After missing out on the Mortirolo yesterday, Ed and Martin made point of soaking up the atmosphere at the start in Tirano, before shooting off towards Switzerland. But everyone is still talking about Alberto and the Mortirolo and the guys were taking it all in.
Ed and Martin jumped off at the deep-end, first day at the Giro 2015 and they went for the hardest day with, arguably, the hardest climb of this years race. The Passo del Mortirolo strikes fear into the heart of many a bike rider. The boys find out why.
Ed Hood and Martin Williamson have hit the Italian soil running, only in the country for a handful of hours and they have sorted their creds, seen tomorrow's route, inspected the bikes and sent us the first words and photos. The productive pair will be on the Mortirolo tomorrow, here is the story so far:
Stage 14 Race report: On another miserable, dangerous day in the Pink Race, Alberto Contador (Spain & Saxo-Tinkoff) reminded everyone why he’s the best stage race rider of his generation, wresting the maglia rosa from Fabio Aru (Italy & Astana) and opening up a 2:28 buffer.
Being a Pro cyclist isn't all top hotels, big team busses and 1st class travel, on the lower rungs of the professional cycle sport life is not so easy. Logan Loader is in Italy on the Continental team Amore & Vita, Ed Hood found out what life is like on the lower step.
Race Report: Stage Three and all the world is pink - but especially Australia - as Michael Matthews reprises his last year’s Giro performance of winning with that most beautiful of jerseys on his back. The multi-jersey wearing Australian cooly crossed the line in pink...again.
Saturday is the big day in Italy for cycling fans, the Giro d'Italia launches its self down the start ramp in Sanremo for the first Grand Tour of the 2015 season. Ed Hood takes a close look at the most important stages and riders and talks to Giro virgin Calvin Watson. Giro time baby!
Joey Rosskopf has had a hard baptism of fire in the European Spring Classics and as he recovers before the Tour de Yorkshire this weekend, Ed Hood managed to catch-up with the BMC rider to hear all about it. The life of a young American in Europe:
When 2015 Giro d'Italia route was announced last October our most experienced Grand Tour reporter, Ed Hood, gave us his first look (full preview next Wednesday). This year's Italian tour is mostly in the north, but in Ed's own words: "There’s something for everyone in the 2015 Giro!"
Race Report: Ed Hood told us last week, even before Flèche Wallonne, that Alejandro Valverde would win 'La Doyenne' on the steep finish to Ans. It was a battle of cat and mouse between Katusha and the man from Murcia, but 'Balaverde' was top man. Here is how Ed saw the race unfold.
His stats for Liege read like this: 1979, 20th: 1981, 11th: 1982, 10th: 1984, 1st: 1985, 4th: 1986, 12th: 1987, 20th; 1988, 5th: 1989, 1st – good enough to tell us a little about La Doyenne? Yeah, we thought so too: PEZ talked to Sean Kelly about the oldest, and many would say the hardest of the ‘monuments’.
This Sunday brings us the last Monument of this year's spring campaign: Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Ed Hood runs a keen eye over the long, star studded history of La Doyene, examines the course and picks the winner for the 2015 Walloon Classic. The PEZ Liège preview.
The Amstel Gold Race signals the start of the Ardennes Classics, and the first signs of who's looking good for the Giro. Raced over the hills, dales, and forests of south eastern Holland, the course selects its own worthy winner. Twenty years ago it was Mauro Gianetti who was making the news.
The cobbles are behind us as we move onto the hilly Classics and first up is the Amstel Gold Race. Yes, Holland is mostly flat, but try riding up the Cauberg and say that's not a hill. Our Classics expert, Ed Hood, gives us the benefit of his Amstel experience - the race and the golden liquid.
Race Report: There is never a surprise winner in Roubaix and today's 'Hell of the North' didn't disappoint the fans. The cobbles were dry and fast, perfect for a certain German who used to be a sprinter and now is the Classicsman of 2015 - John Degenkolb. The fast and furious road to Roubaix.
The 'Hell of the North' hits the cobbles of Northern France on Sunday, our L'enfer du Nord expert, Ed Hood, runs his eye over the uneven surface of Paris-Roubaix. The course and runners for 2015 and the history of the Queen of the Classics. Sunday in Hell - The PEZ Preview.
Race Report: Norway’s Alex Kristoff took his second Monument, to go with his 2014 Primavera win, leaving Quick-Step’s canny Dutchman, Niki Terpstra in his jet wash. Greg Van Avermaet made the podium again with third spot after last year’s second place, beating Peter Sagan to the line.
The early season Belgian cobbled Classics have been building up to this Sunday and the battle of the Tour of Flanders, or De Ronde van Vlaanderen. Ed Hood looks at the history and examines the parcours for this Monument of the road. Who will be the winner? Not an easy answer, but he will be a Lion of Flanders.
The cobble season is upon us, this is the time of year to be in Belgium or better; Flanders. On Sunday Gent-Wevelgem heads out of Deinze for a ride to the coast and back via France, followed by a succession of gruesome cobbled climbs before the finish. Bad weather and hard riders make for a real Classic, here is the PEZ Preview.
Race Report: John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) joined the greats on Sunday on the Via Roma taking the 106th Milan-Sanremo with a perfectly timed sprint, relegating 2014 winner Alex Kristoff (Katusha) to second with ‘coming man’ Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE) giving notice that he can win this race, one day.