Friday, July 30, 2021

Callum Thornley – “The road is where my ambitions lay”

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When Scottish Cycling Endurance Coach and seven times Scottish Road Race Champion, Evan Oliphant gets in touch to tell us there’s a junior rider named Callum Thornley that we should be speaking to, we snap to attention.
Toby Perry

Toby Perry – Four Wins in Spain, and Counting…

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When Jos Ryan of the David Rayner Fund gets in touch then we know it’s not just to ask how we are. ‘Have you been keeping up with our rider, Toby Perry’s performances in Spain, he’s just had his second win?’ Fortunately for us, we could reply in the affirmative.

Dan Bigham – Talking Aero; “Ponytails aren’t…”

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If you watched Stage One of the Giro on Eurosport or GCN then you’ll have heard that someone had the great idea to recruit British professional rider, Dan Bigham to join the commentary team as a ‘chrono specialist.’ Here at VeloVeritas we thought it would be good to put to Dan all those sad questions that trouble bike obsessives like us.

John Watson – Racing a Great (Five Year) Career in the ’60’s

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John Watson started racing at 18 years-of-age in 1966, his first race was a ‘25’ which he won with a 1:00. By the following year he was National ‘100’ Champion; in 1968 he went to the Mexico Olympics; in 1969 he set a 12 hour record which stood for a decade; 1970 saw him set a ‘50’ record which sliced nearly four minutes of the previous fastest time for the distance and lasted for 13 years, win the BBAR, get fourth place in the prestigious GP de France time trial and get offered a place with ACBB.

Mick Bradshaw – “My heart was completely shagged from 30 years of red-lining it”

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I’ve checked the legendary Italian ‘CONI’ cyclists training manual but can find no mention of it. I’m talking about ‘Kestrel Super Lager’, 9% by volume, but that was the ‘recovery drink’ of choice of a certain Mick Bradshaw, one of the fastest time testers around in the 70’s and 80’s and 1988 RTTC 50 Mile Time Trial Champion.

Sam Watson – Seventh in the GP della Liberazione

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British rider Sam Watson finished in seventh spot behind Michele Gazzoli of the Colpack Ballan squad in the GP della Liberazione - few top u23 races in Italy don’t have a Colpack man on the podium. Sam would be a good lad to catch up with, we thought to ourselves…
Paul Double

Paul Double – 2nd in the Giro di Romagna

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With so many tales of broken promises, teams folding and disillusioned young men heading home to Blighty from Europe, it’s good to tell a story where it all comes together and there’s a podium involved. Paul Double has been on our radar for a while, first as a ‘Zappi Man,’ a CTT Hill Climb medallist, riding for one of Italy’s top u23 teams – the mighty Colpack Ballan – then last year back as a ‘Zappi Man.’
Mick Ives

Mick Ives – On Racing Non-stop, Summer and Winter, for 62 years!

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Mick Ives won 81 British Cycling Championships in all disciplines and 19 World Championship medals, he’s the only male cyclist to represent Britain in all disciplines: road, track, cyclo-cross and mountain biking; and he held a racing license continuously from 1957 to 2019.
Bernie Nolan

Bernie Nolan – Racing in Oz; “the happiest time of my...

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Bernie Nolan wanted to race as a Pro in Europe but prior to that he sought fame and fortune in the Antipodes – under the Aussie sun, and surely the racing down there wouldn’t be as savage as Belgium?

Christina Mackenzie – National 12 Hour Champion 2020

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Covid having put paid to her 2020, ‘End to End’ bid after her brave but ultimately unsuccessful 2019 attempt, Christina Mackenzie (Stirlingshire Bicycle Club) had to re-focus and made the CTT 12 Hour Championship her goal for the year. ‘Mission accomplished,’ winning by some 12 miles with a provisional 251.64 miles on a tough course in equally tough conditions.
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Scottish Riders in Le Tour de France

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Scots in Le Tour
With le Grande Boucle set to depart on Saturday June 26th from Brittany – which shares Celtic culture with Scotland - we thought we should have a look at the Scottish riders who have participated in the biggest race on the planet, over the years.

