Richard Pestes – Publisher
We’ve been publishing almost 8 years now, and most of the core PEZ-Crew has been along for 5-6 of those years. I’ve always been proud of our body of work, but this year has been outstanding – each of the guys seemed to really find their voice and to take our stories to another gear. PEZ-Fans agreed as your emails of support continue – we appreciate the feedback and really do try to respond to every email we get.
My personal hilites included four days of awesome rides at the Tour of California, chasing my beloved Giro, and a 6 hour epic in sweltering heat on the Ligurian Coast around Sestri Levante.
2010 is looking like a banner year, as I’ve booked my flights to Milan-Sanremo, and Mrs. Pez and I are planning a 6-week sojourn to Italy just in time for the Giro – kiddies and all.
My 11 week-old daughter Loredana is already showing signs of a promising cycling career…
Speaking of kiddies – the undisputed capper was the birth our daughter Loredana in October. Our oldest Alessa is thrilled to be a big sister, and her wonder, joy and enthusiasm for everything around her is constant proof that fatherhood is a pretty good deal. Of course I wouldn’t be enjoying any of this without the love and support of my beautiful wife Teresa (aka Mrs. Pez).
I count myself grateful to be looking to another year of cycling in good health, and continuing to share my passion for this sport with you readers, my good friends in the cycling community, the clients who consider us worthy of their advertising dollars, and the valiant PEZ Crew.
Thank you PEZ-Readers for joining us again this year. Enjoy this season with the people who matter most, get out on your bike if you can, and be sure to say hello next time you see us on the roads…
Jered Gruber – Asst. Editor (USA)
Merry Christmas! Ashley and I are firmly entrenched in Colorado with my family after a nice dump of snow yesterday. I haven’t gotten too many White Christmases in my life, so it’s always appreciated.
As for 2009? It was fantastic. Ashley and I spent most of the year enjoying the life in Innsbruck, Austria and traipsing around Europe as much as possible. I never imagined it possible to have so much fun with one person. I guess I must have gotten lucky.
We packed our things and headed back to America in August for Ashley to finish up her studies. When we got home, I proposed, and now we’re working on putting together a wedding date before we head back to Europe this coming September.
I can’t wait for 2010.
Alastair Hamilton: EuroBureau (Spain)
Well! It’s here again and for the first time in years there is snow on the hills on the Costa Blanca as my wife, Olivia, and I sit down for Christmas Eve dinner. In Spain tonight are the big celebrations, but then they do carry on through tomorrow also, so its food and drink to be repeated at New Years Eve and then again for the three kings in January. It’s a hard job but someone has to do it!
On a cycling front I think 2009 has been a good year, not as much talk of drugs and some good racing to be seen. My particular highlight, (as you may have noticed) was Boonen at Roubaix, Contador at Le Tour and the Vuelta wasn’t bad either with Valverde showing he can race three weeks without a bad day.
I think the racing next year should be “A Cracker!” Love him or hate him, Lance will be stronger and have a point to make, let’s hope he can be Mr. Nice Guy at the same time? But the nice guys don’t win races! (Carlos Sastre)
We have a new kitten – Oli – in the house and she is looking forward to her first Vuelta, checking the Spanish sports papers for the course.
Merry Christmas to everyone and have a great New Year, I hope it’s been as much a pleasure reading PEZ as it has been writing for you.
ЎFelices Navidades! Bon Nadal.
Dr. Stephen Cheung – ToolBox Editor (Canada)
Hauling a canoe seemingly up and back down the whole length of Norway with my mate Olaf in June. Managed to get rather scarily hypothermic during a day-long downpour – rather ironic for a thermophysiologist!
Every year I think that things can’t get any crazier, and every year I’m proven wrong. 2009 has been a real hum-dinger of a year professionally. My new lab, one-of-a-kind in North America, finished construction and officially opened in October. After >11 years as a university scientist, I finally have my dream lab and have the ability now to really study and push the frontiers of environmental physiology, so I also can’t wait for the coming years to see where that research takes us. Equally exciting is my new textbook that was just published in November, a culmination really of everything that I’ve learned in the past 18 years since starting graduate school. Also, the other fun thing about 2009 was being invited as a guest speaker all around the world, ranging from Holland in April, both eastern and western Australia in July, and Qatar in November.
