The South of France's Languedoc region is a beautiful place to visit with its spectacular scenery, history, food and wine but it's also one of the best places in the world to ride a bike. Small roads through tiny, historic villages, vineyards, forests and a good collection of medium mountains, make for perfect Top Rides.
Top Ride: Cycling the climb of Alpe d'Huez is a mythical experience, a grand beast that conjures images of epic battles on its 21 hairpin bends and leg sapping slopes. The 2013 Dauphiné took on the Alpe before heading down the new Col de Sarenne descent and Pez's editor Chris rode the climbs and descent. On the eve of this year's Dauphiné, here's a look back at one of the French Alps' Top Rides!
With the Giro's last big challenge coming this Saturday on the infamous Zoncolan the PEZ himself looks back on a Top Ride when he took on the Zoncolan during the 2007 Giro, 'Epic is the only word to describe the ride to, up, and back from Monte Zoncolan. It’s the toughest climb I’ve done, and has yet again raised my admiration for the pros who race up stuff like this. Here’s what it’s like for the rest of us.'
Giro'14 Stage 16: This morning at 8:30am, PEZ-Man Steve Prokop rolled out of the warmth of Hotel Funivia to finally live his lifelong dream of riding the famed Stelvio. A light rain was falling, the temp was -1.5C degrees at the top, and there were only 18km to climb to the 2760m summit - how hard could that be?
INSIGHT Giro St.16: Cold weather does a lot more than cool you off - especially on a 5 hour bike ride over three high mountains. Managing core body heat, energy levels, and actually racing, become a fine and difficult balancing act, as CTS Coach Jim Rutberg explains.
Andy Hampsten rode into cycling legend almost 26 years ago, when a blizzard engulfed the Passo Gavia, and the Giro directors refused to cancel the stage. It was epic stuff for fans, but a living hell for the riders. PEZ-fan Richard Clayton re-created the play-by-play with the help of Davis Phinney & Ron Keifel.
Top Ride:The culmination of my visit to Holy Week was the long anticipated, much feared, and never completed ride across the parcours of Paris-Roubaix. Finally I learned what it was like to battle the toughest roads in northern France and earn my own lap of honour at the Roubaix velodrome.
Great scenery, a spectacular climb and a twice as long descent, the Col de la Madone climb along France’s cote d’Azur is must do for any fan of great rides. The capper was meeting up with a PEZ-Fan who lives nearby for a great day on the bike.
France From Inside Tours specializes in cycling holidays for small groups in southern France, like their epic 'Conquer the Pyrenees' trip. 1000 miles, 100,000 feet climbing, 12 days of riding across the Pyrenees, coast to coast and back. The company owner and lead guide, Allan Reeves, explains how next year’s 8th presentation of this marathon ride unfolds.
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.
With the runaway success of l'Eroica in Italy retro-rides continue to blossom. Having participated in the 6th Retro-Ronde in Flanders in May, Pezcyclingnews was bound to give our faithful readers news about another Belgian retro-ride and we were present for the inaugural edition of “La Savoureuse” in French-speaking Wallonia.
Race Preview: With the 2013 Giro di Lombardia taking place this Sunday we thought it was worth a closer look at the circuit of the 'Climber's Classic' with the three legendary climbs: the Valcava, Sormano, and Ghisallo all capped off by one, small, beast of a final ramp: Villa Vergano.
The Col de la Madeleine at 2000m altitude and over 19 km long with an average gradient of 8% is one of the gnarliest climbs in the French Alps but is also one of the prettiest. Earlier this year PEZ took on the southern approach from La Chambre to explore this beautiful mountain that has been climbed 25 times in the Tour de France.
Almost 18 months ago our editor in France Chris Selden moved from the cold and flat of the North East of France to the warmer climates of the South and in particular the Hérault Valley. With the warmer weather also came more hills and some simply spectacular riding. Here's Seldo's look at his new region from the best seat possible - on the bike!
Earlier this year our roving reporter Gordan returned to Belgium to ride the feared Kemmelberg where he had some unfinished business to attend to. Here's Gord's story of a special ride through the Belgian heartland.
This year's Tour de France will for the very first time take on the mythical Alpe d'Huez twice in the one day by descending and then ascending the little known Col de Sarenne. Before the Dauphiné tests out the roads this Saturday, PEZ man in France, Chris Selden hit the mountains on his own bike to check out the route on a simply epic 150km and 4800m elevation day.
Almost one year ago to the day, PEZ fan Kelly from Canada was on holiday in Italy when he had the ultimate experience - a run in ride with cycling hero Super Mario. Here's his tale.
I’ve wanted to write this story for a long time, and now my mid-winter longing for a great ride finally got me off the pot and on the keyboard. I love riding in Italy, and I’ve been lucky to see most corners of the country in my travels there over the past 25 years, but one of my very favorite places to ride and be, in Italy, is the Ligurian Coast.
Pez-Fan Bret Dunbar turns a 'work' trip in Europe into an ultimate 2 day escape as he catches the Giro one day and then goes and climbs the 'Rodney Dangerfield' of Italian climbs, the Gran Sasso the next. I get no respect, I tell ya!
Pez 10th: Like most things in Italy, what you get is not always what is promised. But when the opposite happens, the Italians can over-deliver like nobody else. We figured our final ride at the GF Damiano Cunego would be another fine day on the bike with some buds, but in the end it was more than any of us expected.