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Postings from Tour-Racing.Org.UK

Blog posts previously made on our previous Lanius CMS system

Time for Change
Sunday, 19 January 2014

As you will have seen there are a number of web sites that I support. Some of them represent many hours of work each month. Work that has been going on for year after year.

This particular website is different in that it was created to test out what could be created using the Lanius software - and then used as a way of providing feedback on my three other cycling websites.

Even though the Lanius software does work and provides plenty of features - its lack of support and development mean that it is a technological dead-end. A bit like cassettes, minidiscs and even DAB radios ...

So from now on could you please get in touch simply via email - using info at sixday.org.uk

Thanks - and safe cycling

Road Season Ends - UCI Makes Changes
Tuesday, 29 October 2013

It's late October and the last of the road season races are done. Time for the media - and the riders - to look back on the year that's gone and start planning for 2014.

And already we have had the presentation for the 2014 Tour de France route with the Giro following close behind. With the Tour starting in Leeds the local TV news has been following every development - while repeatedly trying to say Grand Depart in a faux-French accent. Pictures of road signs going up and pubs with Tour poster being supplemented by a trip to Paris to hear the news first hand - not a normal perk for a regional TV presenter.

Plus, of course, there is the cycling element of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next summer - and the velodrome from the London Olympics will re-open in March. It could be followed closely by the new indoor track in Derby if the construction goes to plan. Then there's the first womens' Tour of Britain due to roll out in May - and hopefully this could lead to the return of at least one single day UCI ranked womens' race. The last one was in 2005!

But the biggest potential change is the new broom effect at the UCI. With McQuaid's departure - along with some key staff - there is a chance that the sport's governing body will now make a better job of running the sport for its members and supporters. For example, it would be nice to think that a future petition from grass roots cyclists would be taken seriously rather than being rubbished then ignored as in the past. [That UCI Golden Bike branding should be one of the first pointless projects to be scrapped]

Onwards and upwards ....

McQuaid Goes Into Meltdown?
Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Has Pat McQuaid finally gone too far?

"So far in this presidential election campaign, my opponents have employed lies, bribery, attempted extortion, attempted vote-buying, attempts at entrapment with hidden cameras and microphones, commercial interests threatening to bankrupt national federations if they didn’t withdraw my nomination and legal chicaneries to try to prevent you from even being given the chance to vote for or against me. This is not democracy. This is gangster politics."

"If Brian Cookson does not now condemn these tactics utterly, then we can only assume that he supports them – and we will all have a graphic preview of how the UCI will be run for the coming four years under his leadership and with his henchmen."

"This behaviour on the part of three Management Committee members – as well as this libellous dossier – is doing untold damage to the reputation of the UCI, something that Brian Cookson has claimed he apparently wants to restore."

This latest ill-considered outburst is in fact an official statement from the UCI president to all the world's cycling federations. Hardly the best way of handling the worsening situation and one that has caused fans to comment - "The guy is pathetic ..", "..getting more stupid every day ..", "Phat has no morals.." etc, etc.

The concern now is that if by some "miracle" McQuaid gets re-elected what will then happen to the UCI? With so many national federations already coming out against him then re-election could spell a permanent breakup ...

It's Already August
Saturday, 10 August 2013

It's August and the cycling world has gone into a lull after the worldwide media attention created by the Tour de France.

And that's the first big story - with Chris Froome improving GBs all-time results in the Tour from zero wins in 98 years to two in 100. That gives Sky the right to start the 2014 race with dossard 1 for the second year running. Quite who will be wearing it will be a team decision. But if Froome has the form to be selected then it will be obvious - but any top flight racer can have their plans derailed by a whole range of things; so just getting to Leeds in July will be everyone's first objective. Let's hope Sky can put together a top class team again despite their continued turnover of riders.

The success of the British men in the Tour de France has lead to calls for an equivalent race for women. A nice idea in principal but one that has been tried - and failed before. In fact the Tour organisers started a concurrent women's race back in 1984 - some details of which have just been updated on Tour-Racing [ A photo of the 1985 Women's Tour de France winners is here - http://www.tour-racing.co.uk/html/1985_tour_de_france.html ]. However even the resources of the Tour could not support it for very long. So even though there are some high profile supporters, it seems unlikely, to me, that a women's Tour de France would be viable - given the current economics. Don't forget that the independently organised Grande Boucle race folded in 2009 and the Tour De l'Aude Feminin stopped in 2010. In Britain even single day races have struggled - with the GP of Wales in 2005 being, I think, the last UCI ranked women's race in the UK.

