barras was his Sunday name and few people have won more bike races than this man. A fixture on the British professional scene for 18 years from 1970 onwards, it was high time we caught up with him.