The 2015/16 '6 Days' season has come to an end in Copenhagen and our man on the winter boards, Ed Hood, was working hard for his boys in the velodrome center. We pick up the story of the final three days of track action before the 6 Day circus packs its bags away for the summer.
Roadside PEZ: The news of the return of the Volta a Valenciana was met with as much pleasure and excitement by bike fans of the area, as when the National tour announced it would base most of the final week of the 2016 race on the roads of Valencia. Our local PEZman, Alastair Hamilton, had to see a couple of stages in his backyard.
Ed Hood has moved on from Berlin to Copenhagen for the next and last '6 Day' of the 2015/16 season. By the sound of things the hard work was the drive from one velodrome to the other, but the 'circus' is all set up and the boards are vibration under the rider's wheels to the bongos, dernys, big motors and the music.
Ed Hood brings the Berlin '6 Day' to its climax with the big chase finale, but there were more tales to tell before the camper-van could be packed for the drive and ferry trip to Copenhagen for the next and last '6 Day' of the 2015/16 winter season.
Part two of Ed Hood's 'night job' in Berlin at the velodrome and the action was full on for days' two and three of the German '6 Day'. The big motors were out as were the sprinters, the beer, the flowers for the winners, plus a Berlin bear!
Race Preview: As the Vuelta a España 2016 route was announced on Saturday, you could hear the collective groan of the sprinters as they counted their chances of a victory. On the other hand; the Spanish Grand Tour looks good for the fans and the lighter riders in the peloton. Ed Hood takes a first look at the most important stages and where to watch for the big attacks.
At this time of year there's always a discussion in the 'virtual' PEZ office about the past season and which rider or race was the best of the year. Finding consensus was impossible, but when PEZ said "make up your own category"... things got interesting.
The 2016 Tour de France route presentation last week was greeted with (mostly) pleasure from the riders, a good mix of flat, time trial and climbing, with the emphasis on the climbing. Our PEZ Grand Tour expert, Ed Hood, was deep in the bowels of the London velodrome at the time of the presentation, but he's been let out of his cage to give us his Tour'16 First Look.
Race Preview: The 2016 Giro d'Italia route has been announced and so Ed Hood has ran an educated eye over the percorso to give us his first look at the Italian Grand Tour. Three individual time trials, seven sprint stages, seven medium mountain stages and four high mountain stages. A total of 3,383 kilometres, with 42,200 metres of climbing.
Belgium, or more precisely Flanders, in the third weekend in November is the place to be, a mecca for winter cycling fans. With the Gent '6 Day' and two top cyclo-cross races it's the centre of the universe. Ed Hood is usually working in the bowels of the velodrome, but this year he was there just for the fun.
We've heard from Ed Hood working in the bowels of the London '6 Days', so now it's time to hear from a fan in the velodrome. Here's what Sam Larner's first visit to the wooden track looked like.
After a late night and a long drive back to Edinburgh in the '6 Days' camper-van, Ed Hood has managed to give us the run-down on the last days of the first London 6 Days for many a year. The track meeting was an all round success for riders and audience alike. Part two of Ed's London '6 Days' from behind the cabins:
The winter is here in Europe and if you are not playing cyclo-cross in the muddy fields of Belgium you must be in-door at a '6 Days' somewhere. New on the track calendar for the 2015/16 winter season is the London 6, well the London 1 + 5 Days to be more precise. Ed Hood is back in harness and working hard in the track cabins, but he has had time to fill us in on his London experience so far.
Race Report: Matteo Trentin took the fastest road race in history as he won the 2015 Paris-Tours in an average speed of 49.6km/h. But, the Italian had to fight for his fourth win of the season as he was in strong company as he hit the finalé of this old French Classic.
Race Report: Vincenzo Nibali cemented his place as the best descender in the sport and he used this to take a famous victory in Lombardy. His Attack with 17 kilometers to go was perfectly timed, but Katusha's Dani Moreno escaped the small band of chasers and had the shark in his sights, but in the end Vincenzo was the man of the day.
The Richmond World Championships have been voted as a success with worthy winners all of whom took their victories with panache and élan. Lee Rodgers is in total agreement, but he also sees the importance of Peter Sagan using the opportunity of his win to talk of the World outside the bubble of professional sport. The World of Lowdown.
Race Report: With a text book late move Slovakia’s charismatic Peter Sagan was crowned champion of the world after an exciting and savage finale in Richmond, Virginia. Invisible until one ‘minute to midnight’ he made his move on the steep cobbles of 23rd Street and once he was alone, he was gone - despite a desperate peloton on his heels all along the finish straight.
Race report: The elite ladies provided an absolute nail-biter of a finish in Richmond in what must be the best women's worlds in the last decade … breakaways, counter-attacks, tactical brinkmanship, and a great circuit, combined with intrigue and nerve-shredding pursuit all the way to the line.
Race Report: On a day when the pundits – including this one - got it all wrong it was 34 year-old veteran Belorusan Sky stalwart Vasil Kiryienka who pulled on the rainbow jersey, besting ever-improving Italian chronoman, Adriano Malori by nine seconds and French shock bronze medallist Jerome Coppel by 26 seconds.
Race Report: At the halfway point it looked likely that the second rider off, Kristin Armstrong, would take the win. Enter the final wave of riders and Linda Villumsen who put in the ride of her life to win the rainbow stripes.