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.
'Andy talks tough !' say the headlines, he did try his best yesterday, his men used whatever was left to drive up the lower part of the Col du Tourmalet - then he went for it. However, not for one moment did it look like Alberto Contador was under pressure.
'How's it goin' Shane?' we ask Skyman Shane Sutton as we cross the car park in search of Michael Barry for a rest day interview at the Le Tour de France 2010. 'Been better, mate!' he fires back between hard draws on his fag - it's difficult for a man who wears his heart on his sleeve to 'spin.'
Today was a good day, we took in all five cols of the stage, starting in Bagneres-de-Luchon - it only adds to your respect for the pros when you see what they have to deal with. The gruppo was travelling at funereal speed, 30 minutes down when it passed us near the top of the Aubisque.
Voeckler, you have to admire him, he's a racer. Whatever happens, it's been a good Tour for Bbox, Charteau in polka dots for a good stretch and now Tommy takes a big one. Going down to Pro Continental doesn't seem to have affected them one bit - and it's saved them a fortune. It was a tad mad up on the Port de Bales today but great to be there - Monday afternoon, high in the Pyrenees under a clear blue sky with the world's best cyclists just inches away.
We left Ax3 Domaines this morning, and are now in Lourdes - a strange place, like a religiously themed Blackpool; only it's not little replicas of the tower they're selling, rather all manner of tat plastered with religious images. The last time I was there was with Martin, we sat, stunned in a late night pizza place - yellow jerseyed Rasmussen had just been sent home from le Tour by Rabobank.
Bonjour from Le Tour de France in Rodez-Revel! Vino - he's a boy. Born 16-09-1973 in Petropavlosk, he was a stagiere with Casino in 1997; he won the Dunkirk Four Day in his first full season and finished that year with six wins - an impressive debut.
Le Tour de France, Bourg-de-Peage-Mende, and Bert's back! And we were there to see it, a privilege. L'Equipe today says 'Fin de la Trêve' - that's 'end of the truce, (or respite)'. That's how it looked to us, Contador letting Schleck know that he's just fine.
We headed to Bourg-les-Valence today, but first, Big Macs... they may pig you out towards an early grave, but damn, the wi-fi is good in there! Thursday was hectic, finished off with a train journey via Carstairs - I was a bit worried they might grab me - to Penrith, where I was meeting Dave to head to Stansted and La Belle France.
It couldn't go on like that. Men can only 'death race' for so long and then they need a 'blaw.' Today, on the stage out of Chambery, they took the chance to lean on their shovels and left the minnows to grab the glory. I really didn't expect to see the finalé but when the box kindled up, there it was - with 12 K to go and a race average of 34 kph.
Before we talk about today’s stage from Morzine-Avoriaz, let’s spare a moment to remember the man who died on this day, July 13th 1967 on Mount Ventoux, Provence — world champion, winner of Paris - Nice, Milan — Sanremo, the Tour of Flanders and the Tour of Lombardy. Tom Simpson is sadly missed but a legend, never to be forgotten.
Dear VV readers, we present our TdF2010 Rest Day Rant. It started when Vik phoned; "Have you seen the Sky website? "Bradley was limiting his losses, ho, ho, ho!"
Great racing today to Morzine-Avoriaz, and whatever Astana pay Paolo Tiralongo (Italia) and Daniel Navarro (Espana), it's not enough. Tiralongo has been around a long time, third in the Baby Giro in 1998 he turned pro in 2000 and arrived at Astana this year after three years with Fassa, three with Panaria and four with Lampre.
Chavanel! A great day for him and QuickStep - their second stage, the maillot jaune regained and the polka dot jersey retained in gallant fashion.
We're in Montargis today, talking about Mark Renshaw; he has some nice wins in his palmares; the 2006 Tro Bro Leon, a stage in the 2008 Franco Belge and a hand in shattering Garmin's dreams to win the TTT in the 2009 Giro.
Nice to have to you back, Mark! Columbia didn't dominate the finale here at Le Tour de France Stage 5 - Garmin did that - but the men in white and yellow did a huge amount of the work in the last hour. Renshaw was brilliant, not afraid to exchange bumps with Hushovd and weaving through Hunter and Farrar with ease, taking time in the chaos to calmly look back to check that Cav was where he was meant to be - ice cool!
