PEZ Holiday Greetings: Dear PEZ-Fans - thank you for another year of loyal readership - and if you're new to the site - we hope you enjoy our take on "what's cool in road cycling" and stick around. Here's a look back at our own personal hilights of 2019, and what made it a cycling season to remember.
Memories of a Legend: On Wednesday the 6th of February, over a thousand people, made up of family and friends, will pack Manchester Cathedral to say goodbye to a great man - Paul Sherwen. PEZ editor, Alastair Hamilton, worked for Paul in the 80s and now has, eventually, managed to give us his memories.
PEZ Holiday Greetings: 2018 is over and we head into another season of cycle race excitement. The PEZ Crew has maneuvered their way through the New Year's Eve fairly unscathed, hang-overs apart, to give you their thoughts on the year past and the year to come. Happy New Year to all and have a great 2019.
Roadside St.21: A 1,100 kilometre round trip to Madrid is not something I would consider doing in one day to see a bike race, but it is the Vuelta a Espaсa, it’s been the most exciting Grand Tour of the year and, most importantly I could meet up with PEZ mate Ed Hood. What more encouragement did I need?
It may have been Good Friday during the Easter holidays, but Paul Shewen was in his Kampala office and ready to answer our questions before he jetted off to cover Paris-Roubaix for NBC Sports. As always, Paul had lots to say, and - as usual - it was all very interesting and insightful. Paul and I have not spoken for quite a few years, but it felt like just yesterday that we were together in a team car somewhere in Europe.
It’s not all World Tour teams, Tour and Classic winners and International Professionals here at the PEZ Spanish HQ. The guys at Rapha Condor-Sharp might not be riding the Tour or the Giro this year, but the team is organized like they are and the riders attitude is just like any Continental Pro. A day with Rapha Condor-Sharp in Benidorm!
Day One was all about the bikes and the interviews with the star riders. Day Two was the official BMC team presentation. Afterwards we had a chance to take some photos of the boys out on a training ride going up the hills behind the village of Pego. I learnt a big lesson today: always make sure you have diesel in your car before you go chasing after bike riders! It was very close to a disaster, but it seems my car can run on fumes.
A day with Garmin-Barracuda was followed by two days with the BMC team. Both teams have their ways of doing things, but both are professionals. The most notable thing I noticed was the how much more interest there was in the BMC team compared to last year. The difference a Tour win can make and signing two of the biggest names from the Classics.
Training camp time of year is probably the busiest time of year (for me) around this area. Astana, RadioShack, BMC, Quick-Step, Euskaltel-Euskadi, GreenEdge, Cofidis, Vacansoleil and many other smaller teams converge in this part of the Spanish coast for hard training in the mountains. I try to visit as many teams as I can, and this time round, it was the Garmin-Barracuda team who opened their doors to the press and with a nice lunch too!