The Amstel Gold Race is on this Sunday around the hills and traffic furniture laden streets of Holland's Limburg province and it's a brutal race of attrition defined by more than 30 hills. With more twists and turns than a good detective novel the winner is often decided only in the closing kilometers. Ed Hood takes a look at the course and contenders for 2014.
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. Almost 20 years ago it was Mauro Gianetti who was making the news.
He scored 139 professional wins, including the Three days of De Panne an amazing five times, Ghent-Wevelgem, The Tour of Flanders and, in 1987, Paris-Roubaix. It was one of the most savage editions of the race, ever with only 47 finishers from 192 starters. Ed Hood caught up with Eric to talk about that day and his other career highlights.
The third monument of the season is always a special race. It's the Hell Of The North, the race that puts man and machine over ancient cobbled tracks steeped in history, tragedy and more. Today Ed Hood takes an indepth look at the 2014 race that will once again make the cobbles of Northern France the centre of the cycling world on Sunday.
It's the most important race of the year for many, the race that stops a nation and no matter whether you call it The Tour of Flanders or the Ronde van Vlaanderen it's a superb event. Win it and you become an instant star in Belgium. Win it more than twice, a legend. Let's take a look at this Sunday's big race and make some predictions of who will go in the record books this year.
The so called 'Sprinter's Classic' of Flanders, Gent-Wevelgem is on this Sunday and as Ed Hood explains 233km of wind, cobbles and the mid parcours hills could well combine to rob the sprinters of their win.
Race Report: Norway gained her first ever Primavera winner as Katusha hard man Alex Kristoff, chaperoned by equally hard Italian veteran team mate Luca Paolini left all of the ‘super favourites’ behind on the wet tarmac of Sanremo to claim the 2014 Milan Sanremo.
He's British, he's one of the fastest men in the world over four kilometers and an Olympic and World Champion on the track in 2012 and no it's not Bradley Wiggins. It's Steven Burke, a stalwart of the British Team Pursuit squad and a man with a fearsome turn of speed. We recently caught up with Steven to chat about what the future holds for the fast man from Lancashire.
Race Preview: The 2014 Milan Sanremo has gone back to its roots this year with a parcours just like it was 10 years ago after the late exclusion of the new Pompeiana climb. Today Ed Hood checks out the parcours, the pretenders, the contenders and even the absentees ahead of Sunday's big race.
Our talent spotter Ed Hood has been at it again scouring the globe for the next big rider. This time he's found a young Englishman making his way through the ranks in Nantes, France with the prestigious amateur team Union Cycliste Nantes Atlantique - the home to many riders in the past who have gone on to pro careers. Could Douglas Dewey be another name on that list in the future?
Roadside Report: After the cold and rain of Saturday's 'Flanders Classics' Het Nieuwsblad, Sunday dawned clear and sunny for a perfect day of racing action roadside in Belgium at the Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne.
Roadside Report: Out there in the rain and cold at the Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday was our battle hardened reporter Ed Hood who wouldn't have dreamed of being anywhere else. With the hard man ingredients of cold & cobbles with perhaps the odd Belgian beer to warm him up, it was the perfect start to the Classics campaign.
Race Preview: Het Nieuwsblad kicks it all off on the Saturday then the following day the circus moves south to Kuurne for the semi-classic Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne. The race has similarities with ‘big brother’ the previous day; it’s on the 200 K mark and it ventures into the Flemish Ardennes above Oudenaarde and PEZ will be roadside.
Race preview: Saturday’s 69th edition of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad signals the start of the Classics series as the best in the world take on this semi-classic on the famous Flanders cobbles. Ed Hood will be there roadside this weekend but before he flew out he checks in with a full preview of the action ahead.
Dukla Prague’s Martin Hacecky is our man in Eastern Europe; a cycling journalist, TV race commentator, professional roadman and winter boards rider. So there are few better people to ask the question of ‘What’s a day in the life of a six day rider really like?’
Rider Interview: One of PEZ's charges at the recent Berlin and Copenhagen Six Days was a man who was having his second bite at the six day circus cherry, America's Daniel Holloway. From stagiere with Garmin to stints on pro teams in the US and abroad with national championships on the track and criterium circuit on the way, Daniel has seen a lot of racing.
Copenhagen Six Day 2014: With five riders to look after as a runner at the Copenhagen Six, Ed Hood had his work cut out for him but he still had time to rock out to the music, take a few photos and soak up the atmosphere from inside this famous race.
First two days of the Copenhagen Six day cycling race: The rock 'n' roll carnival that is the European Six scene just finished up in Berlin and before you know it they've packed up again and moved further North into the icy surrounds of Denmark as the big names hit the boards in a frozen Copenhagen. Our runner on the scene Ed Hood checks in after the first two days of action.
Ed Hood has worked at various six day races around Europe as a 'runner' for many of the big stars since 2005 and before he took us through the last three days of action at the Berlin Six we just had to ask him one question, 'What is it you actually do at a six day race?'
Berlin Six 2014: PezCycling's Six Day man Ed Hood is in the trenches at the world's longest running Six Day cycling race, working as a runner for American riders Daniel Holloway and Guy East. Here's his look at the first 3 days of action and events from the German Capital.