Matt McNamara has been lucky enough to see the workings of Team Axeon at their recent Californian training camp and get the word on this year's riders from the main man Axel Merckx. The project has brought some big names to the pro peloton in its seven years and there's much more to come.
Sunday's Amstel Gold Race: good race or bad race, it had a deeper meaning for Lee Rodgers. The right man won, Lee hopes, but the main thing is that certain other riders didn't take the honors and add to the list of the greatest betrayal and debasement. A bit harsh? Decide for yourself.
There can only be one subject for today's Lowdown: The Hell that is Paris-Roubaix. Lee has a look at the winning philosophy of race winner John Degenkolb and his do-or-die approach to the cobbled Classic. Sagan and Wiggins also come under the microscope; good and bad, but the beauty of L'enfer du Nord is the winner.
Our man Mark was introduced to the cobbles of Flanders last week by Velo Classic Tours, riding the roads of Wevelgem, Scheldeprijs and De Ronde. To finish him off he tackled the Hell of the North and those murderous tracks to Roubaix, but he still had time for rider watching at the sign-on in Compiégne.
After the craziness of chasing De Ronde, Mark McGhee goes for a ride to find a different craziness... the craziness of Belgium. On his 100 kilometre ride, Mark takes in some of the iconic climbs and cobbles of Flanders, all in preparation for an evening of Belgian food and drink for our voyeur pleasure of course.
This week Lee's has been getting excited by the action on the Belgian cobbles in the Tour of Flanders. His pulse has steadied enough for his Lowdown on all the happenings from Sunday, some good, some not so good, but all seen from Lee's unique insider perspective.
Last Sunday Gent-Wevelgem was a sufferfest of the highest order; wind, rain, crashes and hard riding whittled the peloton down to meager 39 finishers. Lee Rodgers gives us his lowdown on the chaos that turned out to be a great race, the sort of race that inspires you to ride your bike... even in the rain?
Now that 'La classicissima di Primavera' has been fought for 2015, Lee Rodgers gives his thoughts on Milan-Sanremo, which riders were impressive and who's not firing on all cylinders, just yet (Vincenzo). Degenkolb comes out on top in Lee's list for form, control and power - man and machine in perfect harmony.
In 2015 the Milan-San Remo Classic will go back to its traditions to set up a spectacular finale on the classic Via Roma finish line, which has played a key role in the history of this monumental race. So what better time to take a look back at 'The Pez' trip to 'La Primavera'.
With all the action in Tirreno and Nice, Lee is full of the joys of spring and the best races of the cycling season. OK, there is the Vuelta, Lombardy and the Worlds, but the spring is the hot bed of all that is beautiful in the sport. Sagan and Quintana are the stars of the moment, but let's not forget 'El Gurner' - Tommy V!
The Official 2015 Richmond World Championship artist, Greig Leach, recorded last year's Tour de France as the action unfolded. His post-card sized, watercolor and ink drawings are now available in book form worthy of gracing any coffee table. Leslie Reissner, relives the 2015 Tour through the eyes of the artist.
Our literary editor, Leslie Reissner, doesn't just read books, he also rides his bike as much as he can. In honour of the first cobbled Classics last week, Leslie has relived his ride on the Rik van Steenbergen Classic in deepest Belgium. Bring on Flanders and Roubaix!
This week Lee Rodgers runs his eye over the week-end happenings on and off the road. First the action on the 'White Roads' that lead Lee onto the black road of the CIRC report and the dark cloud hanging over the heads of two of Saturday's podium in Siena.
The first two big races in northern Europe were at the week-end and PEZ had our photographer, Jack Chevell, there to take in as much of the cobblestone action as he could. This is how his Belgian trip panned out in the land of beer and bikes.
This week Lee Rodgers runs his eye over the debacle of Saturday's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. The Etixx - Quick-Step team had the upper hand; three riders versus the solo Ian Stannard and what happened... Stannard won. Here is the 'Lowdown' on the in's and the out's, the excuses and where it all went wrong.
Day two of Ed Hood's Belgian jaunt took him to the roadside of Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne on Sunday, via one or two of his favourite hostelries. The more relaxed start allowed a bit of bike hardware inspection, and rider mingling, but with a race to watch the call of the bar L'Escale was strong.
This week Lee Rodgers casts his eye over the opening classics of the season and looks into just what makes these great old races so special. Lee also runs into a special old rider who has been up and maybe too close to the 'Campionissimo' Fausto Coppi himself. Life on the cobbles!
The aging process is something none of us can avoid, but with the help of Joe Friel and his book 'Faster After 50' we might be able to fight off the degeneration or at least understand the process. There is good news; Friel advises on strength training to stop age-related loss of muscle mass, overtraining and the importance of rest and recovery.
Former World road champion Claude Criquielion lost his last battle and passed away on Wednesday morning at only 58 years old. Ed Hood takes a look at the man from Lessines' life and career, and what his contemporaries in the peloton thought of him. There was so much more to Claudy than that crash in Ronse.
This week Lee Rodgers turns his attention to something that we all have: Ego. In most people it is held under control, but there are those who's ego has taken over their life, we can all think of someone. Ego, a necessity, good or bad... discuss.