The VV View: In the Bleak MidWinter

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Brexit, Covid, desperate weather, it’s been a long hard winter and we're still in what might be termed the Bleak Mid-Winter, made even worse by the sad news that former Scottish cyclo-cross, grass track and MTB Champion Craig Hardie has lost his fight with cancer. VeloVeritas offers deepest condolences to his friends, supporters and family.

The VV View: Scotland’s Young Turks

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As the sleeping beast that is the 2020 cycling season stirs after it’s long snooze, we thought it would be good to look at how Scotland’s ‘Young Turks’ spent lock down and what their plans are for the rest of this strange year.

The VV View: Everesting, Zwifting and Jockey Wheels for a Grand!

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It's been a while since we ranted, so in this edition of the VeloVeritas View we offer a thought or two on Strava, Zwift, Everesting and other Covid-19 aspects of cycling - as well as whether we consider jockey wheels for a grand a good deal...

Your Comments about Mrs Deene, George, and their cyclists’ Guesthouse

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The piece we ran recently by reader John Day about staying with Mrs Deene in Belgium aroused a lot of interest on social media but it was spread over a number of different pages and apps. We thought it would be a shame to let some fascinating and funny comments go to waste so we pulled a selection together for you.

The VV View: Our Top 12 British Classics Rides

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‘Cycling Weekly’ printed a list of their ‘10 best Classic Races of all time.’ It’s not the usual time of year for ‘retro’ pieces, the Classics should be in full swing but Covid-19 has blown apart a lot of well laid plans this spring. So here’s our top dozen British Classics Rides, in what we see as order of merit...

Merlin Cycles Classic TT Series – Round 3, Loch Ken

Perhaps I shouldn’t have had that last Strega on top of the Erdinger, Malbec and Grappa last night? But when we got an invite to the Loch Ken Round of the Merlin Cycles Classic TT Series from the organiser and he takes the trouble to send you the start sheet and rider information sheet, hangovers must be ignored.

CTT Team Time Trial Championships 2021

Defending champions and race favourites, Ribble Weldtite with strong men Dan Bigham, James Shaw and Simon Wilson took the CTT Team Time Trial Championships title on a cool, damp but still morning at Irvine on the west coast of Scotland, with a time of 54:01, averaging 55.9 kph to best their own ‘B’ team by 2:32, the line up there being Zeb Kyffin, Joe Wilson and Matt Gibson.

Tour of the Campsies 2020 Goes to Cameron Richardson

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I thought I’d check out what where the expression, “awa’ the Crow Road” came from before Davie and I headed for the Tour of the Campsies; ‘Crows take your soul to the hereafter it’s thought in many cultures and superstition.’

Kasper Keeps Cool in Kuurne Brussels Kuurne 2020

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I love the drive from Gent up to Kuurne for the Kuurne Brussels Kuurne semi-classic... staring out of the car window at the fields, the canals, tree-lined avenues, the steeples, tiny concrete roads that would be great to explore on the bike. There was a little rain on the way up but by the time we got to Kuurne it was a mild, sunny morning; ideal for wandering down the main drag where the busses line up and checking out 2020’s new hardware.

Roadside at Het Nieuwsblad 2020

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We're roadside at Het Nieuwsblad 2020; since the race went World Tour the start just isn’t the same; the buses used to line up in the street, you could look at the bikes right until start time and brush shoulders with the riders as they pedalled to the sign-on. Not now, whilst some of the buses park up outside, the majority park in the huge 30’s exhibition hall adjacent to the Kuipke Velodrome in Ghent...

Dunfermline Cyclo-Cross, Scottish CX Round 5

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We took a trip to watch the Dunfermline Cyclo-Cross. It’s a wee while since we’ve been to a Scottish cyclo-cross race and the sport has changed beyond all recognition from the early 70’s when your ‘cross bike was your winter bike with the muddies removed.

