Winter 2016/17 '6 Day' Round Up: Ed Hood is at this moment in Berlin working with 'The Squirrels' of the boards at the '6 Day'. Before he gives us the inside line on the German race he has managed to write up the 2016/17 winter season, between running after his riders. London, Gent, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Bremen and now Berlin - Ed's '6 Day' round up.
Vuelta First Look: The Vuelta a España has the reputation for serving up a hard menu and this year is no different. Mountain stages, summit finishes, a long individual time trial and l'Angliru, could it be much worse? Yes, they could forego the five flat stages. Ed Hood ran his expert Grand Tour eye over the Vuelta '17 route to give us his 'first look' impressions.
Retro Interview: You could say Jens Lehmann was unlucky to have been competing in the pursuit event at a time when there were many top riders fighting for rainbow jerseys and Olympic gold medals. Ekimov, Boardman, Obree, Bartko, Moreau and Ermenault were all dominant in those years, but take a look at the palmarès of Jens Lehmann and you can see he battled them all. Ed Hood caught up with Jens for some Retro talk.
Vuelta Look Back: The 2017 Vuelta a España will climb the mythical slope of the Alto de l’Angliru on the penultimate stage 20 on Saturday, September 9th, 120 kilometers after the start in Corvera. Our Grand Tour expert, Ed Hood, was on l'Angliru back in 2008 - we relive his day on the monstrously steep Asturian climb.
Rider Interview: As the cyclocross season builds to a climax with the World championships on January the 29th in Bieles, Luxembourg; the National championships last week gave us a clue to who is on form. In the US, Stephen Hyde took the national title, but it wasn't all plain sailing. Ed Hood got the story from the man himself.
Retro Interview: Craig Schommer was a name that cropped up on US national teams from the junior ranks up to Olympic and pro level. Ed Hood tracked Schommer down to hear how he started from adventurous teenage rides to taking on the East Europeans and the professionals in the top events of the 80s.
Sir Bradley Wiggins announced his retirement at the end of the Gent 6 Day, and it was for sure this time, or was it? Ed Hood has followed the career of the multi-champion through thick and thin; from pursuiter to time trial specialist to Tour de France winner and back to track supremo again. Is Ed a fan, or his biggest critic? You decide.
TDF'16 Roadside: Day two for Ed was a definite mountain day; riders off the front and riders off the back and PEZ friend Dan McLay was in the latter group. From the Tour Village Ed takes in the two main climbs of the day and all the excitement that comes with them.
Suspicions and rumors have followed the sportsmen from the other side of the 'Iron Curtain' but there are two sides to every story. Has anyone asked a Russian rider from that time? Ed Hood got the word from the horses mouth, Russian ex-World champion Nikolai Razouvaev has a story to tell from the '70s that has resonance to today.
Retro Interview: These last few months we’ve tracked down some of those colorful British cyclo-cross stars of the 70’s and 80’s – John Atkins and Chris Wreghitt have told their stories to PEZ. But perhaps the most colourful of them all was the man with the famous soccer star, ‘George Best Look’ and the lightest of bikes – Barry Davies.
Retro Interview: One of the coolest guys to ever throw a leg over a bike was Phil Edwards. His zero degree style probably came from his Italian mother, but he was British junior and professional national champion and rode to many victories in a GB jersey. His pro career was spent with the Italian Sanson team, in the service of the great Francesco Moser. Ed Hood caught up with Mr.Cool to get the lowdown.
Interview: Johan Vansummeren is a big guy, standing at nearly two meters tall, but he was also a man with a big engine and could be relied upon in his fifteen Grand Tour rides. Then there was his crowning glory, winning the 'Hell of the North' in 2011. But on the 29th of June 2016, with his wife Jasmine by his side, Vansummeren had to announce his premature retirement from the sport due to a heart problem.
Interview: It's always good to hear of a new team doing well, or in the case of the Cycling Academy, a team from a country with little cycle sport tradition, moving up the ladder. In 2017 the squad from Israel will be a UCI Pro Continental team, the second devision in the World of professional cycling. Ed Hood spoke Tsadok Yecheskeli, the team's Media Director, to get the low-down on 'The Cycling Academy' - Pro Continental team.
Interview: Next in line for our retro US interviews is Andy Paulin, a rider who could have made it big in Europe, but turned his back on a 7-Eleven contract offer. As he said: 'I was happy being a big dog here in the US.' He was happy to watch those guys suffer in Europe. Ed hood caught up with Paulin to get the full story.
Rider Interview: Young Australian rider, Nick Schultz, has been making the headlines for a few years and it was only a matter of time before a big team snapped him up. After big wins in France and his stints as stagiaire with Etixx Continental team and Orica-BikeExchange he has signed with the Spanish Caja Rural-Seguros RGA ProContinental squad for 2017. Ed Hood caught up with him to hear how it all came about.
Karl Strugnell has come back to cycling after a break and is making a good go at it. But what about his bike? Specialist frame builders Reilly have built him a titanium work of art, which is also the perfect tool for his big return to the sport.
Interview: Second in our 'Best of British' cyclo-cross riders is Chris Wreghitt. He broke the stranglehold that John Atkins held on the National championships at only 18 years of age and still at school. From then on he was Britain's best man in the winter mud until a back injury in 1984 forced him out of the sport at only 25. Ed Hood got the full story from school cycling to the World championships.
The recent London Six Day got us thinking back to those ‘golden 70’s’ of six day racing and pursuiting; when to have the reigning World Professional Pursuit Champion on a six day bill was a big deal – and all the pursuiters didn’t ‘look the same’ and 5,000 meters was the blue riband distance. One name sticks out from that time - Roy Schuiten.
Interview: The name Clarence 'Roy' Knickman rings a lot of bells. Big in the US and a man to watch in Europe, with big teams wanting his signature on a contract, but then he went back to America and? Ed Hood caught up with Knickman to hear his side of the story and a few other tales from his career of in the 80s, 90s and even into the 2000s.
Rider Interview: Not often you hear of a horse rider becoming a bike rider, but Scotsman Wilson Renwick has done just that. Renwick was a prolific winner over the jumps until he had to admit that there was a chance he would never recover sufficiently to return to race-riding after suffering multiple injuries in a fall at Market Rasen in 2015. Ed Hood got the full story.