Susie, my chow chow would love these meat balls; cold, greasy, smelly with around one percent meat content; it's a pity she's not here - but think how awful it would be if she bit Danny Stam. Dinner time at the restaurant; day one the food was cool, but as the week goes on, the menu refuses to budge and the temperature of the food drops; 'not good for riders to eat cold pasta,' says Ronnie our number two soigneur.
"I was second in the derny, behind Muller, and he's very good-why don't you test me?" says Michael Berling to the UCI guy at the Copenhagen Six Day 2009 who has to chaperone Michael Morkov to the doping controle. Franco pipes up; "Grasmann was last in the derny, that's a suspicious result!"
VeloVeritas are in Copenhagen (south of Sweden) for day three of the six and it's time for the horror that is - the afternoon session. The highlight of the afternoon was the break dancing competition, manfully judged by Messrs. Rasmussen and Donadio. It's not well known, but break dancing has a long connection with cycling.
"Oh Copenhagen, Copenhagen south of Swee-den, sweeter than the sweetest honey,sweeter than the sweetest wine, in Copenhagen city too, you can make a dream come true!" Deeply profound Europop lyrics that start each day's session in just the right thought provoking vein-well, maybe you have to be here!
The crowd counts us down; the pistol cracks; I give Franco a hefty shove; 'Cara Mia' blasts from the PA and the 2009 Copenhagen 6 Dages Lob is well and truly under way. Two minutes ago I was wondering why I put myself through that nightmare journey from Portobello to Ballerup-the suburb of Copenhagen where the Super Arena and it's pine velodrome live-two buses, a plane, another bus, a long train journey then waiting in the freezing cold of a Copenhagen night for my lift to the track.
On a freezing, grey, Sunday afternoon on the frost hardened grass and mud of Dundee's Caird Park, Scotland's newest professional, Ross Creber gave his sponsors, Plowman Craven their first national cyclo-cross title. The slim mountain biker was head and shoulders above the rest; a gutsy ride from Greig Walker (Edinburgh RC) gave him the silver medal ahead of junior, Kenta Gallacher (Team 777) who took bronze.
On a mild but blustery day on the north side of the Ochil Hills, Ben Abrahams (equipe Velo Ecosse - Montpeliers ) finally realised some of his potential and gave new team sponsors Harley Haddow engineering and Warners solicitors value for money with a surprise 17 second win in the Scottish Hill Climb Championship.
On a picture postcard perfect Autumn Sunday, hospital consultant Arthur Doyle (Dooleys Cycles) gave a lesson in how to ride a technical time trial with a two minute plus beating of the field in the classic Tour of the Trossachs. Ever consistent Jim Cusick (Glasgow Couriers) was second with Plowman Craven professional and Scottish road race champion, Evan Oliphant taking bronze.
The Tour of Britain's penultimate stage departed from Glasgow Green today, taking the peloton south to the beautiful setting of Drumlanrig Castle in the Southern Uplands. The Glasgow Grand Prix took advantage of the closed circuit and the watching crowds, with two events following immediately after the ToB departure.
Steve Beech has ridden two Milk Races and ten 12 hour races, so when he tells you that this year's Scottish '12' was the hardest one he's ever ridden, he knows what he's talking about. He's also held the Scottish record, with 275.258 miles - set in the Glasgow 12 in 1991, until Joe Wilson updated it; that distance is however, still the Scottish vets record.
On a day more suited to a November cyclo-cross, than a 'summer' road race, those Pedal Power boys did it again; Gary Hand topped and tailed the Super Six in taking the East of Scotland Championship at East Saltoun, having won the first round-also in East Lothian-back in the spring, whilst series leader, Gordon Murdoch built upon an already unassailable points total, in second spot.
John Kermode did what VeloVeritas expected him to, at sunny but windy Alford on Sunday afternoon and successfully defended his Scottish Vets Road Race Championship; as the football commentators say; 'it was déja vu all over again' as he beat the same man he did 12 months ago in the same race, on the same course-Dooley's Graeme McGarrity.