Le Tour de France Stage 4 from Cambrai and Dean was good, very good, team mate Hunter finished fastest, swooshing clear of them all - but after the line. Garmin sprinter patron Tyler Farrar sat up to peer over the sea of heaving numbers to see how his boys had done.
That's better! Hushovd gets his revenge through Arenberg, heroics from Hesjedal, great team work from Saxo and Cervelo, Andy Schleck stops being a mummy's boy, Geraint under scores his arrival and gets a Skoda Yeti and a white jersey, Contador does just fine for an 'ineffectual Spanish climber' and a bad day for Lance.
Le Tour de France 2010 'Ride to rule,' 'rider protest,' or 'strike' - file all under, 'PR disaster.' Once again it was Viktor with the quote of the day; 'Tour Feminine.' Dave Chapman only needed one word; 'farce!'
Today's stage leaves from Rotterdam... but first; I didn't used to be a fan - but I guess that was just because he was one of the few who could beat my idol, Super Mario - but now I'm a confirmed Ale Jet admirer. Depending on which reference site you chose he's had 156 - or is it 169 wins?
We have a look at the Edinburgh Nocturne in this article, but first, once again VeloVeritas finds itself in the ‘emperor’s new clothes’ situation — last year at the Worlds, we were about the only ones to point out that Brad heaving his bike after a mechanical in the TT was not particularly good patter.
Another race, another Endura clean sweep on a glorious day for the David Bell Memorial Road Race at picturesque Straiton; Evan Oliphant winning solo from team mates Ross Creber and Gary Hand; these two crossing the line hand in hand to remind us of their team's spirit - as if we'd forget?
Arthur Doyle, (Dooleys) comfortably retained his Scottish 25 Mile Time Trial Championship 2010 title with 52:54 on a cool but mostly dry Sunday morning around the verdant Howe of Fife, second was the man on the big fixed gear who was the surprise of the 2009 ten mile champs, Peter Ettles (Sandy Wallace Cycles) with 54:07-surprise this time was Philip Kelman (Deeside) with 54:44 off an early number 45 start. VeloVeritas didn't arrive until number 92 was on the line, so apologies to Mr. Kelman for the lack of photographic evidence. However, we were up at 06:00 am on Sunday to edit yesterday's road race pictures; we weren't slacking...
Evan Oliphant (Endura) lead his team to a whitewash of the Scottish Road Race Championship 2010 on Saturday afternoon over a sunny but windswept course near Eaglesham. Track and criterium specialist, James McCallum was second with the man who so much wanted to win - Gary Hand, in third spot.
Thursday 11:00 pm and the Giro is just a memory. Reality, work, bills and the Transit; tomorrow, Dan Fleeman is coming up for the Sam Robinson - best grab some sleep. Friday 07:00 am - where am I?
On a lovely sunny afternoon, Arthur Doyle (Dooleys Cycles) rocketed around the Scottish Championship 10 mile course at Corpach outside Fort William to take the gold medal for the third year in a row. Arthur also won the fabulous Jason MacIntyre Memorial Trophy, awarded in memory of Jason who was tragically killed just over two years ago and who was the winner of 'the 10' himself four years back.
We're off to the first edition of the Tour Doon Hame. I grew up with 'The Girvan' - in fact, it took me a long time to stop myself from referring to it as the 'Grant's of Girvan.' Ronnie Boa won it way back when; Henk Lubberding won a stage, Sean Yates, Dave Lloyd, Tony Doyle, all famous names to associate with Girvan.
Fabian Cancellara rode a clever race to take his first Ronde van Vlaanderen this afternoon, making sure he was always in the important part of the peloton, biding his time perfectly, and attacking with such force that only Tom Boonen could go with him.
The first Super Six of the year was held at Gifford on Saturday, to our shame, VeloVeritas were not in attendance. But we've tried to make amends by interviewing third placed Rab Wardell.
Arthur Doyle (Dooleys) underlined his superiority as Scotland's short distance TT king, around the Trossachs on a glorious Sunday afternoon with a 96 second margin over Phil Brown (Velo Ecosse) to add the Scottish Olympic TT title to the 10 and 25 crowns which he already wears, and completing a second successful Trossachs campaign to follow last year's decisive win.
Nationals apart, Gary Hand (Endura) has dominated the Scottish domestic scene in 2009; he continued that superiority with another win in the Super Six Series in the Tour of the Lowther today, on tough roads around Britain's highest village-Wanlockhead.
