Rider Interview: It has been a year since PEZ spoke to Wanty-Groupe Gobert's Mark McNally. As the Belgian team were having their 2017 presentation in Spain last week, our man Alastair Hamilton had a catch up with the man from Liverpool to hear about his 2016.
Retro Interview: You could say Jens Lehmann was unlucky to have been competing in the pursuit event at a time when there were many top riders fighting for rainbow jerseys and Olympic gold medals. Ekimov, Boardman, Obree, Bartko, Moreau and Ermenault were all dominant in those years, but take a look at the palmarès of Jens Lehmann and you can see he battled them all. Ed Hood caught up with Jens for some Retro talk.
Rider Interview: As the cyclocross season builds to a climax with the World championships on January the 29th in Bieles, Luxembourg; the National championships last week gave us a clue to who is on form. In the US, Stephen Hyde took the national title, but it wasn't all plain sailing. Ed Hood got the story from the man himself.
Rider Interview: Two years ago Sven Erik Bystrøm was a young man about to start his professional career, admittedly he was a World champion, but his life was about to change. Since then he has become Alexander Kristoff's right hand man in the Classics, finished his first Grand Tour and is now starting his third season in the WorldTour and still only 24.
Retro Interview: Craig Schommer was a name that cropped up on US national teams from the junior ranks up to Olympic and pro level. Ed Hood tracked Schommer down to hear how he started from adventurous teenage rides to taking on the East Europeans and the professionals in the top events of the 80s.
Retro Interview: These last few months we’ve tracked down some of those colorful British cyclo-cross stars of the 70’s and 80’s – John Atkins and Chris Wreghitt have told their stories to PEZ. But perhaps the most colourful of them all was the man with the famous soccer star, ‘George Best Look’ and the lightest of bikes – Barry Davies.
Rider Interview: Baptiste Planckaert will be a WorldTour rider with Katusha-Alpecin in 2017 after six years as a professional, as he says: "The longer the dream holds, the better." Alastair Hamilton was at the Katusha-Alpecin team presentation in Spain to hear what the Belgian had to say on his EuropeTour win and his future in the top league of cycling.
Retro Interview: One of the coolest guys to ever throw a leg over a bike was Phil Edwards. His zero degree style probably came from his Italian mother, but he was British junior and professional national champion and rode to many victories in a GB jersey. His pro career was spent with the Italian Sanson team, in the service of the great Francesco Moser. Ed Hood caught up with Mr.Cool to get the lowdown.
Interview: Johan Vansummeren is a big guy, standing at nearly two meters tall, but he was also a man with a big engine and could be relied upon in his fifteen Grand Tour rides. Then there was his crowning glory, winning the 'Hell of the North' in 2011. But on the 29th of June 2016, with his wife Jasmine by his side, Vansummeren had to announce his premature retirement from the sport due to a heart problem.
Interview: Next in line for our retro US interviews is Andy Paulin, a rider who could have made it big in Europe, but turned his back on a 7-Eleven contract offer. As he said: 'I was happy being a big dog here in the US.' He was happy to watch those guys suffer in Europe. Ed hood caught up with Paulin to get the full story.
Rider Interview: Young Australian rider, Nick Schultz, has been making the headlines for a few years and it was only a matter of time before a big team snapped him up. After big wins in France and his stints as stagiaire with Etixx Continental team and Orica-BikeExchange he has signed with the Spanish Caja Rural-Seguros RGA ProContinental squad for 2017. Ed Hood caught up with him to hear how it all came about.
Interview: Second in our 'Best of British' cyclo-cross riders is Chris Wreghitt. He broke the stranglehold that John Atkins held on the National championships at only 18 years of age and still at school. From then on he was Britain's best man in the winter mud until a back injury in 1984 forced him out of the sport at only 25. Ed Hood got the full story from school cycling to the World championships.
The recent London Six Day got us thinking back to those ‘golden 70’s’ of six day racing and pursuiting; when to have the reigning World Professional Pursuit Champion on a six day bill was a big deal – and all the pursuiters didn’t ‘look the same’ and 5,000 meters was the blue riband distance. One name sticks out from that time - Roy Schuiten.
Interview: The name Clarence 'Roy' Knickman rings a lot of bells. Big in the US and a man to watch in Europe, with big teams wanting his signature on a contract, but then he went back to America and? Ed Hood caught up with Knickman to hear his side of the story and a few other tales from his career of in the 80s, 90s and even into the 2000s.
Interview: We would all love to be riding the World's high mountains, fitness aside, but to be able to do it as your job is a dream too far. Mike Cotty is the man with the perfect gig, but it didn't happen overnight. PEZ literary editor, Leslie Reissner, managed to trap Mike for a few words on his upward trajectory, on the bike and his career.
Rider Interview: Not often you hear of a horse rider becoming a bike rider, but Scotsman Wilson Renwick has done just that. Renwick was a prolific winner over the jumps until he had to admit that there was a chance he would never recover sufficiently to return to race-riding after suffering multiple injuries in a fall at Market Rasen in 2015. Ed Hood got the full story.
Rider Interview: Young Yorkshireman Tom Pidcock took the Junior European cyclocross title in Pont Château, France at the weekend. Ed Hood managed to have a word with the busy boy on the Monday after to hear all about the race and his promising future, be it cross, track or on the road.
Interview: If you are of a certain age, the name Mike Kluge will bring back memories of a cyclo-cross champion who was a handy road rider that turned to mountain biking, at the same time starting his own bike manufacturing company. As we are fully into the cyclo-cross season, Ed Hood had to have a word with the multi-talented Mr. Kluge.
Rider Interview: Mark Dowling, the recently crowned National Hill Climb Champion of Ireland, is back at the Taiwan KOM Challenge for a third run at the imposing climb. PEZman at the Challenge, Matt McNamara, sat down for a quick chat the day before the event.
There are ways of closing the book on your career, but one of the best must be to set a new Hour Record, and that is what Tom Zirbel did. The fast-man from Iowa put a kilometer and a half onto the previous US Hour Record to post a stunning 53.037 kilometers on the velodrome in Mexico and then hung up his race wheels. Ed Hood gives the last word to Tom.
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