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.
A big part of the Tour de France's energy and atmosphere comes from the guys and girls that work in the massive publicity caravan. Earlier this year PEZ went backstage to check out what their job entails and we even managed to catch up with 5 time tour winner, Bernard Hinault.
The Tour de France 2014 Route was announced today in Paris and Pez was there. The “yellow” carpet was unrolled to welcome everyone who’s anyone in the world of cycling, complete with paparazzi, fanfare, and interviews like only true cyclists can, according to the colors yellow, white or green–white for VIPS, yellow for riders, and green for media/press.
For the 100th Tour de France we sent our experienced photgrapher but Tour virgin, Dave Lipnowski to France to capture all the action and atmosphere that can only be seen roadside. Dave swam beautifully through the craziness of the world's biggest bike race and now that he's finally made it back to his home in Canada it's time for his lookback at his first Tour.
Roadside Wrapup: On the day when the French Senate confirmed what we already knew – namely that an awful lot of riders took an awful lot of kit back in the 90’s - Martin and I sat down in our fave Edinburgh hostelry, the City Cafe, to relive our best – and just a few not so cool – moments of Le Tour 2013.
Race Analysis: With the Tour done and dusted and the 169 souls that managed to finish the race slowly getting over their end of Tour hangovers it's time for Lee to look at the revelations from the race and what we can expect to see in future Tours.
Roadside Report St.21: The Champs Elysees came alive yesterday evening with the arrival of the 100th Tour de France on its famous cobbles and our own Ed Hood was right there amongst the fans, riders and the teams soaking up the atmosphere on this special night.
July 22, 2013 - Chris Froome has his Tour de France win at last, maybe a year late, but he has it, better still he won an aggressive and exciting Tour. We have all the video, results and race quotes from the final days, throw in some funny stuff, the Tour de Wallonie and the Thüringen Rundfahrt to give us a full EuroTrash Monday. Don’t worry it’s La Vuelta a España soon, café con leche?
Race Report: The fight for the jerseys are over at the Tour de France but there was one last battle today that remained - victory on the famous Champs Elysees.
Roadside St.20: The PEZ Crew grills out the Tour's last Alpine day in fine style with a roadside bbq, sausages, kebabs, and enough smoke to send signals. Let's get cookin'...
Race Report: Today was “Last Chance Saloon” for the top riders to change thing in the GC and that’s exactly how it panned out. Alberto Contador had a bad day and dropped off the Tour podium. Young Nairo Quintana won the stage and will have tears in the eyes of his family back in Cóbita for his second place overall.
Roadside St.19: There was once a British radio comedy show called ‘ITMA’ - 'It's That Man Again.' Today, Movistar's Portuguese star, Rui Alberto Costa filled the roll. In a carbon copy of his Stage 16 win into Gap, he went in the big break then attacked on the final col, topped it 'en seule' bombed the descent and won solo in the grand manner.
Race Report St.19: It’s an absolute beast of a day at the Tour de France. Right from the flag it’s up, up, up with the Col du Glandon an immediate leg-snapper. Next is the Col de la Madeleine making it consecutive Hors Categorie climbs - and that takes us just to halfway! Will we see ceasefire or firestorm today?
On the second rest day at the Tour de France in between the fresh mussels, lovely wines and good company at the Vacansoleil media party Ed Hood got down to work interviewing two of the stars of the team. One a confirmed classics star and veteran of 10 Tours and one a star on the rise and a Tour debutant. Juan Antonio Flecha & Danny Van Poppel.
Roadside St.18: It's become the stuff of legend and there's nothing like witnessing the Tour de France from the roadside on the 21 switchbacks to Alp d'Huez. On this first day in the high Alps - PEZ was buried deep in a sea of orange...
Race Analysis St.18: Twice up the mythical Alpe d'huez, attacks from afar, changes in the GC, the first French win of the Tour and a hunger flat for the yellow jersey. There's a lot for Lee to analyze after today's historical Alpe d'Huez stage.
Race Report: The French have not had a good Tour so far, but if you are going to win a stage it might as well be the one that crosses the Alpe d’Huez twice and become the hero of France. Meanwhile behind Christophe Riblon who was fighting for the stage win a hard battle amongst the GC riders saw yet another change in the overall with riders falling by the wayside.
July 18, 2013 - Paris is in sight, but there are still some very hard stages to come before that romp up and down the Champs-Élysées. As always we have all the bits of news from the French GT that you might have missed, plus results and race quotes. We also catch up with the Thüringen Rundfahrt and anything else we could find in this hectic last week of the Tour. A good coffee is a must to this morning.
Roadside St.17: There's no better way to see the TT than from a chase car following a rider - it's a PEZ tradition at Grand Tours and today we jumped in for a fast ride with Francais des Jeux's French Elite Road Race Champion, Arthur Vichot.
Race Report:It’s a mid-length individual time trial today, 32kms, but it’s a real hard day in the saddle. There are enough traps for the unwary to get it really wrong, even if the distance shouldn’t open too many gaps.