When you talk about Orbea bicycles and the Euskaltel team, it’s about more than light alloy and carbon; it’s about people, national identity, unity and pride. We look at Samuel Sanchez's Orbea Orca now. On the Tour, many of the teams will have the team vehicles parked ‘wagon train’ style or have ‘crime scene’ tapes to keep the civilians at bay. Not at Euskaltel.
We're very pleased to announce that Garmin Transitions physiotherapist Toby Watson will be contributing articles to his new VeloVeritas blog.
Before we go any further with the Cycling Scandals and Gossip, our apologies for the lack of words and pics on the National road race - the VeloVeritas team were all too busy with that 'life stuff' this week, sorry. However, we'll run them post Tour; to help ease that PTSF - 'Post Tour Stress Disorder.'
VeloVeritas is heading down to the British National Elite Road Race Championship on the 27th of this month. We thought we'd check in with 'our' boys, Hamish Haynes, Dan Fleeman, Dan Patten and Tom Copeland to tell them we'd be around to pester them, and to lend a hand with bike prep, feeding and anything else they might need. Here's what Tom Copeland had to say to us, in reply.
Ed and I spent a week recently working on the Giro d'Italia, and after doing quite a few trips like this we have our routine down to a tee; we always travel light, just carry-on baggage, it makes getting through airport security checks and moving around in a hire car for a week or two far easier. Fortunately, just before leaving, we got our hands on some of the new T-shirts by Peloton Racer, which we were happy to put to the test on our travels.
Joe Parkin - "Come and Gone" chronicles the rebirth of pro bike racing in America, it's his sequel to the highly praised memoir, "A Dog in a Hat".
The death of Richard Russell leaves a large gap in the Lothians CTC. Richard was an important figure on the Scottish cycling scene, following his father into the Cyclists' Touring Club, the Edinburgh Road Club and the Scottish Road Records Association. One of his earliest memories was of sitting in a small wicker seat on the back of his parents' tandem on trips around East Lothian, an area he always loved.
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's easy to write an obituary when one of your heroes dies - probably more so if you don't know them well. There's just the legend, palmares, anecdotes and the sadness. But I knew Dimitri De Fauw, not well, but I worked at maybe half-a-dozen Six Day races where he was riding.
As the first Briton to win 3 Olympic golds at the same Games since 1908, Scotland's Chris Hoy has become a beacon for British sporting achievement. This autobiography charts his life from 7-year-old BMX fanatic, supported by a devoted dad and local cycling club, through paralysing self-doubt and a major career overhaul, to the sport's holy grail.
"RIP VDB" said the text from John Stollery, waiting for me, when I woke up; there were others too, from Dave and Stevie all expressing sadness - for all his faults, he was a hard man to dislike.
Boy Racer steps behind the scenes of the Tour de France. It unmasks the exotic, contradictory, hysterical and brutal world of professional cycling from the compellingly candid viewpoint of someone right in the thick of it.
Here at VeloVeritas, we encourage you to submit your race results and stories to us, and young Tom Copeland recently did just that.
find it hard to believe, but VeloVeritas is three years old today, and so to celebrate, I've carried out a complete overhaul of the site over the last number of months, bringing the design more up-to-date, and changing the layout to make it much easier for you to find the articles you're looking for, or discover something of interest whilst you're just browsing. Welcome to the new VeloVeritas Design! For us though, one of the biggest things is that we're now able to update the site from wherever in the world we happen to be - which means you'll be reading the same timely updates that we've always tried to deliver, but we will be much less fraught in bringing them to you!
The Edinburgh Nocturne, Scottish cycling's finest hour of the year? Or an unexciting, unprofessional procession? You may have heard about our friend Viktor, we rely on him to voice the more traditional viewpoint, shall we say.
A Dog in a Hat is the remarkable story of Joe Parkin. In 1987, Parkin left the comforts of home to become a bike racer in Belgium, the hardest place in the world to be a bike racer.
Hugh McGuire, who has died suddenly of a heart attack aged 71, was the Glasgow-born Scot who became one of the top UK cyclists in the 1960s, representing both Scotland and the British Army. He took part with the best of GB riders in the Tour of Britain / Milk Race era, winning stages - and in so doing following the wheels of a slightly older top gun, Jimmy Savile. McGuire became noticed, and in 1962 and 1963, was selected to travel behind the Iron Curtain to participate in the annual Berlin-Warsaw-Prague road race, the co-called Peace Race designed by the Soviets to bring together the world's top cyclists in reconciliation between Warsaw Pact countries and the West.