Despite loosing roadman sprinter, Graeme McGarrity within ten miles of the start and short distance specialist, Gary Robson thinking that the finish would never come, Dooleys RT successfully defended their Scottish team time trial title on a dry but windy Saturday afternoon in the rich farmland of Strathmore near Forfar. Scottish ten mile champion and freshly crowned European Masters pursuit champion, Arthur Doyle did much of the work in ensuring the title stayed with Bob Taylor's band; ably backed by man who knows more about team trialling than most, former British Champion in the discipline, Dave Gibson.
"Cheers Ed! In pub at Evanton and had a few. Brought up touring bikes and off to Ullapool then Hebrides for a week. Reception poor but give it a try..." That was Jim Cusick's (Glasgow Couriers) reply to our congratulatory text message and interview request after he had just won his first 100 mile title on the familiar roads (if you're involved in Scottish testing) around the Cromarty Firth.
"Yeah, I'm happy to have won, but I'm not happy at having to go back to Yorkshire again - I just came from there, last night! And I'm sick of eating pies!" The words of Plowman Craven professional Evan Oliphant after successfully defending the Scottish road race title on a deceptively tough course over 81 miles of the beautiful rolling Borders country around historic Hawick.
"Given my record of bad luck in 50's, when I heard that the course had been changed, I expected to end up in the Cromarty Firth at the turn, checking out the dolphins!" But Mark Atkinson successfully avoided that fate to take his third Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship title; leading Sandy Wallace team mates, second placed Jonathan Copp and fifth placed Ian Black, to take a double championship win on a bright but cool and windy Sunday morning on the A9 near Invergordon.
Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Championship. Recording exactly the same time - 52:15 - as the last occasion he won the 25 title, in 2005, Fort William's Mark Atkinson (Sandy Wallace Cycles) regained his crown on a cool and windswept Laurencekirk by-pass on Sunday morning. VeloVeritas correctly tipped the top three, but got the order wrong. We had Mark down to win ahead of Dooley's duo, Arthur Doyle and Gary Robson, but a personal best 52:46 by Robson gave him the silver by nine seconds from Doyle.
On a dismal Wednesday night for the Eastern Promise Road Race, made even more unpleasant by Pro Tour level midges, it was those Pedal Power boys carrying on where they left off in the Sam Robinson, with Gordon Murdoch and Gary Hand scooping the dosh in the Eastern Promise road race across the moors around Gladhouse Reservoir. I haven't trained as an SC commissaire, but presumably there's a rule which says; "Pre race briefings must always be conducted outside in the torrential rain, rather than in the comfort and dry of the strip."
The only thing that is certain about Sunday's Scottish National 25 Mile Time Trial Championship, is that there will be a new champion. Reigning champion, Jason Macintyre was snatched from us before we saw the very best of him; we miss you, Jason. Sunday morning's championship is organised by Isobel Smith on the rolling dual carriageways of the A90 near Strathcathro Services between Dundee and Aberdeen. The start is near Fordoun, just a mile or two from Arbuthnott - Lewis Grassick Gibbon country.
Sam Robinson Memorial Road Race; A top class field raced this 78 mile event, attracting the majority of Scotland's road race talent and a number of riders from North East England, including the regional champion.The 78 mile race tackled the climbs of the Dukes Pass and 'Top of the World', based around the Trossachs and two tough finishing circuits through Balfron Town.
"That was horrid", said the winner Evan Oliphant, as I asked him moments after he crossed the line at the Scottish Cycling Super 6, how he enjoyed it. "It was just like being back at the Rás, what with the rain - and those roads!". Oh! I I thought he was talking about his teammate James McCallum congratulating him with a sloppy kiss on the cheek!
