Ed Hood loves the Giro, the Tour and la Vuelta, at the Classics he is in his element, but were he is the most happiest is at a kermis or one of the many 'lower ranked' races that you never hear of. You could say it's the grass roots of cycling, it's a different World and one that people come from all over to immerse themselves in.
The Vuelta looms, who better to chat with to whet our appetites than a man who won a dozen stages in the Iberian Peninsula’s biggest race than German former top roadman sprinter, Marcel Wust? Wust was pro from 1986 – as a stagier – with RMO until a crash ended his career in 2000 when he was with Festina.
We have all heard of Betsy Andreu; whistle blower who wouldn't go against her conscience when she was faced by a mountain of public opinion and power. In the end it has been proved she was right. We hear about her life away from the 'Armstrong Affair' and what her feelings are now towards the Texan.
Joe Dombrowski was one of the brightest stars in 2012, he was snapped-up by the all-powerful Sky team, but things didn't work out. Three years on and iliac artery surgery and the man from Virginia is back on track for success. Ed Hood caught up with Dombrowski days after his win in the Tour of Utah.
A Spanish rider on an Austrian team does sound strange, but Víctor De La Parte has also won the team's home stage race against strong opposition and on one of the toughest climbs on the European pro circuit. Ed Hood caught up with the man from the Basque Country to hear his story.
Steve Cummings adds a win to his palmares every year and this year it was a big one; stage 14 of the Tour de France. Steve is not the first rider you would think of when you see a summit finish to the parcour, but on that day to Mende he used cunning and perfect timing to outwit the French pair of Pinot and Bardet.
In-between eating mussels and drinking beer on the Tour de France rest day, Ed Hood managed to also get some work done. Mark Cavendish's right-hand-man in the sprints is Mark Renshaw, he's been a lead-out man and a sprinter in his own right. So here is the story from the pointy, fast end of the peloton.
Gordon Singleton came up through the ranks, first riding the track at 17 years old in Canada before jumping over to England to learn his trade in the 'dog-eat-dog' hotbed of cycling in Liverpool. A rainbow jersey was his aim and in 1982 he grabbed one, but it could/should have been two. Ed Hood gets the inside story.
Ed Hood has a ride down memory lane with Canadian ground breaker, Ron Hayman. The man from British Columbia (via Scotland) made the bold step of moving to Belgium to fight amongst the hardest men in cycle sport on the hardest roads. From there he cut a fine career in the top US teams in the 80's.
From broken-boned tears of frustration to racing through her blue and yellow-painted Flemish home-from-home in just three weeks. For one of the most stunningly consistent female riders of the last 6 years, recovering from a broken collarbone is just one of many victories.
Being a Pro cyclist isn't all top hotels, big team busses and 1st class travel, on the lower rungs of the professional cycle sport life is not so easy. Logan Loader is in Italy on the Continental team Amore & Vita, Ed Hood found out what life is like on the lower step.
INTERVIEW: He’s been called the international voice of cycling by one of the sports top pros, and has become a key part of the daily spectacle of the sport. I talked to Anthony McCrossan about life as the Giro’s first English-speaking roadside commentator.
The Southeast Regional Series presented by BikeReg showcases some of the best teams. One of the men's elite teams that has dominated the leaderboard is the United Healthcare of Georgia p/b The 706 Project. Austin Ulich, won in Walton County, his teammate Andy Scarano placed second. We caught up for a chat.
Who are The Veloroos? Well they are the first Australian, all female team, to take part in the brutal Race Across America the 3000 mile (4828km) non-stop race from the west to east coast of the U.S.A. With the big race starting on 20th June we thought we'd check in now with the girls to hear about their preparation, hopes and fears as their date with destiny approaches...
Joey Rosskopf has had a hard baptism of fire in the European Spring Classics and as he recovers before the Tour de Yorkshire this weekend, Ed Hood managed to catch-up with the BMC rider to hear all about it. The life of a young American in Europe:
His stats for Liege read like this: 1979, 20th: 1981, 11th: 1982, 10th: 1984, 1st: 1985, 4th: 1986, 12th: 1987, 20th; 1988, 5th: 1989, 1st – good enough to tell us a little about La Doyenne? Yeah, we thought so too: PEZ talked to Sean Kelly about the oldest, and many would say the hardest of the ‘monuments’.
The Amstel Gold Race signals the start of the Ardennes Classics, and the first signs of who's looking good for the Giro. Raced over the hills, dales, and forests of south eastern Holland, the course selects its own worthy winner. Twenty years ago it was Mauro Gianetti who was making the news.
Thomas Raeymaekers was on his way to a promising career, in the best under 23 team in Belgium and then he finds out he has diabetes and was advised to hang up his wheels. From his hospital bed he saw the Tour of Turkey and knew he had a future in the peloton. This is his story:
Rudy Pevenage was the man behind Jan Ulrich and guided him to a Tour de France win and many other successes, but let's not forget he was a top rider in his own Pro career. Not much has been heard of the man from Moerbeke recently, so Ed Hood looked him up on his visit to Belgium for the Omloop.
Rider interview: Two interviews for the price of one as Alastair Hamilton has a very long chat with two of the most experienced American riders on the WorldTour. BMC's Peter Stetina and Brent Bookwalter were recently in Spain and PEZ had to get all the behind the scenes info on the 'Super Team'.