Over the holidays, my students have somehow escaped from the lab, so I’ll be home enjoying family time and attending our boys’ concerts and serving as quality control for my wife’s baking. I’m so grateful that my parents took the risk to move the family to Canada all those years ago so that their kids can pursue opportunities, and equally grateful that my family is there for me all the way. May you all have wonderful holiday time with those closest to you whether they’re near or far, and may 2010 be full of terrific times to come.
Charles Manantan – Tech N Spec Editor (USA)
Temptation. You know that feeling… You can imagine, almost taste something, but you can’t have it. Then there’s the reality that if you do get your way, the taste might not nearly be as good as it seems…
09′ was odd in that we went through a Tour where the biggest complaint was that no big dope positives came out… And how damn stupid can some governing bodies be when they go ahead and make press waves about the lack of doping? Of all the good people losing their jobs in 09′, I can think of a few complete jackasses that shouldn’t have had a paycheck.
But the big story of 09′ is probably the lip licking prospect of the 10 tour. And it might be very similar to eating a gingerbread house…
It could be made up of pure sweetness. Alberto is no place near stupid as some people want you to believe, and he beat the crap out of Lance and the Schleck’s with about as much support as he’ll have in 2010. And Lance may be the old Lance, despite trying (and failing horribly) to soften expectations at the Shack team press conference by saying that the team isn’t built around him, despite looking exactly like a team built around him.
The gingerbread house could also be made of the same “paper and poo” that lots of people’s home loans were… Boonen needs to become a man and put away childish things, Garmin need to make winning a priority rather than keeping someone else from winning and somebody needs to be in a position to give Cavendish something other than a rectal exam.
I would love to have skipped 2009 in many ways, but cycling has me excited. That said, here’s hoping that those less fortunate and with uncertain futures can very shortly find what they need for themselves and their families. I wish you all the best and wish everyone Happy Holidays and a better 2010!
Matt Conn – EuroBureau (Aussie in Italy)
Things are running smoothly for the family here in Italy, although with all of our families back in Australia for Christmas this year, it does make things seem just a little isolated. It’s amazing how often we are told that the people of Friuli can be very ‘closed’ to those from outside, yet we continue to find them a very open and welcoming (and normal) bunch of folk.
We’ve had a few personal changes with our daughter Ava starting what she refers to as ‘school’ this year, and Cass heading back to work as well. Hearing Ava come home from school with a few new Italian phrases every week has certainly been entertaining. It won’t be long before I’ll have to take her along to the Giro to translate for me.
2009 was a satisfying year back on the bike for me. Over the summer I managed to reach a decent level of fitness and managed to avoid disgracing myself at the Journalists World Championships in Slovenia. Most of that form has long since disappeared, so the Lierde2010 training will have to get underway a bit sooner in the New Year. With Pez I was fortunate enough to get my teeth into a few good races and covered Milan -Sanremo, the centenary Giro and also catch an Aussie victory at the World Championships. All three events were great in their own way and I am really looking forward to chalking up a few more roadside excursions in 2010.
Being there on the ground and taking a look at what goes on around the racing, rather than just who won and how is what I would probably be doing if I went there as a fan. Sharing that experience with people who can’t get there themselves is what makes doing the Pez job great.
I hope all of our readers have a great holiday and hope to meet or hear from a few more of you all as we hit the road in 2010. Happy New Year.
Gord Cameron – EuroBureau (Scotland)
“Almost time to re-renew the resolutions I failed to keep last time around. Definitely time to look back on another year in which Pez has given me great opportunities that I hope you’ve been able to enjoy with me along the way. 2010 looks like being a better year again for our sport, and we just need to remember that it’s only our own horizons that will stop us seeing that. So, pour yourselves a large measure of your festive drink of choice, and reflect that we’re in love with the cycling world, not just because of the big races and the superstars. It’s because every time we get in the saddle it constantly reminds us of why we got into the sport in the first place. Being a little different, being a little freer.
