The 2015 Tour de France is a matter of only 20 days away, but Ed Hood, our most experienced Grand Tour follower, is thinking back to the first of his ten 'accredited' Tours. The 2006 Tour was an up and down affair, it was scandal riddled and the Landis Tour of '06 will go down in history as one of the worst.
When looking back at the 2015 Giro d'Italia it's hard to think of any negatives. The only 'what if' would be Landa being told to wait for Fabio Aru in a Froome/Wiggins sort of way. Ed and Martin are back home in Scotland and 'happy' to be at their day jobs, so we asked them for the 'Top 12' best things Giro.
PEZ Roadside St.21: It's the end of the Giro d'Italia road for the riders and for Ed and Martin. The adventurous pair were in amongst everything in Milano, roadside, backstage, at the busses and as near the finish line and podium as they could get. It's the last day of school in Milan.
And to think, this morning started so well... We've been in them all; the hotel from The Shining, leaks, no heating, no hot water, no breakfast, no wi-fi... But last night... "Majestic" by name, majestic by nature, back to a time when hotel staff didn't wear Korn T-shirts and call you; 'mate.'
After missing out on the Mortirolo yesterday, Ed and Martin made point of soaking up the atmosphere at the start in Tirano, before shooting off towards Switzerland. But everyone is still talking about Alberto and the Mortirolo and the guys were taking it all in.
Ed Hood and Martin Williamson have hit the Italian soil running, only in the country for a handful of hours and they have sorted their creds, seen tomorrow's route, inspected the bikes and sent us the first words and photos. The productive pair will be on the Mortirolo tomorrow, here is the story so far:
Today Alessandro took the Giro d'Italia route as far south as it goes this year. He passed through many different regions to catch the race, the people, the villages and the atmosphere of the biggest bike race in Italy. But you can't go to the South without trying the pizza!
Our man in Italy, Alessandro Federico, is addicted to chasing bike races, he just can't stop. To help him with his 'problem' we sent him to three stages of Tirreno-Adriatico, this should get him to the week-end and his next fix with Milan-Sanremo. Hit the road Ale!
One of the most beautiful races of the year is without a doubt the Strade Bianche on the now mythical white gravel roads. Following the race and capturing all the action and beauty of this race roadside for Pez was our experienced race chaser Alessandro who filed this story after a perfect day out in the Tuscan countryside.
Roadside St.1: Mark Cavendish was screaming when he wheeled past me. An animal roar of pain, disappointment, frustration and anger. Once again, home soil has not been a happy place for Cav when the biggest prizes are on the line. All the Yorkshire excitement Roadside with PEZ man Gordan Cameron.
Roadside Report: Joking with a former Paris-Roubaix winner, chatting with current stars of the sport and mixing in the VIP area with podium girls and other lucky fans - Lee Rodgers certainly had a great day out at Wednesday's Scheldeprijs. For the race end Lee was at the finishline under sunny skies sipping a cool drink and munching on free food. Could life as a bike fan get any better than this?
Roadside Report: High speed race chasing, VIP access, Flanders Strongmen, crazy bike fans and some Belgian beer added up to a Tour of Flanders 2014 experience that Lee Rodgers will never forget. Ride along with Lee and the Velo Classic Tour group roadside at the mighty Ronde.
Roadside Report: After the snow of last year's race chase, this year saw our man Alessandro deal with the cold, driving rain and wind. Still he wouldn't have dreamed of being anywhere else on Sunday but chasing the great Primavera again, roadside with friends for a perfect day out.
Roadside Report: Being roadside at the Strade Bianche is one of the best cycling spectating experiences you could possibly do. Our man in Italy Alessandro is an expert of the gravel roads of Tuscany and today he takes us inside his day out at Saturday's big race from what is arguably the Pro Cycling Calendar’s prettiest race of the year.
Roadside Report: Alpe d'Huez is a mythical mountain, a grand beast that conjures up images of battles past with its 21 hairpin bends and its leg sapping slopes. I've been roadside on the Alpe during the Tour de France on a few occasions including the famous mountain time trial in 2004 but I'd never seen the mountain roadside in the Dauphiné. That had to change!
Roadside: Under the sunny Alpine skies PEZ was roadside in La Léchère this morning where we were able to catch up with Chris Froome, Richie Porte and all the stars of the Dauphiné at the start of Stage 6.