PEZ ON SCENE: The Omega Pharma – Quick-Step pro cycling team is one of the most successful and it’s always a pleasure to see how a big team functions behind the scenes. PEZ got a close up look at their recent Spain training camp, meeting the riders, taking a spin in a team car and eating a nice lunch. Could it get any better?
It’s that time of year again with lots of teams on the Costa Blanca for their first training camp of the off season. Our man in Spain, Alastair Hamilton is on the spot and spent the day on the road with Team Astana. Here is how his day panned-out with the Kazakhs.
For the very first time, the 2013 Tour de France took on the mythical Alpe d'Huez twice in one day by descending and then ascending the little known Col de Sarenne. In June, before the Dauphiné tested out the roads and much needed roadworks were completed, PEZ's man in France, Chris Selden cycled the route on a simply epic 150km and 4800m elevation day.
Paris, France - the city of love, the Eiffel Tower, le Louvre and... traffic jams. Could Paris really be a destination for a PEZ 'Top Ride'? Well, yes as just 35km South-West of the capital is the gorgeous Vallée de Chevreuse where the cows, sheep and forest replace the hustle and bustle of the big city making it an ideal playground for cyclists.
In a land of amazing food, and even more amazing people, there’s always one meal that stands out when I chase the Giro. These moments materialize when least expected, but remain stuck in my mind as one of life's truly 'good times'. This one involved a smoking grill, homemade wine, and being held against my will...
The Tour de France has given us all so many special memories over the years and with the 100th edition starting on Saturday we thought it was a good time to ask the PEZ crew what their personal favorite Tour moments have been. Fittingly Alpe d'Huez gets two mentions but some other favorite PEZ stages may be a surprise.
PEZ TECH: Old world Lugs and stainless steel wrapped around custom electronic shifting, prototype cranks and more. This project is the result of a murderer’s row of talent (and me) taking a swing at old-meets-new…
We've featured some pretty special machines in Readers Rigs over the last year but today's machine is something completely different again. It's a custom built racing tandem owned by Peter Spencer a Cat 1 racer in Australia and his blind stoker Zachariah Clarkson.
Things are not as good as they used to be in Spanish cycling, look back to 2006 and there were four ProTour, five ProContinental and five Continental Spanish teams registered with the UCI. In 2013 there are two ProTour, one ProConti and two Conti. Add to that the top Spanish rider, Alberto Contador, rides for a Danish team. So what went wrong in Spanish cycling?
You might think visiting Pro teams at their Spanish training camps is all swanning about rubbing elbows with the famous, drinking coffee at beachside bars and being driven about in team cars. Well, sometimes it is - but our man in Spain, Alastair Hamilton, found the other side of the coin with OmegaPharma-Quickstep this week and he still managed to have a nice day with Tom, Cav and the guys.
Parlee Cycles Z5SL is the third frame from the company to make it to PEZ and the 5th product in the Boston masters life cycle. I've wanted to pay a little tribute to my favorite head bangers AC/DC for years and the Z5SL is as black a platform as it gets.
Longtime suffering cycling fans in Scotland had their dreams fulfilled recently with the opening of the new International velodrome in Glasgow. With a recent round of the Track World Cup held on the new boards, PEZ fan and proud Scot, Mark McGhee was one of the first in line to buy tickets. Here's Mark's story from that first historic International meet.
Course Preview: A good Vuelta or a bad Vuelta? I needed to find out what the feelings are on this year’s Spanish Grand Tour and what better place than my local bar/office in the village. A bowl of almonds, a plate of meaty bits, some bread, a glass of coke with a coffee to follow and the Spanish sports papers to read, what more do I need? Just the comments from some people in the bar!
It's Best Of Week on PEZ, as we bid adieu to the big Holiday weekend and gear up for New Year's. For this Monday, we'll keep the Alastair Hamilton theme going and opt for his pick - the 2011 Quick-Step training camp - to go along nicely with yet another excellent EuroTrash. Read on!
The Press Room at a Grand Tour can be a daunting place. Most people are too busy working to pass the time of day, but Laura Meseguer always has a happy smile and a warm word to cheer up the weariest of journo’s. TV commentator, serious journalist that can take a good photograph, add in good looks and a sense of humour...what more could you ask for?
Roadside: Another HOT day in Spain on La Vuelta, but at least this time I was in the car and it was a proper road stage with a bit of movement involved! The day started quietly and ended in a sprint that would have suited Philippe Gilbert down to the ground. Sky made up for yesterdays team time trial fiasco with a very nice win for Chris Sutton at the beach.
Ever since we’d pulled the trigger on the big family adventure of 2010 – heading to Italy for 6+ weeks of living ‘la dolce vita’, I’d had it in my mind to take Mrs. Pez to ‘Barolino’ in the tiny town of Levanto on Italy’s Ligurian coast, to meet my new best bud Marco.
After any adventure to cover the great races of our sport, there’s always one story I can’t wait to write – about an experience so amazing, that it must be shared – with as many people as possible. The telling and retelling takes me back to a moment that passed all too quickly, but left an impression that both surprised me by its intensity, and also restored some faith in human nature.
It’s Leicester’s Saffron Lane velodrome, August 1974. The newly crowned British 20 kilometre champion, Maurice Burton waves his bouquet. Sections of the crowd are booing. Is it because the champion rode a tactical race – or perhaps because his skin is a different color?