From the snow-capped horizon of the frozen, but beautiful Scottish Highlands, I wish all Pez readers and their loved ones “Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath Щr.”
Ed Hood – EuroBureau (Scotland)
The people Ed really loves: Audrey, Marlene, Ruaridh, Paul.
‘Merry Christmas, war is over,’ said John Lennon; would that were true.
I’m just happy that I’m not one of the unfortunates who has to go and fight in some remote corner of the earth for reasons which the politicians tell us are, ‘vital to our national security.’ I’m glad too that I’m not one of the politicians who have to do the sending.
I’m just happy that my job is much simpler; trying to take you, our loyal readers, to the best bike races on the planet. This year I managed Het Nieuwsblad, Kuurne – Brussels – Kuurne, Milan – San Remo, Gent – Wevelgem, the Giro, the Tour, the Tour of Britain, Lombardy, not to mention the six days of Grenoble and Gent; I just hope that you enjoyed Dave, Martin and my endeavours.
I also had the great pleasure and privilege to speak to dozens of the people who make or sport so special – thanks to you all.
Before I deliver the ‘Christmas message’ – let’s all take a moment to remember Frank V de B, Paul Medhurst, Albert Beurick, Alan van Heerden and Dimitri De Fauw; may you all rest in peace.
Christmas for me will be with family; long suffering Marlene, her daughter Audrey, son-in-law Paul and golden boy grand son, Ruaridh.
There will be food and drink aplenty, presents, a cosy house and lots of love – I wish you the same; and look forward to trying even harder for you in 2010.
Alessandro Federico – EuroBureau (Italy)
Greetings from Italy. Everything is prepared here: chicken, sauce, presents, cats. Only the white one (Lilly) was available for the picture. The black one (Bubu) was out to enjoy a nice evening. Two days ago the snow, now we have almost a spring temperature. But on Christmas it will turn again to snow – at least, Diana is hoping for that. We will spend Christmas morning, as usual, opening presents. This year only one but… important. A laptop just for her, to give her the opportunity to write her father’s articles for Pez (she’s learning English fast). We will have a fat lunch together and, during the afternoon we will join friends to play “tombola” (bingo) – another classic Christmas event. All our best to Pez readers, to all the crew and to Pez and family!
- Alessandro Natalia and Diana
Chris Selden – Reporter At Large (France)
Merry Christmas to all or ‘Joyeaux Noel’ as they say here in France as once again I spend a cold Christmas tucked away in North Eastern France far, far from my native Australia and Christmas BBQs on the beach……
2009 was a year of changes for me with a new apartment, new job and a new wife, and 2010 looks to be the same with a new baby on the way! All great changes of course and I hope for all you PEZ readers out there, no matter where you are that you will have a great holiday period and come back more motivated than ever to get out there and ride, race or just follow the beautiful sport that is cycling. See you on the bike!
Matt McNamara (ToolBox Contributor – USA)
I must say that I am just so thankful for my family, friends, and all of the amazing athletes I work with. From the breakout performances and personal bests achieved by many, to the commitment and integrity shown by all, this has been a very memorable year for me as a coach. Of course I could never enjoy my job as much as I do without the eternal support of my wife, Starr, and the daily laughs, loves and kisses from my lovely daughter Mia. Thank you ladies for making my life so full and blessed! I am looking forward to a full and exciting year in 2010. In typical fashion I’ll bite off more than I can chew, ride less than I plan, and revel in all the madness that is my life. Each year I pick a word, a sort-of-mantra, to baseline against. Balance. Focus. Adventure. Family. For 2010 that word is Experiences (although Mia thought ‘night-of-the-living-lollipop’ sounded like a good choice)…I hope you’ll join me on the roller coaster from time to time. Happy Holidays to everyone in the Pez Family!