However British Cycling have now announced that there will be a Women's Tour of Britain in 2014 - so hopefully providing a more manageable step up for national elite riders. And there does need to be time to build-up a pool of competitive riders. For example, today we have the final stage of the Route de France Feminine [more - http://www.internationalcyclesport.com/html/uci_women_2013.html ] where just four GB riders started in a field of 86. To be taken seriously there would need to be far more British elite women completing in UCI ranked races - but that needs the sort of financial backing that, so far, no one has been able to find.

Finally the problems with the UCI leadership have not still not been resolved - instead they have got worse. Now we are heading towards an election in late September that may well become mired in accusations of illegal rule changes, vote rigging and ineligible candidates. Expensive legal challenges could even threaten to bankrupt some national federations if they get too closely involved. If it comes to that then the only winners will be the lawyers ...

Taken Down Again
Friday, 03 May 2013

Hello again - after having to recover from another problem with the Lanius code. At least the backups proved useful in putting us back on the air - but the results of your inputs on the poll question have been reset unless / until I can find the previous data.

The most likely cause of the problem was probably a bug in the coding - but could, of course, been deliberate. Even though I doubt that there are there any UCI supporters with malicious intent.

However Lanius has never been a long-term solution - especially when we already have the options of using WordPress and / or Netobjects Fusion instead. It's just that adding all of the Lanius functions to something new would take time - and there are already too many projects that are far from completed.

UCI Survey Time Running Out
Tuesday, 12 March 2013

The UCI's online survey for cycling’s stakeholders will run until 15 March - so there's just a few more days left for anyone and everyone to respond. Go to www.aspectmr.co.uk/snapwebhost/surveylogin.asp

Collapse of UCI Plans
Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Three months on from my last posting about the problems with the UCI leadership - and, as expected, the situation continues to go downhill.

And just yesterday the UCI leadership had to admit that their Independent Commission (http://www.uciic.org/) was dead in the water. The collapse of this key body, created by Pat McQuaid in October 2012, was brought about by the refusal of WADA to get involved - on the basis that "WADA had no confidence in the existing Independent Commission process".

So President McQuaid and Honorary President Verbruggen (a job for life it seems!) are still refusing to take responsibility for the state of the pro cycle sport that they supervised - or even blame for their own failed plans to improve it.

Clearly neither of UCI leaders knows how to make a dignified resignation. Many will assume that they fear someone new taking over. Someone who may well reveal facts that they would like kept secret.

Tour de France Poll Results
Friday, 14 December 2012

With the announcement of the next UK host for the Tour de France - Yorkshire in 2104 - the reader's poll can close. And over 55% of the votes were correct ....

Now what new poll or polls would you like to see?

I Told You To Book Early!
Friday, 14 December 2012

Today's announcement that the 2014 Grand Depart of the Tour de France has gone to Yorkshire brought to an end the months (years) of speculation and wrangling between bidders.

Plenty more about this breaking news in the cycling media near you ...

Armstrong Shock Waves Roll Over Sport
Friday, 19 October 2012

The damage from the Armstrong revelations continue to reek havoc across all of pro-elite cycling - not just for those who were involved at the time but also well into the future.

To emphasise the seriousness of the situation today comes the news that Rabobank, pro team sponsors for the last 17 years, have terminated their team sponsorship. The Dutch bank's announcement comes a day after its team suspended their Spanish rider Carlos Barredo as the International Cycling Union (UCI) launched a doping case against him. "We are no longer convinced that the international professional world of cycling can make this a clean and fair sport," bank board member Bert Bruggink said in a statement. "We are not confident that this will change for the better in the foreseeable future"

Anyone that has been to the Netherlands will have seen just how big a sponsor Rabobank has been - and how hard this will hit both directly and indirectly as other sponsors get cold feet. But the scale of the cheating - not just through doping but also through tax evasion - is such that they, like Nike and others, have little choice but to distance themselves from the sport.

