In Part Three of the Tim Mountford story we learned what is was like to travel around Europe as part of the Stayer circus, racing behind the big motors as high speeds. In this final, Part Four of Tim's interview, he tells us about some of the secrets to securing race contracts in the European Six Days, his favourite memories of top level track racing, some of the characters he conspired with, deciding to retire and open a chain of bike shops in Silicon Valley, and his induction into the US Cycling Hall of Fame.
In Part Two of the Tim Mountford story we heard how he received his first professional contract on the famous Kuipke boards in Gent, to landing a contract with Peter Post and his TI Raleigh squad, eventually retiring and setting up a bike shop business. Here we roll back a couple of years to find out more about his experiences behind the 'big motors'...
In Part One of the Tim Mountford story we heard how the eighteen year-old Tim was living on his own, sharing a flat with another rider, working at a local bike shop and training for the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, as well as being creating and being the chief editor of a cycling magazine titled the "Southern California Cycling Journal". Tim went on to race in two Olympic Games and competed at world level in the tandem sprint before turning to the Professional Six Day scene and working his way up through various sponsors and contracts to land the biggie; a place on the famous TI Raleigh team managed by the legendary Peter Post.
Tim Mountford was one of the pioneers of US professional cycling in the 60’s and 70’s; he recently gave freely of his time to tell VeloVeritas about his adventures in what was a golden age for European cycling.
Soigneurs; they shouldn’t be too young – they have to have lived a bit; they should be mysterious; surrounded by an aura of camphor and early season changing rooms; of few, gruff words; have hands like shovels... but blonde, cute, smiling, chatty, cheerful, Californian – and a woman? That was – and is – Ms. Shelley Verses, the first female to break into the closed world of pro cycling as a soigneur with Motorola, La Vie Claire, Toshiba and TVM.
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.
Following on from his article on the US bikes at the Los Angeles Olympic Games of 1984, Ed Hood spoke the rider who not only rode as part of the team pursuit and was behind the bike design: Brent Emery – Rider and innovator.
Brandon McNulty launched himself into his WorldTour career with top performances in the Tour de San Juan and the Ruta del Sol, and then… Now the 2020 season is on hold. We caught up with Brandon back in the US.
Imagine that you’ve just realised your dream and signed with the world’s number one team, performed well on your debut and are looking forward to the next part of your season once your training camp in sunny Greece ends. Instead you have to get home to the US as quickly as possible to avoid being ‘locked down’ in Europe. That’s the situation Deceuninck – Quick-Step’s 2020 signing, US Elite Time Trial Champion, Ian Garrison found himself in just a few days ago.
It was way back in September 2011 on the eve of the Copenhagen World Championships when we first interviewed Joe Dombrowski, no one seemed to have noticed that he’d won a stage and finished second overall to a certain Fabio Aru in the Giro della Valle d’Aosta – one of the biggest u23 races in the world.
Lake Placid, USA 1980 and the XIII Winter Olympics. The Man of the Games? With his 32” waist and 27” thighs clad in that famous gold suit, the very epitome of power and grace there could only be one; Eric Heiden.
“Goin’ back to my roots,” says the Odyssey song – and so it is with Mr. Daniel Holloway, former ‘Crit King’ of the USA. But he’s now back on the boards in a big way with a World Cup omnium win in Chile and a memorable win in the 300 lap, 75 kilometre handicap Madison in the Copenhagen Six Day. It was 15 years ago, in 2003 when the man originally from Morgan Hill, California won the novices 500 metres at the US track national championships.
Canada’s Alex Stieda became the first North American to pull on the most famous and coveted jersey in professional cycling. Le Tour 1986, Stage One and Stieda heads off up the road solo, the peloton lets him go – a Canadian ? Paah! But there’s method in his madness as he scoops up intermediate points and time bonuses along the way; and when the winning breakaway train of five catch him he has enough strength and presence of mind to purchase a ticket. The break just holds of the screaming pack; Stieda grabs fifth behind Belgium’s Pol Verschuere – but those time bonuses have propelled the Canadian pursuiter into cycling history – he’s maillot jaune.