He's a part of triathlon history and has contributed back to the sport he loves in many ways. Frank Day is the inventor of PowerCranks, one of the most effective ways to improve your cycling efficiency, with dividends paid off in the form of faster cycling and running times.
It's a year since Jason MacIntyre died; just like I can remember where I was when JFK was shot, I can remember receiving the call from James McCallum as I drove through Cramond. Jason was a special rider, I loved to watch him in a time trial; to me he was poetry in motion.
In Part I on Tuesday, we learnt how recent Tour of Britain winner Marco Pinotti, one of Cadel's lieutenants at Silence-Lotto Dario Cioni, and English Pro winning in Belgium Matt Brammeier, discovered PowerCranks and how they got in with them during their first rides. Here in Part II, the Pros let us in on how they integrate the cranks into their daily routines, and how the cranks can greatly help with rehabilitation after an accident.
In a sport where Grand Tours are won or lost by mere seconds, every advantage counts. It's no secret that many top pros use PowerCranks as part of their training program, but most prefer to keep that secret. But we found three pros - Marco Pinotti, Dario Cioni, and Matt Brammeier who not only use the cranks, but were happy to talk to us about them. In today's Part I, we asked each about how they got turned on to PowerCranks, and their experiences getting started.
Jocky Allan has passed. Life is strange, sometimes. Yesterday I was talking to a friend of mine, we got round to talking about cycling, and with a far away look in his eyes, he reminisced about his first bike; "my maw pushed the boat out and bought me this beautiful red racer, it had white wall tyres and white transfers on the tubes - JB Allan."
Bikes of the Tour de France, 2008: Bicycles, we love them! With the Tour well underway, we thought it would be interesting to take a first look at some of the bikes being used by the teams making the news. When we join the race next week we will of course be bringing you more bike-geek articles!
"The Escape Artist" by Matt Seaton, the critically acclaimed memoir about his obsession for cycling and how that obsession was tamed. For a time there were four bikes in Matt Seaton's life. His evenings were spent 'doing the miles' on the roads out of south London and into the hills of the North Downs and Kent Weald.
The big manufacturers always wheel out their new weaponry at the Grand Tours to catch all those eager lenses - and here's the latest TT machine from Scott, the "Plasma2"... Riccardo Riccò, the young team leader for Saunier Duval - Scott and winner of Stage 1 on Sunday, used the new bike in the opening Team Time Trial last Saturday.
It's drizzling in Kirkcaldy at 06.15, mild, damp, depressing. The 07.50 train to Edinburgh and no one speaks, not a word. I'd sooner be in the old Transit, with Terry Wogan prattling-on about sausages. The carriage rocks past the Forth Bridge approach road at 08.10 and like Talking Heads would say, the tailback is "same as it ever was". We're on our way to say goodbye to Jason MacIntyre.
British 25 Mile Time Trial Champion, Jason Macintyre (Edge RT) died this afternoon, after being involved in a collision at 13.34 GMT with a Highland Council truck which is believed to have turned left across his path as it entered the council yard on the northern outskirts of Jason's home town of Fort William. The 34 year-old multiple Scottish champion was returning from a training run in the Spean Bridge area when the tragedy occured at a spot known locally as Carr's corner on the A82 road.
SRAM brought out the new Force and Rival groupsets a while back [read our Review of the Force groupset here], and the Saunier Duval ProTour team used it on their Scott bikes to great effect last season. Now SRAM have released the SRAM Red group set and as well as Saunier Duval, the new Astana team will be using the Red group on their Trek Madone frames for the 2008 season as well. We managed to get a sneak preview and a short ride on an Astana team bike recently when they were in Spain for their first training camp.
Which are the fastest tyres in the world?-Dugast, no question. Check out the exotic machines ridden by the world's top track squads, Australia, France and GB, the common denominator? Dugast.
Let me first say this is firstly a review of the Graeme Obree autobiography, the book - not the film - "The Flying Scotsman", and also my version of the events at the world cycling championships in Sicily in 1994. I was the Great Britain team mechanic for those championships, but Mr. Obree didn't remember to mention this fact in his book. You could call this the bitter out-pouring of a man scorned, but rather it's just my memory of what happened.
"French Revolutions" Tim Moore. Not only is it the world's largest and most watched sporting event, but also the most fearsome physical challenge ever conceived by man, demanding every last ounce of will and strength, every last drop of blood, sweat, and tears. If ever there was an athletic exploit specifically not for the faint of heart and feeble of limb, this is it. So you might ask, what is Tim Moore doing cycling it?