Yet there are no indications that the UCI leadership will leave quietly with some degree of dignity. And there seems to be no obvious way for the national federations to force them out. So the old guard will stay - no doubt with some weak promises to do better - while the sport slides downhill.

Typical - just when the clean riders get to the top they find that the prize they strived so hard for has been devalued.

Wheear 'as ta bin sin ah saw thee?
Friday, 07 September 2012

Tha's been a cooartin' Christian Prudhomme .. On Ilkla Mooar baht 'at..

Within the next few weeks the starting city for the 2014 Tour de France will be announced. And despite my earlier doubts it now looks likely that Yorkshire will be that chosen host.

If this reversal of position is right then what has changed since early 2011 when the idea was announced?

Well first there has been that unique British Tour win by Bradley Wiggins. Second Mark Cavendish's continued sprint wins have taken him to the top of the all time sprint stage winners - ahead of the legendary Andre Darrigade. [And Mark's mum lives in North Yorkshire]. Then third Team Sky are a well-funded outfit that have worked hard to keep ASO informed for their plans and ambitions - so smoothing the way for any future British stages. But most importantly there is the critical commercial point that both Barcelona and Florence have withdrawn their bids - so leaving ASO, the Tour organiser, with few alternatives. It may be better to sign up Welcome to Yorkshire than to look for better offers elsewhere.

So book your 2014 holidays for early July in Leeds - before the news hits the headlines and the hotels put up their prices!

One More Cycling Hero Goes Down
Saturday, 25 August 2012

This month has seen the ultimate slap in the face for pro cycling generally, and the Tour de France in particular, as USADA grinds down Lance Armstrong’s career to almost nothing.

Tour History Made
Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Tour de France has run since 1903 and the first British team tried to win in 1955 - but it was not until today in 2012 that the ultimate prize was actually acheived.

And acheived in style - 14 yellow jerseys for Bradley Wiggins, 2nd place overall for Chris Froome - plus a stage win, stage wins for David Millar and, of course, Mark Cavendish. All of this leading to a final outcome where no opposing teams had a rider within 5 minutes of the winner.

But it was not all Sky and GB - the French had the popular Thomas Voeckler take the polka dot jersey; while Peter Sagan took the green sprinters prize - showing the prospect of a great career ahead - the same also for Tejay van Garderen who gave the USA hope for a future grand tour winner by taking the young rider's white jersey.

So Bradley Wiggins is set-up to be rider number 1 for the 100th Tour de France when it starts next year in Corsica.

What a great race and unique result!

British Six Day Races Total 84
Tuesday, 03 April 2012

The number of multi-day track races in Britain just keeps growing. The latest races that had general newspaper reports are ones at Newcastle in 1883 and Bingley Hall, Birmingham in 1895.

Having found so many , are there still more to be found?

Well the latest reports about the 1883 Six at Middlesborough state that William Parkes [Park] had recently won at Sunderland and North Shields - but so far only the reports of North Shields have been traced. And it does seem unusual that no races have been found for anywhere in England during the whole of 1882. So it seems likely that the total will grow by a few more before I move on to the next project.

More Sixes for Aberdeen
Thursday, 29 March 2012

More searches of press reports have re-discovered some of the multi-day track racing held during  the 1880's in Aberdeen. Last time the searches had produced four new races - and today there has been another two found.

That makes a total of 18 for Aberdeen and 28 for Scotland - see http://www.sixday.org.uk/html/the_beginnings.html

Aberdeen's Cycling Past
Friday, 23 March 2012

Four more "six-day" races have been found in the press archives this week - and all of them were held in Aberdeen!

I had already found 12 races in the city before so finding four more was quite a surprise. The latest discoveries mean that 26 multi-day track cycle races have been found in Scotland - with the suggestion than there are yet more to be found in Edinburgh.

And the latest results mean that a total of 80 races from the Victorian era have been traced - many more than were known or expected just a year ago.

Sheffield's Place in Cycling History
Friday, 02 March 2012

Over at SixDay.org.uk a new page has been created covering the "Lady Bicyclists" who raced indoors over Christmas at Sheffield in 1889.

Not only was it new to see "Ladies" competing on the track - but it was some six years before the first women's six day race - held in London. Now this 1889 race was only over five days - so is not officially a "Six" - but it was followed immediately by a 100 mile race over two days. In this second event the same ladies competed against men; and men that had not been racing over the previous five days. So not a Six - but just as hard and even longer!