Ross Creber (Endura) added a top flight 'en ligne' result to his VTT and 'cross palmares with a fine win in the Scottish road race championships over a technical, challenging and windy-but beautifully sunny - 81 miles at Hawick on Saturday afternoon.
VeloVeritas missed the 100 Champs again-we're not men enough to disappear to the Tour for two weekends then vanish to Invergordon at 04:00 the first Sunday we're back.
And now Le Tour de France 2009 is all over; it's Monday morning and we're in a cafe at Montmartre - lucky us, I'm taking care to savour the moment. Even though the coffees are four euros each.
Bonjour! The start starts today in Montereau-Fault-Yonne, but we're not there. Usually I start the VeloVeritas diary for Le Tour de France 2009 in the morning but then have to switch to 'other work' mode for most of the day - going back to poor old VV late in the day, as Martin and I fight off le vieux homme Morpheus.
Today was the famous Mont Ventoux stage... It's 9:00 pm and we're headed for the A7 "Autoroute du Soleil," and the drive north to Paris.
We left Bourgoin-Jallieu this morning, but first a quick run through some of the teams' performances; Cervélo: their Tour has been a good one, Haussler and Hushovd have won stages and Thor has made himself a whole load of new fans by the way he has ridden in pursuit of green.
There's a little breeze fluttering the trees in Annecy, it's mild at 25 degrees but rain is forecast - chrono day. The thing about a Tour time trial is that the conditions I have just described might prevail for first starter, at 11:10, F des J's Belorussian champion and lanterne rouge (now that Kenny has gone home) Yauheni Hutarovich.
It had to be an early start, today for Le Grand-Bornand. To get down to the Bourg-Saint-Maurice start, we had to drive against a section of race route and decided to get away early to beat the closures.
Sitting here in Bourg-Saint-Maurice, perhaps I'm going to revise my opinion that l'Equipe's Tour coverage isn't as good as the Gazzetta's Giro coverage. The Gazzetta looks better, but the L'Equipe goes so deep.
"Armstrong redescend sur terre," says the headline in L'Equipe - 'Armstrong brought back to earth at the Le Tour de France 2009.' Bert dominates the front page, smiling with his "smoking gun" finger held high - VeloVeritas says; "Chapeau, Bert!"
We finished in Verbier today, but first, a little diversion; I've always admired Bradley Wiggins as a pursuiter, but as a roadman, he's never cut the mustard; the cycling saddo's bible, 'Velo' doesn't lie.
"Bonjour," really that should be the German equivalent there of, but my German is even more limited than my French. We spent the night in Freiburg here at Le Tour de France - just across the German border, the hotel room is huge, if a tad Spartan; but that didn't stop us from sleeping like bricks, before starting our day to Besançon.
Bonjour from Colmar! A couple of unrelated items first: I just noticed that the Rolex ad on the back of yesterday's L'Equipe is a picture of Turnberry, with Ailsa Craig in the background - ah! the Auld Country!
Tour de France! Ca va? What does the '0' stand for in 02:30 ? "Oh my God, it's early!" Four hours sleep, as Barry White would say; "it's just not enough!" It's 14:19 and we're on the motorway, near Metz; we just got lost - no excuses, but the signage is grim. Destination Vittel.
'Cav sez; "Gotcha!" to Baz', as the Sun might say if it were to cover Le Tour de France, and today's stage into Saint-Fargeau. It took Barry Hoban a whole career - two decades - to notch up eight Tour stage wins - but they didn't all come from bunch gallops.
I didn’t think that Cav could win the Primavera now, after today's display in Limoges, I think that he can do pretty much anything he puts his mind to within the scope of his physical characteristics. He can win the green jersey on the Champs Elysees in Le Tour de France, Paris - Tours and the Worlds too-when the parcours suits him.
'Armstrong admits "there is tension at Astana's table" - says The Guardian headline today; I'd never have believed that!
As Jean Rene Bernadeau kissed Pierrick Fedrigo after the sharp featured former French champion took the second Bbox stage of the 2009 Tour, from Saint-Gaudens to Tarbes. I think what he said was; “well done son, we’ve all got a job, next year!”
Off no.45, Michael Nicolson (Dooleys RT) never looked like being beaten in the Scottish 50 Mile TT Championship 2009, but a but a clutch of riders fought it our for the minor placings in the mens competition, whilst Jessica Wilson -Young (Edinburgh RC) took a comfortable win in the women's race.
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.