"Elusive cyclist (Robert Millar) is rediscovered as 'queen of the mountains' "- so says the headline in the Sunday paper, The Star? The News of the World? The Sport? No, it's our "quality-read" for the sabbath - Scotland on Sunday. Whilst George Best drank himself to death, and as "Hurricane" Higgins trots down the same trail, many of the gentlemen of the press struggle to conceal their admiration for these 'lads'.
Grand Tour Time Trial Bikes 2007... With the prologue of the Tour taking London by storm, we thought it would be good to take a look at some of the hardware used. These shots came from the Giro.
Cannondale Synapse was the frame of choice for many of the riders of Team Liquigas at last weekend's Tour of Flanders, including Filippo Pozzato and eventual podium-finisher, Luca Paolini. The frame offers a number of features which make it well suited for the cobbled classics, the most physically demanding races of the calendar, both for the riders and their equipment.
SRAM Force Groupset; it’s been tried before - trying to grab a slice of that top-end equipment pie from those greedy Campagnolo and Shimano dudes who want to keep gobbling it all up between them. In the 70’s a French union of Stronglight, Simplex and Mafac failed, despite Bernard Thevenet winning two Tours on the kit. Shimano’s Japanese rivals Sugino and Sun Tour tried to get in on the act and despite the neat Sun Tour groupset being ridden by Jan Raas-managed Dutch pro teams in the 80’s, it never made the breakthrough.
"Push Yourself Just A Little Bit More" by Johnny Green is an interesting read, mostly because it's a book about the Tour de France, written by someone who isn't a typical cycling journo.
"Man on the Run" by Manuela Ronchi is the story of the last few years of Marco Pantani's life. The title works on two levels: after being slung out of the Giro D'Italia race on the penultimate day on a charge of suspected EPO use, whilst leading by a long way, Marco was hounded by demons - insecurity, shame, confusion, betrayal, distrust - all the way through a terrible cocaine addiction to his demise of an overdose.
With the crucial 'B' sample test result due on Saturday, VeloVeritas thought we would take a look at some of the key rant-points in 'L'affaire Landis'. We know it isn't Scottish, but it's the biggest cycling story on the planet so here goes".
This book, Allan Peiper's story, is a little different from the usual sports biography: it's clear that Allan is a sensitive, thoughtful, somewhat spiritual bloke, who spends a lot of time trying to get through life in the best way possible, whilst looking after others (he's currently working as a Team Director for the Lotto - Davitamon Pro cycling team), and usually putting himself further down his priority list than most other folk would.
The alarm goes at 03.45, and it's almost painful. Davie arrives bang-on 04.45 and we're off to Glasgow in the Peugeot, the roads are a bit slippery and Dave makes things more interesting by driving with dipped head lights all the time; even when there's nothing coming in the opposite direction.
The London Olympics Day Four was always going to be a quiet day, I was so hoping - given my luck so far this week thanks to Mr Wiggins and various stars of yesteryear rocking up. I thought thank Elvis, Micheal Jackson and Shergar were going to put in a shift, but no joy however!
It's 3.45 pm CET. I've been doing the tourist thing today. Salzburg is beautiful no-doubt, but it's a tad de-caffeinated, a good place to come with your girl but lacking that real-life' edge of say a Gent or a Lisbon. It's hard to find a proper bar but this one seems OK, complete with busty barmaid. World Road Championships 2006.
Britain’s last representative in Motor-Paced racing, a highly specialised branch of the sport – which is still very popular in Germany and Switzerland in particular – was Paul Gerrard. Gerrard is still active in the sport, chaperoning young GB riders to the six days which have junior and U23 competitions.
It was last year when our man Dave Chapman first spotted Aussie Luke Davison doing the biz in the Flanders kermises; but it was 2007 when he first came to Aussie national prominence as part of the winning squad in the National Team Sprint Championships. Rolling the momentum into 2014 he’s taken Australian, World - and now Commonwealth team pursuit titles. And that’s not to mention fitting in a win in the 200 K UCI 1.2 Omloop der Kempen in The Netherlands in his Synergy Baku colours.
This 16 Mile Time Trial at Garlogie saw a cold, breezy, but dry night. Ray Wilson did a good ride for the night. Colin Duncan of organising club Tri Changing Gear was an excellent second, pushing Ali Watt of Granite City RT into 3rd place by 4 seconds. Colin always rides well on hard/hilly TT courses.