The Scottish Cycling Super 6 Duncan McGregor Memorial races will start with 5 or 10 minute gap between them. Race A off first. Both races will tackle the climb to Largo Ward which will prove a challenge, race B have a prime the first time up the climb with race getting a lap to warm up before the first prime points are fought out.
On a Sunday morning as close to perfect as we'll get in Scotland, Arthur Doyle (Dooleys) did what most people had expected and took the Scottish ten mile championship over the A811, Kippen Flats, equalling Graeme Obree's 20-13 course record. If Arthur's first time trial championship win went to form, then the destination for rest of the medals was much less predictable.
"I was needing a win! I've had too many second places!" was how Gordon Murdoch (Pedal Power) explained his strongman's victory over 62 windy, potholed, crash-plagued miles in Saturday's Dooley's Grand Prix, part of the Scottish Cycling Super 6 series, high on the bleak moors to the south west of Paisley.
Nine gold medals at the Worlds for Team GB - wow! So, the rest of the World will be happy to compete for silvers at Beijing? Hardly! One man who'll be doing his best to deny Bradley Wiggins two gold medals in China is Denmark's Michael Mørkøv. He took bronze in the Madison at Manchester, last month partnered by compatriot and former world scratch champion, Alex Rasmussen.
"I knew you'd ask that! With my team mate Gordon Murdoch in second place in the series, there's no pressure on me, and all I would say is that it'll be hard for someone to win who's not in Pedal Power!". Those were the words of Gary Hand in the run up to this weekend's race, and with Ben Greenwood (Rapha Condor-Recycling) pulling out of the second round of the Scottish Cycling Super 6 due to injury, it looked set to follow a similar pattern to the first round; being dominated by Pedal Power.
Gary Hand (Pedal Power), race winner at Gifford in Round 1 carries his Scottish Cycling Super 6 Series lead into Round 2 at Scotland's highest village of Wanlockhead on Saturday. The village sits at 467 metres (1531 feet) and used to be known as 'God's Treasure House', due to the local mineral wealth.
"The Girvan" stage race, based in beautiful Ayrshire and Galloway and held over the Easter weekend, has the reputation of being one of the toughest races in Britain, and it certainly does deserve it. This year the 39th edition is again being run over 3 days and 4 stages, with the 3 road stages taking the riders into wild and remote terrain, most likely in less than ideal weather, which has been deteriorating ominously during the week and with foul conditions including snow predicted to arrive at the weekend, together with over 100 of the UK's top cyclists, it should be an interesting race...
Rob Wardell emailed to tell us about the first round of the Scottish Cross Country Mountain Bike Series which is due to take place in less than 3 weeks' time, at Laggan Woftrax. Online entries are now being taken at EntryCentral. Riders who enter online at EntryCentral will also receive a :£5.00 discount over postal entries and entries on the day.
The new Scottish Cycling Super 6 series kicked off in grand style today at Gifford in beautiful East Lothian, with Gary Hand taking a well-executed and deserved solo win in the 'A' Race, in a superbly organised Edinburgh Road Club event.
Snowdrops by the roadside, fluffy white clouds scurrying across a blue sky, bright sunshine requiring the Ray Bans to get dusted-off, and a breeze that was fresh but not chilling-has Spring arrived in Gifford on this February Sunday? Nah! It'll be snowing, tomorrow! Still, it was a lovely day to recce the course for the first of James McCallum's 'Super Six' series; the timing was perfect, organiser Chris Harney pulled-on the brakes of his Orbea outside Gifford town hall, just as I stopped the Toyota beside the village green.
The tall, rawboned rider ambled across to the barrier; Gary Wiggins was broad and square across the shoulders, big-thighed and walked with a loose-limbed gait. His long legs made easy work of straddling the steel fence which separated the riders' enclosure from the paying public at the Gent six, back in the early 80's.
