It's been a busy week for Alejandro Valverde, the Astana team and Lee Rodgers; all for different reasons. Now that the dust (or street detritus) has settled on the roads of the Ardennes, Lee looks back on Flèche and Liège to give us his take on the Valverde 'Domination'.
Matt McNamara has been lucky enough to see the workings of Team Axeon at their recent Californian training camp and get the word on this year's riders from the main man Axel Merckx. The project has brought some big names to the pro peloton in its seven years and there's much more to come.
Sunday's Amstel Gold Race: good race or bad race, it had a deeper meaning for Lee Rodgers. The right man won, Lee hopes, but the main thing is that certain other riders didn't take the honors and add to the list of the greatest betrayal and debasement. A bit harsh? Decide for yourself.
There can only be one subject for today's Lowdown: The Hell that is Paris-Roubaix. Lee has a look at the winning philosophy of race winner John Degenkolb and his do-or-die approach to the cobbled Classic. Sagan and Wiggins also come under the microscope; good and bad, but the beauty of L'enfer du Nord is the winner.
Our man Mark was introduced to the cobbles of Flanders last week by Velo Classic Tours, riding the roads of Wevelgem, Scheldeprijs and De Ronde. To finish him off he tackled the Hell of the North and those murderous tracks to Roubaix, but he still had time for rider watching at the sign-on in Compiégne.
After the craziness of chasing De Ronde, Mark McGhee goes for a ride to find a different craziness... the craziness of Belgium. On his 100 kilometre ride, Mark takes in some of the iconic climbs and cobbles of Flanders, all in preparation for an evening of Belgian food and drink for our voyeur pleasure of course.
This week Lee's has been getting excited by the action on the Belgian cobbles in the Tour of Flanders. His pulse has steadied enough for his Lowdown on all the happenings from Sunday, some good, some not so good, but all seen from Lee's unique insider perspective.
Last Sunday Gent-Wevelgem was a sufferfest of the highest order; wind, rain, crashes and hard riding whittled the peloton down to meager 39 finishers. Lee Rodgers gives us his lowdown on the chaos that turned out to be a great race, the sort of race that inspires you to ride your bike... even in the rain?
Now that 'La classicissima di Primavera' has been fought for 2015, Lee Rodgers gives his thoughts on Milan-Sanremo, which riders were impressive and who's not firing on all cylinders, just yet (Vincenzo). Degenkolb comes out on top in Lee's list for form, control and power - man and machine in perfect harmony.