- Matt Mc
Corey Sar Fox – Italian Bureau (USA)
Though this is supposed to be a Christmas greeting, I’d rather write a Thanksgiving one. Why? Because it’s the holiday I miss the most living abroad and not following rules is one of my weaknesses. Which brings me to the first thing I’m thankful for: Richard humoring my silly ideas (and actually publishing them). Thanks Pez!
Secondly, I’m thankful that my children are old enough and interested enough to go riding with me. Cheapo is not only a journalistic theme, it’s also a way of being. Accordingly, my most treasured Xmas gifts are homemade coupons. Since we are pretty bad at keeping secrets, I already know and am looking forward to cashing in the “One Ride with Dad” gifts. Merry Thanksgiving, everyone!
Marvin Zauderer – Toolbox Contributor (USA)
Another amazing year here in the Zauderer household. I first give thanks that the numerous members of my extended family who had significant challenges to their physical and emotional health all made it through. They are made of strong stuff. My wife and I became empty-nesters, which has been both sad and a new beginning for us. Of course, the bike is always ready, willing, and able to help soothe whatever ails me and also to help me reach my potential. My team, Taleo Racing, has grown to 100 racers in its third year, and I’m in the middle of helping to organize our first training camp. Plus, I got to see the Tour de France riders begin and end stages in Barcelona (yes, I wore my PEZ jersey). My psychotherapy practice continues to grow, and my work with amateur and professional athletes on mental skills is exciting and fun as always.
It is always a pleasure to write my Sport Psychology column for PEZ, to hear feedback and ideas from readers, and to learn from my Toolbox colleagues here. I continue to be grateful to Richard, and my editor, Stephen Cheung, for giving me the opportunity to contribute and for allowing me to truly be myself in my writing. Thanks to all of you for reading and for challenging me to take on new aspects of the mental side of cycling.
All the best to you and yours this holiday season!
Casey Weaver – Eat To Compete Cook & Writer (USA)
A Christmas celebration with my family, not surprisingly, is mostly centered around food. It starts on Christmas Eve with either tamales or green chili; continues Christmas morning with brunch, often eggs benedict; then on into the evening with our meal of choice that year. Though maybe somewhat surprisingly, I typically play a pretty minimal role in this gastronomic extravaganza.
Though I enjoy my time in the kitchen plenty, this is not amateur night – I clear the way for my grandma, mom, and sisters to get down to business. I’ll lend a hand when summoned, but I’m much better at offering up a snide comment as necessary and “testing” any dishes before they go out on the table. When push comes to shove (sometimes literally), I’m happy to sit back with my Grandpa and sip a glass of scotch while the pros do what they do. I’ve found that it’s easy to miss a lot when you’re juggling hot pans and plates, so I try and take in all I can.
Though the food that comes out of our kitchen is nothing less than superb, truth be told, my holiday is much more about getting to spend time with an increasingly distanced family. If getting together with my grandparents, my mom, sisters, now two year old nephew, and any extended relatives that come into town meant eating Cheerios for Christmas dinner – that would be fine by me.
There are few things I enjoy more than sharing good food with friends—and I love providing the PEZ Readers with fresh recipe ideas. The feedback I’ve gotten has been nothing short of awesome, and I look forward to another year of feeding the cycling masses.
