The first two big races in northern Europe were at the week-end and PEZ had our photographer, Jack Chevell, there to take in as much of the cobblestone action as he could. This is how his Belgian trip panned out in the land of beer and bikes.
Mar 05, 2015 - The cobbles are still with us in Le Samyn and we have the report and video. From cobbles we move on to 'White Roads' in Italy, Paris-Nice and the 3 days of West Flanders. Other cycling news: Astana still in trouble, Wellens retires, Tom's tax case, Scheldeprijs and a new Tour video. Get the coffee.
This Saturday the 9th Strade Bianche heads off from San Gimignano to cross the 'White Roads' before finishing in the historic city of Siena. Our man in Italy, Alessandro Federico (and his bike), covered the last 20 kilometers to take in the final climbs and those dirt roads in his Tuscan homeland.
This week Lee Rodgers runs his eye over the debacle of Saturday's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The Etixx - Quick-Step team had the upper hand; three riders versus the solo Ian Stannard and what happened... Stannard won. Here is the 'Lowdown' on the in's and the out's, the excuses and where it all went wrong.
Day two of Ed Hood's Belgian jaunt took him to the roadside of Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne on Sunday, via one or two of his favourite hostelries. The more relaxed start allowed a bit of bike hardware inspection, and rider mingling, but with a race to watch the call of the bar L'Escale was strong.
If cycling is a sport of suffering, most of the time that suffering comes down to our muscles feeling like anchors on a climb or exploding in agony in a sprint. But fatigue, like love, is a many-splendored thing. Does the type and location of fatigue occur at different parts of our nerves and muscles depending on the type of exercise that we do?
Two races in Belgium at the week-end, so we put Ed Hood roadside in Flanders, and he was in his element. Cobbles, riders, fans, bikes and beer; all you need for two full days of Flemish fun. Although it was a sober Ed who walked stunned out of a bar after Saturday's Het Nieuwsblad debacle!
Mar 02, 2015 - It has been a very good week-end for British riders with Ian Stannard winning Het Nieuwsblad and Mark Cavendish taking the honors in Kuurne. Video, reports, rider quotes, results and 'Top Story' from Belgium. Plus: GP Lugano, Women's Hour Record, Roubaix teams, GP Samyn, Richmond 2015 and riding in Italy.
Race report: After yesterday's lemming-like ride into self-destruction, Etixx-QuickStep's riders would no doubt have taken to the road with Patrick Lefevre's team-talk thunder-clapping around their ears like a Pete Townsend power-chord from a 1970s Who concert. Today, they got it right in the end with a fine sprint win for Mark Cavendish.
Race Report: Up against three Etixx-Quickstep riders, and three of the best classics riders in the world, it was last year’s winner Ian Stannard of Team Sky who showed them all how to ride the Omloop. Boonen, Vandenbergh and Terpstra could do nothing to hold back a rampaging Englishman who wanted this win more than any other in his career.
One of my favorite rides in recent memory, and possibly ever – was a loop from Bellagio, up the Madonna del Ghisallo, then the Colma di Sormano, and back along the shores of Lake Como to my base at Il Perlo Panorama.
Rider interview: Two interviews for the price of one as Alastair Hamilton has a very long chat with two of the most experienced American riders on the WorldTour. BMC's Peter Stetina and Brent Bookwalter were recently in Spain and PEZ had to get all the behind the scenes info on the 'Super Team'.
Feb 26, 2015 - The Belgian cobbles week-end starts here in EuroTrash. All the info you need for Het Nieuwsblad & Kuurne, plus Harelbeke unpopular, Dr. Steven in the WSJ, the last '15 cyclo-cross, GP di Lugano, Amstel Gold, Etixx take Colombians, Giro GF in NI and Ruud Cremers injured.
This week Lee Rodgers casts his eye over the opening classics of the season and looks into just what makes these great old races so special. Lee also runs into a special old rider who has been up and maybe too close to the 'Campionissimo' Fausto Coppi himself. Life on the cobbles!
The cobble season starts on Saturday with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and then rattles its way into Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne on Sunday. These races are for the hard men of the roads. Ed Hood looks back at the last five years of the 'cobbles week-end' and forward to this year.
With the eventual approach of (hopefully) late winter in the northern hemisphere, most of us are transitioning out of preparatory or base training and looking towards incorporating higher intensity efforts into our programs. What are some of the thoughts behind planning intervals properly?
Interview: Brian Vandborg retired at the end of 2013 after a career that saw him compete for CSC, Discovery, GLS, Liquigas, SpiderTech and Cannondale. Two teams folded and a season was ruined due to mononucleosis, but he was a strong team rider to the end. Ed Hood found out more about the man from Snejdjberg.
Feb 23, 2015 - Wall-to-wall racing over the week-end from Oman, Spain, France, Portugal and Italy and we have all the news with reports and result, plus rider quotes and all the video action. Sad news for the Cult Energy team as theft stopped them finishing Haut Var. It's all in EuroTrash Monday.
The aging process is something none of us can avoid, but with the help of Joe Friel and his book 'Faster After 50' we might be able to fight off the degeneration or at least understand the process. There is good news; Friel advises on strength training to stop age-related loss of muscle mass, overtraining and the importance of rest and recovery.
The queen stage of the 2015 Tour of California will be a ball buster of epic proportions, climbing 11,600 feet over just 80 miles from Ontario to the top of Mt. Baldy. I rode the stage a couple years back as part of the L'Etape du California sportif ride, and can assure you this would be at home in any Grand Tour. Here's a closer look at the stage that could decide the 2015 race.