The PezCycling Travel & Tours section hosts our own personal accounts of top rides and places we’ve visited, places to stay, eat & drink, compiled over more than 10 years of chasing pro cycling. As much as we love the sport of procycling, riding our bikes on the hallowed roads of our playing fields is even better. Be it a Classic, the Giro or Tour, the Worlds or a national Tour, riding your bike on the same roads as the pros is a luxury that sets cycling apart. Let us know if you’ve got a Top Ride or Travel story worth sharing with other readers at Content@PezCyclingNews.com.
For the very first time, the 2013 Tour de France took on the mythical Alpe d'Huez twice in one day by descending and then ascending the little known Col de Sarenne. In June of that year, just before the Dauphiné tested out the roads and much needed roadworks were completed, PEZ's man in France, Chris Selden cycled the route on a simply epic 150km and 4800m elevation day.
The world of cycling is truly diverse, encompassing sports, transportation, technology and social history. Set at a human scale, many of its stories and artifacts have been lost over the last century but much too has been saved.
CONGRATULATIONS: To long time PEZ-Fan Hannu Heikkilä of Finland - the winner of our cycling week holiday in Lake Garda. This could be the best week of his life - superb riding in Italy's famous lakes district, local guides who know the best roads, amazing Italian food & drink, and a luxurious stay at a newly renovated family-run boutique hotel with the guys at Garda Bike Hotels.
Stage 20 of the 2015 Giro d'Italia serves up the 2148m high Colle della Finestre as its final battle ground. I logged one of my all time Top Rides here in 2005 as Il Falco swooped to a 28 second GC victory from Gilberto Simoni. Here's how the day played out...
The 2015 Giro d'Italia starts in Liguria - one of my favorite regions of la bell'Italia. I've spent some quality time here and can attest the area is filled with excellent rides along the coast and into the mountains that define it. This ride from Levanto to Sestri Levante is a classic.
The signature climb of the Giro di Lombardia summits at the famous Madonna del Ghisallo church, high above Lake Como in Northern Italy. This tiny 'chiesa' is home to the Patron Saint of Cyclists, and is a must see on any trip to the region...
So far the tv coverage of racing in Ponferrada has been anything but picturesque, so PEZ took a trip to the nearby ancient and scenic caves of Las Medulas for a taste of local culture, chorizo suasages, and gelato.
We usually think of Europe when it comes to cyclist-friendly people and cultures, a completely different experience than what we get at home in North America. But Guadeloupe is much closer to home, and as we recently discovered, is also home to a people who absolutely love cyclists, and cycling.
The 2014 Tour de France stage 14 parcours to the summit finish at Risoul promises to be a cracker taking in the Col du Lautaret and Col d'Izoard before the final 13km throw down to the day's 3rd hors category climb. PEZ saddled up for a closer look...
With the likes of Carlos Betancur, Nairo Quintana and Rigoberto Uran, Colombia has seen a real resurgence in the pro peloton in the last few years. PEZ's Nate King went to Medellin, Colombia to get some first hand experience of where these guys train - and no surprises - it's far from flat!
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!
We do love traveling to exotic locales and riding the famous roads of cycling, but sometimes a trip closer to home is even better. Scotsdale's Bespoke Inn offers owner-run personalized service, a fully equipped bike shop, days of top rides, and nights of delicious dining and drinks.
The day before Paris-Roubaix amateurs had an opportunity to ride the storied cobbles themselves during the Paris-Roubaix Sportive. For those not willing to publicly display their pavé riding ineptitude, on the same day to the east another sportive mirroring a pro course provided an opportunity to publicly display one’s climbing ineptitude instead. We sent our man Leslie to try the 2014 Brabanste Pijl.
On the Friday before the big race Lee Rodgers and the Velo Classic crew hit the cobbles for their own Paris Roubaix for 124 kilometers of torture over the famous Roubaix stones. 18 pavé sections in total and memories to last a lifetime.
One of the best parts of travel is eating, and drinking, the different and delicious tastes from another part of the world. Pez's Lee Rodgers just had the best meal of his life in a Belgium, but it should be no surprise as exquisite dining is also part of Velo Classic Tours' raison d'etre. Prepare to drool...
TRAVEL: Looking forward to, and training for a gran fondo is the ideal incentive to cap your season with your best fitness, and enjoy the reward of a great ride in a tropical location when the days turn cold back home. The GFNY Cozumel fits the bill perfectly...
Our Italian race chaser Alessandro simply has bike racing pulsing through his veins. He was born on the Tirreno and now lives on the Adriatic so when the Tirreno-Adriatco came into his region this past week he couldn't help but skip work and travel to see the race. Just one last roadside warmup for him before his first true love, Sunday's Milan Sanremo.
COURSE PREVIEW: The 2014 Strade Bianche race on the famous gravel roads of Tuscany features some new sectors of Chianti's answer to the Belgian cobbles. PEZ joined ex-pro Diego Caccia to ride the new gravel sections, take in the Tuscan countryside, and log a perfect day away from work.
Travel: Warm weather cycling in the dead of winter is not nearly as far away as you might think. The Caribbean isle of Guadulpe offers up excellent roads, laid back hospitality, and sunny days. Chris Gutowsky of VéloSport Vacations knows it well...