Doug Shapiro wasn’t the first American to ride the Tour; that was Jonathan Boyer; or the second, that was Greg Lemond. But he was the third to do so; and not just in any old role – as a domestique for Tour, Vuelta and Worlds winner, Joop Zoetemelk as part of the mighty Kwantum Hallen team. Here at VeloVeritas we thought that he must have a good tale to tell...
At the end of 2012 young American Joe Dombrowski had the world at his feet; he’d won the Baby Giro - ahead of a certain Fabio Aru - and placed fourth and tenth respectively in the Tours of Utah and Colorado – and there was a nice crisp Sky contract to be signed. But his two seasons with Sky didn’t pan out as most had expected – with the reason finally tracked down to an iliac artery problem which he’s now had surgery on.
The 2014 Giro was a brilliant race, so good in fact that a lot of good racing came to be ignored. Take ex-Raleigh man, and six day rider Daniel Holloway’s (Athlete Octane & USA) setting fire to the Speed Week criteriums series in the USA. ‘Hollywood’ first caught the eye as US Novice 500 Metre Time Trial Champion on the track in 2003; by 2005 he’d won a stage in the Canadian Tour de l’Abitibi – ‘the junior Tour de France.’
Along with Californian Mike Neel the man who opened the door for US riders performing in Europe was a certain George Mount, a prolific winner in the US. He turned pro for San Giacomo in 1980 after the US announced their boycott of the Moscow Olympics and rode as a cash man for three seasons. Suddenly it wasn't a dream for US riders - Neel and Mount were actually doing it. We caught up with Mr. Mount recently – he’s not bland!
It was the end of 2012 when we last spoke to 23 year-old American Ian Boswell on the eve of his first get together with Team Sky. We caught up with him again in January of this year to see how his professional debut year with double Tour winning squad SKY had gone.
It was 2011 when we first spoke to American Joe Dombrowski; we interviewed him at his Copenhagen hotel in the run up to the U23 Worlds. That year he’d finished second in the Baby Giro, an excellent performance, but he came back in 2012 and went one better, beating Fabio Aru – now one of Vincenzo Nibali’s lieutenants – to take victory. Sky know a good thing when they see one and snapped the skinny man from Virginia up – here’s what Joe had to say to VeloVeritas about his first season in the World Tour.
Season 2013 wasn't great for Timmy - his contract with the Canadian Spidertech team came to naught when the team collapsed, and his year ended almost before it started with a bad crash in the Tour Down Under and a season spent trying to find his real form with Saxo-Tinkoff. Despite a verbal agreement with Cannondale for 2014 the man from Colorado decided to call ‘time’ on his career. Duggan took time chat to VeloVeritas as the races he used to ride started without him...
We thought it would good to talk with the previous ‘Woman of the Hour,’ Ms. Bussi about her record of 48.007 kilometres set on September 13th 2018 at high altitude on the boards of the Aguascalientes velodrome in Mexico.
On a day when we watched hard men like Gran Piemonte winner, Matt Walls and Tro Bro victor, Connor Swift crack before our very eyes it was reigning champion, Ben Swift who extended his tenure in that lovely jersey from 2019 through 2020 and 2021 into at least June 2022.
Ribble Weldtite track and chrono man, multiple British Champion and aero guru, Dan Bigham [Ribble Weldtite] produced a stunning 54.723 kilometre ride on the boards of Switzerland’s Grenchen Velodrome on October 1st, breaking the British Hour Record and recording the fourth fastest World Hour ride.
We missed you last year Tour de Trossachs, so let’s begin with a large ‘thank you’ to Jason Roberts and his team for reviving this great race and organising it so well. Men of the day: Messrs. Friel, Maclean and Creber; Woman of the day: Lynsey Curran.
It’s a while since we had a rant so we discuss Patrick Lefevere's recent comments, what exactly is 'Project GO'?, the UCI getting it's claws on gravel biking, and John Purser fondly remembers Norman Hill.
In recent weeks we’ve lost three important figures within our King of Sports; Norman Hill, a man who did it all, road, the Belgian Kermis scene, Six Days, big motors, even cyclo-cross, Bernard Tapie, the man responsible for riders beginning to get paid what they were worth, and track coach Heiko Salzwedel.
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