Craig Hardie (Dunfermline CC) disproved the old adage that; "a good big 'un, will always beat a good little 'un," when the 37 year-old from Dalgety Bay left his much-taller rival Dan Whitehead several lengths back to win the Scottish Cyclo-Cross Championships 2007 on a snowy and technical circuit at Plean Country Park.
Not many riders throughout the History of the 52 years of the Bec CC Hill Climb event get to wear the mantle of 'Doing the Double' by winning both the Catford CC Hill & the Bec C C Hill Climbs. Dan Fleeman, Blue Sky Cycles, who until today was a 'Hill Climb Virgin', in his first attempt at this discipline, not only won both events, but also broke the 12 year old Bec C C Hill Record of 1.44.4 set in 1995 by Gary Dodd, Kingston Phoenix RC with an incredible 1.43.02.
Jason MacIntyre Wins the Scottish Hill Climb Championship 2007 - It took Jason MacIntyre (Edge RT) just 3 minutes and 37 seconds to win his fifth Scottish individual time trial championship of the 2007 season; at Bonnyton Moor on a dreich Sunday afternoon, the hill climb was duly added to the 10, 25, TTT and circuit TT, in the bleak country above Eaglesham.
Tour de Trossachs 2007 Mile zero: 09.54, and Alastair McNicol of Kelso Wheelers is on the line. Off No.1 at 10:01, he's not going to miss his start. It's six degrees, there are just wisps of cloud in the sky and Scotland has never looked better. Ferns, conifers and beech, lime green to dark brown form the backdrop for the timekeepers; to the north, the hills of the Trossachs wait quietly for the onslaught.
The 2006 edition of the Bec CC Hill Climb was absolutely remarkable on several fronts. Firstly, for the very first time in the history of the event we had a dead heat for 1st place. Gary Dodd of Sigma Sport, and Bill Bell of the Gemini B.C. battled to the line, in atrocious weather to both record a time of 1.49.17. Neither of these 'Kings of the Hill' have, as yet, stuck their heads above the turret for this years event, and neither have they been spotted out reconoitering White Lane in prep for another crack at taking the honours.
The recent Phil Young Memorial TT was a tremendous success. The weather was a bit cold and damp but it certainly didn't dampen the enjoyment of the field. Every rider in the race got a prize, and it was really nice to see the expression on the face of riders who have never won a prize before.
Showing he's lost none of the form which would have kept David Millar (Saunier Duval) in Slipstream Argyle pattern - rather than the red and blue hoops of British champion -- in time trials next year (had the Fort William man's front tyre not exploded), Jason MacIntyre (Edge RT) put more than four minutes into second placed Arthur Doyle (Ivy CC) in Sunday's Scottish Olympic Time Trial Championship 2007 over 27 technical miles at Irvine.
Fullerton Wheelers present the Scottish Olympic Time Trial Championships 2007 this weekend, with double British TT Champion Jason MacIntyre (Edge RT) starting number 39 and last off, in a small field which all the same contains a lot of quality riders.
It was like one of those American cop movies, where the old detective takes the young buck under his wing and together they buck the system - veteran Andrew Davies (the bicycleworks) and junior Hamish Creber (Sandy Wallace) rode away from the field in the opening laps of Saturday's Scottish criterium championships at Glasgow Green, with the wily Davies taking the gold medal, one hour later, in front of a big crowd, there to see the finale of the Tour of Britain.
When it became apparent that the Scottish Vets' Road Race Championship 2007 - over 65 wet and hilly miles at Alford - would end in a sprint finish, most bets were on fast-finisher Graham McGarrity (Edge RT); John Kermode (Dundee Thistle) had other ideas however and McGarrity had to settle for second. Kermode was, understandably; 'delighted', whilst McGarrity: 'hates to lose a sprint, especially in vets' race!'
