Ah, the First Time. Everyone remembers their first time. And after many years of flirtation and "everything but," last night was JV's.
Garmin have finally managed to break their cherry to win a stage at the Tour. Now that the hoodoo has been cleared, I'm expecting multiple wins throughout the race, with Tyler Farrar being first cab off the rank tonight with the Stage 3 Bunch Sprint.
So I'm back after a 2 night lay-off with a bit of a 'lergy-talk about bad timing! Last night sounded like a brilliant finale (although Gilbert winning is hardly a surprise). I can't wait to see what happens next in this race - the Team Time Trial is on tonight, and consequently there are a bunch of teams who are riding for a chance to hold the yellow jersey. Gilbert holding on by 3s over Cadel, and 6s over at least one bloke from every other team that can put together a decent TT means that the boys will be putting it all on the line in the hope of holding the yellow jersey at the end of the day.
Contingencies & Champions. The world road champs were held in Australia for the first time ever, and by lucky happenstance we had an Australian defending champion going into the race (Cadel Evans), and an Australian bronze medallist coming out of the race (Allan "Alby" Davis).
Consistent Aggression. I'm in Ipswich, southeast England, and have finally found time to get finger to keyboard (what is the modern equivalent of "pen to paper"?) to scribble (again-what's the digital version of scribbling?-such important questions on this blog!) down a little of what's been going on.
The finale of the Eneco Tour was a time trial, and as hoped, our man Svein defended brilliantly, winding up fifth overall for the race.
a Fail-athon. This was a great performance by the big fella, and the bare minimum of what I believe he deserves for his persistence, determination and talent.
Final Defense. The final road stage of the Eneco race was again lumpy, this time including roads from the Amstel Gold spring classic. In particular the Mur de Huy, a nasty climb that starts on an increasingly steep grade until a left turn kicks the road up to around 20%.
You've Bloody Done It. Stage 5 of the Eneco Tour had the race heading back into the bumpy territory that did so much damage on Stage 3, this time on similar roads to those used in the Amstel Gold spring classic.
Minor Details. Today was the first stage that the boys didn't have any specific job to do in the race. We had held the jersey for the first three days of the race, and will continue to fight out the general classification with Svein, but the stage today was quite flat, so it would not in any way effect the gc standings, meaning our boys finally had a low responsibility day.
Into The Bumps. Stage 3 saw the profile go from pancake flat to very lumpy. It was bound to be a day where things were shaken up somewhat on the over all standings, but Canadian hardman/topbloke Svein Tuft is a quality athlete, so we were quite excited about still being in the mix.
Ooh That'll Hurt. Stage 2 of the Eneco Tour, and we shot southwards from northern Old Zeeland (I can’t help it) which is an amazing place — we were 6m below sea level and 100km inland on a bit of land that was ocean only 30yrs earlier! Incredible.
The Wait and Hope. Yesterday was the start of the Eneco Tour, a race through the Netherlands, Belgium and (I think) Luxembourg. It’s a week-long race on the Pro Tour circuit, meaning it is one of the handful of races through the year from which teams can accumulate Pro Tour points and enhance their ranking.
Stats Catch Up. Possibly the most boring blog post ever coming up. Since the Tour, I’ve been having a relatively quiet time, reboosting the energy reserves, and catching up with the boys who need treatment in Girona as and if they need. And now, on the eve of heading off to the Eneco Tour, I finally get myself into gear to post another blog entry. Quality.
The strangest stage of the whole race from the point of view of the staff is the finale into Paris. Our team base is in northern Spain, and so all non-essential equipment went from Bordeaux back to Spain (rather than go to Spain from Bordeaux via Paris — a 1200km detour). Thus we were truckless (or untrucked?) for the only time in the race. Very Tardy.
Time trials are always difficult days at races. Firstly, the riders line up knowing their final position in the race depends on their forthcoming hour of solo work, and secondly, the logistics for the staff are super complex here at the TdF Stage 19.
The Next Level. Today, TdF2010 Stage 17, was the showdown. As all who watch cycling know, any stage with a mountaintop finish is where many of the overall selections happen, and when the mountain is the Tourmalet, which is enormous both in terms of the difficulty of the climb, as well as its history, it’s all the more definitive.
How far to go. Stage 16 TdF2010 was the biggest climbing stage of the Tour, but the last climb was some 60km from the finish, which made for a weird looking profile for the day. The boys scaled four enormous mountains, the first beginning from km 0. Tough gig.
TdF Stage 13...The big question of the day: will it be a sprint or a break? The Tour has now fallen deep into the second half of the race and the real show to sort out who will finish where in the general classification starts today as we hit the high mountains of the Pyrenees.
It was ironic that Chris Anker Sørensen’s life should end doing what he had become known for after his career as a professional cyclist was over – preparing meticulously for his role as a TV race commentator, out riding the parcours of Sunday’s World Individual Time Trial Championship in Flanders.
We liked our jaunt to the Tour of the Campsies last year and feel at home among the rolling countryside and green hills there so we headed west, first of all paying our respects to the Robert Millar mural at the foot of the Crow Road; when you watch Roglič take the Lagos di Covadonga stage in the Vuelta it’s difficult to imagine the wee fella from Glasgow winning that stage – but win it he did.
We had a look around Hawick as the 2021 Tour of Britain race carnival hit town, we caught up with friends then headed out on the course, hiding from the wind on Wanside Rig to see the peloton as it headed towards Gifford...
With victories already this season in various time trial distances ranging from 25 to 100 miles (with a two mile hill climb win too), Iain Macleod (Kelpie Racing) added the Scottish Cycling Olympic Time Trial 2021 title to his growing palmarès.
The Ribble ‘Ultra Aero’ is a beautiful piece of machinery and in the manner of the best British speed machines – Aston Martin, Jaguar, Lotus, Norton – pulls off that trick of looking very quick even when it’s standing still. We caught up with Ribble CEO, Andy Smallwood and ex-pro and DS, Jamie Burrow, Ribble’s head of product development; here’s what they had to say.
Congratulations are in order as Christina Mackenzie became the fastest-ever woman to traverse the largest of the British Isles from it’s south western to north eastern tips. Christina, originally from the Isle of Lewis but now Stirling-based took time to speak to VeloVeritas a day or two after her epic ride.
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