After a heavy night of Friday night action at the Gent six day with a promising weekend of bikes, beer, frites and track action ahead, there was still time to enhance the weekend with one more Belgian staple - Cyclocross. With the World Cup action just a drive away, the opportunity to see the best 'cross men in the world couldn't be knocked back.
The historic Gent Six day race is perhaps the most prestigious and exciting track event of the year so it was no surprise that our own six day addict Ed Hood was there in the center of the iconic velodrome with pen, paper and camera in hand to capture the action and atmosphere.
Roadside report: It's a challenge unlike any other. There may be races to higher altitudes, but for eye-watering gradients and morale-sapping length the Taiwan KOM Challenge trumps them all. World Tour riders have come here and had meltdowns – 87 kilometers of climbing can do that to you!
Taiwan KOM Challenge Roadside: Taiwan really is a stunning place, and I've barely seen any of the island. Today's press event was a photo and video call held by the seaside in Hualien. The sun's heat and light was benevolent rather than oppressive as the riders' minds turned to tomorrow's torture.
TCF Taiwan KOM Challenge: I've been very lucky to have covered racing for Pez in France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, the UK, Andorra and Spain (for about five minutes) … but never anywhere quite like this. The spectacular and multicolored townscapes and lush mountains of Taiwan. In one of the friendliest societies around, lurks one of the hardest challenges in cycle sport.
The USA's Guy East, winner of the 2008 UiV Cup for U23 winter track events - with Austin Carroll - has teamed up this year with fellow American Daniel Holloway to take on the tough European six season. We checked in with Guy after their first European effort together this year at the famous Amsterdam Six to see how they got on.
The mighty ASO machine behind the Tour de France came to Japan this past weekend and with them they brought Chris Froome, Rui Costa, Peter Sagan and a host of other big stars to particpate in the first ever Saitama Criterium. PEZ fan Graham David was there amongst the action to capture the atmosphere and excitement as Froome managed to 'win' the race in front of 200,000 fans.
Roadside Report: The last roadside chase of the year was on this weekend for PEZ as our Italian reporter Alessandro hit the roads of the Emilia region to chase the climber's semi-classic, the 2013 Giro dell'Emilia. The beauty of the surrounds and the tough final climb were all captured by Alessandro as he chased just his second race this year where it didn't snow or rain!
Roadside: Our Italian photographer Ale has battled the worst of the weather at nearly every assignment we've sent him on this year; Tirreno, Milan San Remo, the Giro and the wet Worlds so what's one more day in the rain? Despite the weather Ale wouldn't have missed the 2013 Giro di Lombardia for anything . . .