Roadside Report: From the religious tourist trap of Lourdes to the history of Le Tour and on to to the backstage areas with the buses, tour tech and more - Ed Hood was everywhere today taking it all in. It might have been a rainy day in the South-West of France but it was a great day out roadside at Le Tour. Let's have a look at Ed's day through his eyes...
Rider Interview: Zak Dempster is a young Aussie currently living the dream, racing his very first Tour de France in support of his team leader Leo Konig at the NetApp-Endura team. Ed Hood caught up with Zak during some down time at the race to see how Zak's been getting on at the biggest race in the world as Paris approaches.
Roadside: Vincenzo Nibali showed his class today and won his fourth stage on the Hautacam after passing our man in France; Ed Hood on the Tourmalet. Let’s see what he got up to on the mythical Pyrenean climb, the last mountain of this year’s Tour de France.
Roadside: What a better way to see the Tour de France than in the Pyrenean mountains with L'Equipe open in front of you and in a tent with a TV and a drink in your hand. Ed Hood knows how to see the Tour and have a good time. Day three...
Roadside Interview: Ed Hood’s first hectic day on this year’s Tour de France was meant to be a rest day, but not for Ed. After the mussel party with OPQS, there were rider interviews to get. First up was PEZ favourite; Michael Morkov of Tinkoff-Saxo.
Roadside: Our PEZ man in France, Ed Hood, has been immersing himself in the Tour, as he does every year. And as always that elusive accreditation has given him problems. In the end all was sorted and he headed off to the mountains. Day 2 of Ed’s Tour ‘14 adventure.
Roadside Rest Day: A superb setting with top class food, wine, beer and more it was easy to see why our experienced Tour reporter Ed Hood headed to the OmegaPharma-Quickstep media gig in Carcassonne on the Tour's rest day. Mussels to eat and some tired muscled cyclists to interview were the menu of the day.
Roadside St 15: Ed Hood, the PEZ man with the most Grand Tour experience, has hit the French ground running. He flew out of Scotland this morning and has been exploring Carcassonne this afternoon and crying into his beer over Jack Bauer being caught only metres from a Stage win in Nîmes. Ed’s 2014 Tour adventure starts here.
Race Report: The first day back in France looked a little different; there was a lot less spectators at the side of the road than in England. But at the stage end, after a crazy fast last 20 kilometres, everything became familiar again as Marcel Kittel took his third stage win.
Race Report: ‘One of the fastest sprints I ever did,’ the words of Marcel Kittel (Giant & Germany) after he’d made the rest of the world’s fastest men look flat footed in winning Stage Three of the 2014 Tour de France on the doorstep of Her Majesty the Queen, right outside Buckingham Palace in London.
Race Preview: The biggest bike race in the World is about to hit the green hills of Yorkshire, as always we have our most experienced Tour de France scribe; Ed Hood on the job of running us through this year’s race. The important stages, the top riders and the history: All you need to know is here.
Rider Interview: The Tour de France build-up is well underway and Ed Hood managed to grab American rider Matthew Busche of Trek Factory Racing for some words before his first ‘Grand Boucle’. Busche has been on a Vuelta winning team in the past, will that be enough preparation for the Tour?
Roadside Report: For Ed's first day roadside at last year's Tour he went straight to where it all happens - the finishline to get all the latest. Tired cyclists, happy cyclists, angry directors and hungry for news journos, the finishline is always an interesting mix of riders, teamstaff, family, girlfriends and hangers on.
Pro Interview: One of the new signings for Garmin-Sharp this year was Portugese climber André Cardoso. Often seen at the front during the Giro working tirelessly for his team leader we thought it was time to catch up with André to find out more about him and see how he is feeling in his first year at World Tour level.
Race Preview: With 9 stages of tough racing on the agenda including two difficult time trials this year's Tour de Suisse is sure to be a hard fought race. With some of the peloton racing for the glory, others for Tour de France spots and others as their last stop before a post Giro rest, picking the winner is difficult but Ed Hood thinks he has the answers...
Race Preview: Eight stages of tough racing in the French Alps and with the three big Tour de France contenders in attendance of Chris Froome, Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali - the Dauphine this year is sure to be a great race. It's time to take a closer look at the stages, history and the contenders before the race kicks off on Sunday.
Stage Report: Michael Rogers produced arguably the greatest ride of his life to become only the fourth man to win on this ultimate test of courage and climbing ability that is Monte Zoncolan. It was a truly monster stage and a great way to end the Giro in the mountains.
Race Report: In the manner of a champion, Nairo Quintana consolidated his grip on the maglia rosa with victory in the brutal 26.8 kilometre mountain time trial to Cima Grappa – but it was no runaway win, with rising Sardinian star Fabio Aru running him to just 17 seconds to grab 2nd on the day and place himself just 41 seconds behind 2nd placed on GC Rigoberto Uran who was 3rd on this day of judgement.
Race Report: As expected, the stage 12 time trial from Barbaresco to Barolo gave the Giro GC a real shake – but what wasn’t expected was for Colombia’s Rigoberto Uran (OmegaPharma-QuickStep) to put 1:34 into race leader and stage favourite Cadel Evans to win the chrono and become Colombia’s first ever Giro maglia rosa.
Race Report: French speedster Nacer Bouhanni wins again for F des J, Matthews takes fourth; no change on GC but not the usual ‘boring sprinter stage’ it could well have been with five desperados holding off the posse almost all the way back to the Mexican border – but not quite . . .