A chilly, breezy but rapid Sunday morning on the roads alongside the Cromarty Firth saw Shetland's Carlos Riise reclaim the Scottish 100 Mile Time Trial Championship 2007 title he last won in 2004, with a personal best 3-51-43. This was Carlos's eighth hundred title, the man who ended his run of seven straight wins and who took the title in 2005, Jonathan Copp (Deeside) was not riding, neither was last year's champion and current record holder, Mark Atkinson (Sandy Wallace).
On a day when the Northern skies and the Cromarty Firth conspired in a sullen, grey partnership, Jim Cusick's (Glasgow Couriers) winning 1:51:36 in the Scottish 50 Mile Time Trial Championship 2007 around Invergordon, shone like a beacon. Revelling in the cold, wet conditions, Cusick (above) beat another hardman, Carlos Riise (Shetland Wheelers) by nearly two minutes, the islander recording 1:53:20.
Jason Macintyre (Edge RT) made it a 'double-double' on Sunday morning as he successfully defended his Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Championship 2007 with 51:58 on a sunny but airy Irvine by-pass, the win coming just two weeks after he retained his British 25 mile title.
The result may have been predictable, but Evan Oliphant (DFL) only took home the gold medal in a sodden Scottish Road Race Championships 2007 after an incident-packed four hours. Taking a well-deserved silver medal and 'moral victor' of the championship was pre-race favourite Raymond Wilson (Dunfermline CC).
Raymond Wilson (Dunfermline CC) at last had Lady Luck on his side as he scored a well-deserved win in Sunday's Duncan MacGregor Memorial Road Race over 75 hilly and airy miles around the 'rigging' of Fife.
Jason McIntyre (The Edge RT/Dooleys) successfully defended his Scottish 10 Mile Time Trial Championship 2007 on the A77 near Glasgow on Saturday morning; that's the 'who', 'what', 'where' and 'when'. In time-trialling though, the real information come from the watches, with no superlatives or flowery prose.
Ali Watt (Granite City RT) broke his own Course Record on the 2 lap 19.5ml Deeside Thistle Hilly 10.5 Mile Time Trial on Thurs 24th May, only to be thwarted by a flying Ray Wilson (Dunfermline CC) who was over a half minute faster. A cool, dull evening with intermittent showers meant that Course Records weren't really on most folks' cards beforehand.
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.
Patti Smith is telling me at pain threshold levels; ‘because the night belongs to lovers.’ No girl! It belongs to that bed in the camper van which I’m using my last dregs of energy to reach. The racing may be over for the night at the Bremen Six Day 2020 but the party is 100% ON, Bremen isn’t called the ‘Party Six’ for nothing.
Our old friend and former Six Day man, ‘Brit,’ Norman Hill suggested to us that we should ‘have a word’ with the man who was his Six Day ‘runner’ on the winter boards circuit back when there were up to 17 Six Day races every winter, Marvin Smart, who was also an innovator in the field of advertising on the actual track surface – such an important factor in a Six Day organiser’s budget plans.
The new Bahrain McLaren team colour scheme for the team’s jerseys and bikes is hard to miss; but it was the little ‘le col’ logo that interested us. ‘Le Col’ is the clothing company founded and run by British ex-pro, Yanto Barker. We found out more about outfitting a World Tour team and the man behind the brand.
If you check the palmares websites, Neah Evans' name first pops up in 2015 – just four years later and she’s performing at world level in ladies track cycling as part of the GB ladies team pursuit squad; with her most recent successes coming in the European Team Pursuit Championships and Glasgow World Cup where her squad took gold on both occasions.
Adding his name to the u23 Gent Six Day roll of honour is Scotland’s Alfie George; the young Scot ran out winner just a few weeks after his fine seventh place in the Junior Worlds Road race in Harrogate and a season which saw him fifth in the junior Paris-Roubaix.
Englishman Dan Bigham is the man behind the highly successful HUUB-Wattbike track team; HUUB manufacture specialist clothing for cycling and triathlons whilst Wattbike manufacture ‘smart’ bikes and indoor trainers. We caught up with Dan just after the HUUB team’s 2020 season launch.