The Giro has saved the best for last as the race tackles the truly epic Colle della Finestre as the final stage for glory for this year's GC battle. Contador has the race sewn up but a lot can happen on a massive climb of 18km that throws in 8km of dirt road and steep pitches. I first rode this climb in 2005, and it's been on my list of Top Rides ever since.
It's one of the hardest climbs in pro cycling, and is iconic to what makes the Giro d'Italia the world's 'most beautiful' race. Il Mortirolo is the centrepiece of tomorrow's Stage 16 and at almost 13km long and 11% average grade - this one's a killer, but a must -ride for any self-respecting fan. Here's how it looks on the bike.
With some much great riding here on the Ligurian Coast, I grabbed the bike again today for a closer look at the Giro d'Italia stage 4 from Chiavari to La Spezia, heading out from Levanto to climb the Passo del Termine and check out the roads above the famous Cinque Terre.
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.
The queen stage of the 2015 Tour of California will be a ball buster of epic proportions, climbing 11,600 feet over just 80 miles from Ontario to the top of Mt. Baldy. I rode the stage a couple years back as part of the L'Etape du California sportif ride, and can assure you this would be at home in any Grand Tour. Here's a closer look at the stage that could decide the 2015 race.
As part of our stay with Garda Bike Hotel for the Pez 10th Anniversary, we signed up to ride the GF Damiano Cunego in nearby Verona. Our hosts Nicola & Alberto know the region, the people, and handled all the details for our stay in Lake Garda, which left nothing for us to do except enjoy the ride.
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.
Roadside Reload: Three of the hardest days of the 2014 Vuelta continue on Sunday with a massive kick in the gut on the climb to Lagos de Covadonga. PEZ got up close and personal with the sleeping giant on a quiet day ahead of the race in 2010. Here's a preview of what's to come.
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.
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.
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!