The First Three Nights of the Rotterdam Six Day 2019

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Dutch 15 times former motor paced world champion Bruno Walrave is the man with the plan - and the keys; but he's, 'in a meeting... Bruno is pushing 80 years-of-age but let’s just say that; “age hasn’t mellowed him.” Eventually the door opens and we're in business – handshakes, the key, creds and unload the mobile home.
Steve Nutley

Steve Nutley – Scottish 100 Mile TT Champion

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It was another surprise win in a Scottish time trial championship as Sandy Wallace Cycles', Steve Nutley took the honours in the '100' on a wet day along the Cromarty Firth, last Sunday.

Giro d’Italia 2011, Stage 9: Messina – Etna 169km

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'Tutti per Vincenzo' said the Gazzetta, on Sunday. 'All for Vincenzo' - but that little blighter from Madrid put paid to that. We got the benefit from the mad breenge after Saturday's stage - the Messina start was just five minutes from the hotel and it gave us time to have a wee skek at the porto, before we headed to Etna.

“Man on the Run” by Manuela Ronchi

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"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.

Rotterdam Six Day 2012 – Day Four

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It's Day four at the Rotterdam Six Day 2012, and like it says on the report cards; 'could do better!' We're referring of course to 'our Alex's' time keeping - he missed the rolling presentation on Sunday. It's not a huge deal because at the time he had no partner, poor Stöpler having crashed out.

Grenoble Six Day 2011 – Fourth Night

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It's a glorious day in Grenoble, warm, calm, sunny - not a day to be stuck in a stuffy stadium. But that's the runner's place in the way of things - scrambled eggs on fresh baguettes for breakfast eased the pain. The 35 minute chase was a better show tonight and the French guys didn't get pummelled quite so savagely.

Pros & Their PowerCranks: Part II

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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.
Berlin Six Day 2017

Inside the Berlin Six Day 2017 – the Final Three Nights

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The wee small hours of Wednesday morning, heading north out of Berlin, en route Rostock, the ferry across the Baltic and Denmark for the Copenhagen Six Day. I wish I could say that Berlin had an epic finale - but I can't, it was dire. Processional, flat, uninspired with no tension, no theatre, no drama.
Erik Zabel

The VV View: Erik Zabel Second Confession Met with UCI Silence

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Erik Zabel has confessed... On the one hand we don’t think that disinterring the dead is the way forward; the French Senate mass exhumation was a pointless exercise as far as we’re concerned. But once you have a Zabelombie walking the streets you have deal with it.
Commonwealth Games

Shane Archbold – on his Wonderful Commonwealth Games 2014

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The famous mullet may be gone - but unlike Samson, the strength has remained. Kiwi flyer, Shane Archbold was one of the 'Men of the Games' - medalling (God ! I hate that expression) in the team pursuit and scratch before setting Jack Bauer up for silver in the Vietnamese Rainy Season Sunday which hosted the Games road race.
Emile Abraham

Emile Abraham – Trinidad & Tobago’s Multi Champion

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Trinidad and Tobago’s Emile Abraham has been on the international pro scene for a long time; 2013 will be his 12th season.

Ian Field National Champion!

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It feels good just writing the words, Ian Field National Champion. I left you at the end of my last blog sat on the sofa watching the Superprestige race in Diegem unable to race due to a back injury.
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Glasgow Commonwealth Games Tickets

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Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014 today announced a family-friendly Glasgow Commonwealth Games Tickets strategy focused on delivering packed stadia and a ‘Games for Everyone’. The Organising Committee unveiled that access next year to sporting events at one of the world’s greatest multi-sports Games will start from just £15 for adults.

Le Tour de France 2012 – Stage 8: Belfort – Porrentruy,...

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Call me a sentimental old fool, but Thibaut Pinot’s win in stage 8 was what the Tour is all about – the youngest man in the race gallantly holding off the rampaging favourites; Marc Madiot in the FDJ team car overcome with emotion; team mates barging in on the TV interview to hug and kiss Pinot, some in tears. Le Tour de France 2012 - Stage 8.
Katie Archibald

Katie Archibald – Scotland’s Newest World Champion!

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It’s not along since we interviewed Katie Archibald – as a member of the GB team which took the world record for the ladies four kilometre team pursuit at the World Cup in Mexico at the end of last year. We make no apology for speaking to her again – but this time we speak to her as world champion in the discipline.