PEZman Ed Hood was in Belgium last weekend for the '6 Days' of Gent, to see the farewell to ‘t Kuipke Keizer’ Iljo Keisse. When in Belgium in November you have to go to a cyclo-cross, and so Ed and his chums took in the Telenet Superprestige Merksplas. PEZ veld kant.
Interview: The '6 Days' are not what they used to be. At one time the current road stars, Classic and Grand Tour winners, would pair up with a 6 day specialist and pull in the fans. One of those 'specialists' was Australian fast-man Graeme Gilmore, Ed Hood caught up with him to hear all about those halcyon days.
Traditionally, it doesn't get any better than the Gent Six. The racing, the atmosphere, the fans, the music, the history - all of these elements combine to make what's simply the King of Sixes. Of course, Ed Hood was in attendance and hard at work for the final two days of racing. Let's take a closer look!
Sunday's recently crowned, full-on classic, Gent-Wevelgem, will instead of continuing the wave that started with the Tour of Flanders: begin it. The Classics season starts in earnest this weekend with the E3 Prijs Harelbeke and Gent-Wevelgem. We know the main themes of the race: crosswinds, Kemmelberg, likely (vastly whittled down) bunch sprint - but when was the last time you really got a look at the course? Nope, didn't think so. Let's take a look at the latter part of the parcours...
Ed Hood is a man of the track, and as a man of the track, you can bet your month's salary that he's in attendance at the biggest Six Day of them all: Gent. Once again, he's in the trenches, doing the dirty work for the racers, but it's a privileged angle. Read on!
Bar De Smisse, Bellegem, 13:00 hours and the guy from the Belgian Cycling Federation has arrived with a box of photo copy paper and a coin holder - we're in the right place, alright. The trouble with going to see a classic is the "cold turkey" the day after; the only cure is another bike race.
Tuesday – Belgium: It's been a battle all the way up from Beauvais to get decent sounds on the car stereo; but the minute we cross the border into Belgium, we find 'Joe FM' and The Pointer Sisters - 'Fire,' that's better. We’re on our way to Ghent-Wevelgem!
Wednesday's semi-classic, Gent-Wevelgem, continues arguably the best week of bike racing of the season. We know the main themes of the race: crosswinds, Kemmelberg, likely bunch sprint - but when was the last time you really got a look at the course? Nope, didn't think so. Let's take a look at the latter part of the parcours...
You might not believe this, but it doesn’t always rain on race day in Flanders. The Gent-Wevelgem racers rolled onto the course in mid-morning, and the sun suggested it was really spring. PEZ went cobble-deep with VeloClassic Tours to witness first-hand the craziness that makes the Belgian Classics… Classic.