What's Cool In Road Cycling

PEZ Worlds06: Mr. Hood’s Excellent Adventures

PEZ-Man Ed Hood, made the arduous journey down to Salzburg for this week’s festivities in one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Ed is on the scene and he’s armed with pen, camera, and computer – Salzburg doesn’t stand a chance.

It would be great copy to say that I met Michael Rogers at the hotdog stand at 11. 00 pm the night before the time trial, but it wouldn’t be true, pity. Great hotdogs though with a cool beer to wash it down; not a bad intro to Salzburg.

The journey was the usual nightmare; up at 4.00 am, a 160 kilometre drive, a flight to London complete with mega-security – what is it those terrorists do with tooth paste to make it so dangerous it has to confiscated? A long wait at Stansted Airport in London then huge queues to check-in then more security. Strange thing is, I’ve got enough electronics in my bag to start a store and no one looks twice, but that Colgate has to go.

Once you make it to Salzburg, all is a-ok.

The flight was packed with Austrian school kids who the teachers had obviously given-up on – they were hyper. It got better when we got to Salzburg, the lady cabbie loves Scotland, it was only a short hop to the City and it’s very beautiful. Home of Mozart until he was 25 and the real-life Sound of Music family Von Trapp, it’s clean, quiet and picture post card perfect.

Too bad Mozart couldn’t stay around longer and enjoy the everlasting success he now commands.

Mozart must be really sorry he’s not around any more, if he was, and he had a good agent he’d make more money than Lance – his face is everywhere. Salz is German for salt – the white-stuff that the city’s prosperity is built-on and it’s good Burgers seem pumped-up about their Worlds.

Salzburg isn’t too hard on the eyes.

There are bikes and pictures of races everywhere. I just met a guy in a bar who works in a bank and he had spent the day studying the anatomy of the lady time trial competitors from his office window; ‘very small women, but very nice legs,’ he explained. And the beer is good too – just one though, no sore heads for the Elite chrono thank you.

Yawn, gardens. See em everywhere.

Elite chrono day, grab a bowl of muesli and head-out to get my creds, 3K cross-town but even the cabbies are polite here. On my way to the cab rank I see ex-pro Max Sciandri, now working for the GB squad out on his Trek; ‘hey Max! Photo?’ He stops and gives me smile.

Thanks for the photo, Max!

No creds at the Inn though, the girls just smile; ‘it happens a lot’ they tell me. Job done, back to the digs to drop off my goody-bag, complete with red wine – that will have to get downed, no liquids on Ryanair planes. Grab a quick coffee and it’s time to get organised.

Two goals today; get good pics of the top guys time trial bikes AND get myself in to a car to follow a rider. Let’s see how I do.

— Ed definitely took care of his Day 1 goals: he got himself into a follow-car (for Irish TT Champ, David O’Loughlin), and there’s some mighty fine TT pics still to come!!

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