Leslie Reissner – Literature Specialist (Canada)
After another brutal Canadian winter, this brutal Canadian escaped to the mountains of North Carolina in April and there, among the Christmas tree farms and bowls of hot steaming grits, rediscovered his Inner Lance by riding up ridiculous Beech Mountain and the iconic Mount Mitchell. It only got better in Those United States as I enjoyed a double trip into the past by attending Cirque du Cyclisme, which is the Capistrano to lightweight steel bike collecting swallows, followed by cycling the route of the Great Allegheny Passage and thus rediscovering the joys of bike touring. Intervals of time trialing followed, and then I followed in the wheeltracks of other esteemed PEZ contributors and rode in the Dolomites and up the mighty Stelvio. A lot of beer was also involved. There are already exciting plans afoot for 2010, including a lot more cycling literature for all those loyal Pez followers to enjoy, and these thoughts buoy me up as I ride, sprayed with frozen slush, through the ice-filled streets that make up my own Cycling Paradise these days. Best wishes to all Pez readers, and my fellow contributors, for the season and let us all look forward to the pleasures of a new decade.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Matt Wood – Reporter At Large (USA)
2009 was a great year for International cycling; I was captivated by the Classics, especially Paris-Roubaix. Although The Tour de France was generally quiet this year, the field sprints the first week were riveting. The best news locally was the emergence of the U.S. television station – Universal Sports. In 2009 Universal presented daily coverage of The Tour d’Italia and The Vuelta a Espaсa. Interbike in Las Vegas continues to be one most fun cycling events of the year. Where can you go and speak with Eddy Merckx, Axle Merckx, Greg Lemond, Bob Roll, Christian Vande Velde, and Chris Carmichael all in one day? 2009 was also an outstanding year for PezCycling, as the depth, quality and uniqueness of the reporting was truly exceptional. I hope all the contributors and fans of Pez have a safe, happy and healthy 2010.
Dave Aldersebaes – Reporter (USA)
From Portland, Oregon, may we wish for peace on earth, and good will toward men! Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year!
Bruce Hendler – ToolBox (USA)
I would like to start with wishing all our dedicated Pez readers as well as my fellow Pez crew a happy holiday season and healthy and successful 2010!
2009 has been another fantastic year for both myself and AthletiCamps. I’ve traveled to some fantastic places around the world, have worked with many incredible athletes and have put more time on the bike, which is always a good thing!
Being a coach now for the last 10 years, I honestly feel like this year was one of the best. Working with amazing athletes that never cease to amaze me with their passion that only this sport can evoke. I congratulate all our athletes for all their hard work and dedication.
As we enter 2010, remember the big picture here. How fortunate we are to have the health and desire to train and compete in such a great sport. Everyday we should appreciate the joy that cycling gives us. Training on a bike gives us unique opportunities that other sports just can’t match. Don’t let a day go by where you don’t appreciate the opportunities it gives us! I certainly don’t.
Ride safe and ride strong in 2010 and beyond,
Simeon Green – French Bureau (spending X-mas in the USA)
I can’t believe it’s already been a year since all of us at PEZ wished our devoted readers a Merry Christmas. Time flies, and this is clearly true as the Pros are already traveling the world, bashing out loads of miles at training camp well aware that in the blink of an eyelid they’ll be standing on the start-line of a little summer circuit race around France.
This Pez man spends most of his winter off-season traveling the world in search of a new way to spend the winter. The last 2 years I headed to the southern hemisphere for sunny beaches and lots of good sunny training. This year I opted to hide out in the snow covered “hills” of Virginia USA’s Blue Ridge Mountains. I’ve been stuck in the house for a few days due to the snow that’s been above knee height for quite a while now.
Needless to say this winter-wonderland is a far more festive and Christmassy setting than the Aussie beach… though I must say my winter training miles are taking a pretty serious hit and so is my icy cold beer consumption! But then again, it IS the off-season. Which means this is a great time to reflect on the past cycling year, and a perfect time to start looking ahead to the 2010 cycling season that is now literally just around the corner.
The return of a certain American guy to the sport of cycling has to be the defining aspect of 2009. Lance is followed by a whirlwind of activity and excitement everywhere he goes, and, like him or not, he brought a lot people into our beloved sport once again in 2009. And he’ll be back in 2010, as will other true legends such as TT king Cancellara! How often to you see someone slow down before the finish line and raise their arms in a Time Trial? Also returning will be this year’s wonder-kid in my opinion Heinrich Haussler, lets keep an eye on him!
So while these fine cyclists spend the end of December logging endless Ks on the bike, jumping from airport-to-airport, setting up new equipment and watching what they eat, let’s all do them a favor and take up the slack on our end. Lets make sure we eat as much X-mas season food, and drink as much good stuff as we can, and have more fun than you can shake a stick at to make up for the skinny whippets who make our cycling seasons exciting!
Merry Christmas to all our readers and to my fellow Pez Peeps, and Happy New Year!!!