The 2021 road season 'proper' starts this Saturday with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in the heart of cycling mad Flanders. Ed Hood would normally be 'Roadside' in Belgium, but... Here is his preview of the season opener.
Phillipe Gilbert is on the edge of making Monumental history. If he wins San Remo on March 27th, he'll be only the 4th rider in history to win all 5 races - he's already won Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, and il Lombardia. But battling age, and a raft of younger challengers will make this the Spring of his life.
The Vuelta of the Cathedrals, yes the cathedrals of mountain climbing pain! The organisers of the Spanish tour have searched out more stunning climbs for this year's edition, Ed Hood has run an eye over the 'recorrido' to give us his Vuelta first look.
The cyclocross season is in its last weeks and we have a full run-down on the season long cyclocross series. The World championships and the World Cup had already been decided and last weekend the Superprestige went to Toon Aerts and Lucinda Brand. Only the X²O Badkamers Trofee remains to be decided with one race remaining.
Last Sunday there were four cyclocross rainbow jerseys on offer in Oostende, and Holland won all of them. Of the twelve medals, Holland won eight and the kings of cross, Belgium, only won three. So why were the men and women from the Netherlands so good? Because they all learnt their trade in Flanders.
Leo van Vliet want's to run the 2021 edition of the Amstel Gold Race on April 18, but the Dutch race organiser is worried that the race go ahead "but without audience and VIPs". The Netherland's biggest one-day plans for their Classic to go ahead in 2021.
Best of PEZ Roadside: You know when the season proper has started when your inbox is full of photos of cobbles and cold bike riders from Belgium with the name Ed Hood on the email. First up was the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, but the Classic weekend started on Friday night in Gent for Ed and his gang.
Much like the 6 Days and the criteriums, there has always been a mystery in cyclocross about the payment to the riders to put on a show. Like another subject, there has been an 'omerta' on that kind of thing. Belgian newspaper, Het Nieuwsblad, has opened the account books and spilt the beans.
Ed Hood has been on the edge of his seat with the excitement of the final week of the Vuelta a España, but he would have rather been 'Roadside'... maybe next year? No complaints on the action side of the race as it all came down to the last climb. Here is Ed's final Vuelta'20 race rant.