Racing came back to Sheffield in 1895 - with a full Six Day; but from then to this day there have been no more indoor cycle races for the steel city to enjoy. Link - http://www.sixday.org.uk/html/1889_sheffield.html

Crazy About Belgium
Tuesday, 21 February 2012

My enquiry about why the web site "Crazy About Belgium" was off line - has now had a reply.

And it's been discontinued for the time being because the authors have so much work to do on their other projects. So nice to hear that there is plenty of work around for them - a good problem to have these days.

Retro Refresh
Sunday, 19 February 2012

The past few days have been spent updating the layout and content of the web pages at InternationalCycleSport.com.

The main objective being to improve the layout of the ICS magazine section and add a new batch of the back-issue covers. This latest update means that there are now only a small number of gaps remaining for the entire period from 1968 to 1984 - the life of the magazine.

Because so many pages have now been changed - plus there are a few yet be completed - this may have introduced some new bugs. Let us know if you spot any!

Also the font has been changed to one that should read easier on all platforms - desktop, laptop, tablet or smart phone - and under all modern browsers. Well that's the plan....

Updates at ICS
Monday, 13 February 2012

With the cycling road season starting in Europe - despite the bad weather - and this week's track racing at London' new Olympic Velodrome I really had to find some time to do some work on some of my rambling blogs / websites.

First up is IntenationalCycleSport.com - where the six British victories on the road really had to be acknowledged. While updating the news I found that my links to "Crazy About Belgium" had all stopped working - so that needed more changes and sending out a couple of e-mails to check if it was a temporary or permanent closure.

Also today a copy of Coureur / Sporting Cyclist for 1966 turned up from Sandy Gilchrist - so that is another mag in the Tour-Racing pending pile ....

But today's searches for anything new about the London Six Day Races drew a blank again - so nothing today for SixDay.org.uk site.

Digging through the code
Sunday, 05 February 2012

Having had a chance to check out the code it has become clear that Lanius includes stuff from earlier projects. Some certainly comes from Limbo CMS - a product that has also disappeared. Limbo was last updated in March 2006 and almost all the webpages have been archived.

Also it seems like Drake CMS was just Lanius with a different layout template. According to one forum entry Drake CMS was re-branded as Lanius around 2006?

Anyway all of that is rather academic if what we have now does not do the job. We just need it to keep working in a real world situation. So probably best to limit the work on Lanius and spend any time saved finding a better solution for 2012 onwards.

Fixing the broken links
Saturday, 04 February 2012

Now that Lanius has gone it is important to go through the modules fixing or removing the invalid links. Without any obvious alternative CMS most links are being simply removed or de-activated to avoid misleading any casual surfer.

The graphics are also being changed as and when necessary - with our kookaburra substituting for the former bird-based design!

Since our programming skills are a little rusty - or lost entirely - this could take awhile.

Trying again with Lanius CMS!

Lanius CMS was a light-weight Content Managment System (CMS) with one of the broadest host compatibilities and performances around. It was - and possibly still is - perfect for those that only want to run small, ligtweight websites, although capable of handling larger sites.

HOWEVER it is no longer supported and its home web site has closed down. Also our first attempt at using it only worked for awhile - before crashing or more likely being hacked. This is now our second attempt - and IF it keeps working / hacker free it should be able to provide Tour-Racing, International Cycle Sport and SixDay.org.uk with that missing feedback functionality ....

If you are experiencing troubles using Lanius CMS - then you are pretty much on your own. We had to start again from a clean install once something failed! However you can still download the full set of install files from one of the software archives.

BUT as yet we have not found an alternative CMS with such a wide range of functions but only a small technical requirement - for example no SQL database. Does anyone know of an equivalent CMS that operates with minimal extras?

 

Eddy Merckx 1966

Hercules Cycles Poster

Eddy Merckx at the 1966 World Road Race Championships in Germany

Format: Photographic Print

Cost: 12x8in Print  5.20 | 15x10in Print 6.99

Order via: Photobox

Poster - Hercules Cycles 1930’s

Format: Photographic Print

Cost: 12x8in Print  5.20 | 15x10in Print 6.99

Order via: Photobox

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