The tall, raw-boned rider ambled across to the barrier; he was broad and square across the shoulders, big-thighed and walked with a loose-limbed gait. His long legs made easy work of straddling the steel fence which separated the riders' enclosure from the paying public at the Gent Six back in the early 80's. As he headed off to his cabin, a mechanic looked-up from the already gleaming machine he was polishing and gave a cheerful; 'Hi Gary!' The rider said nothing, but acknowledged the greeting…
Just one of a new, young generation leading women’s cycling forward is Swedish flyer Emma Johansson. With the 2008 season and a host of racing targets around the corner, PEZ grabbed some small talk with Emma about her new team and her ambitions for the year ahead.
After years of admiring from the outside, Swedish TT ace Gustav Erik Larsson finally snared his dream contract - a gig with Scandinavian racing behemoth CSC. With that notorious CSC winter training camp in the frozen wilds of Norway behind him, is it still all he hoped for? You betcha! Here's the low-down.
The best bikes, the best clothing, the best back-up and those euros are guaranteed in your bank - it's great being a Pro Tour rider. But just one step down to the Pro Continental ranks and things aren’t so certain. Bernie Sulzberger (brother of ‘07 Worlds U23 silver medallist, Wesley) was ready for his third season in Belgium when the team folded… now the talented Tasmanian is hunting for a ride instead of race wins.
The 2008 Saunier Duval presentation was a big production, but this is a big team with a big budget, the late Frans Assez could have run his Flanders squad for a year on what this launch cost. The outdoor photo-shoot came first; at around 3.30 pm the riders, officials and vehicles lined-up like an impressive model army in a toy shop window, with Piepoli doing his best to disrupt things - naturally.
A lot has changed since we last talked to 32 year-old English pro, Dean Downing back in August; for one thing, he’s a married man and for another, his Rapha/Condor team has joined forces with English ‘stalwart’ squad, Recycling to form a ‘super-team’ - “Rapha Condor Recycling,” with former Worlds points race champion, Chris Newton as ‘head honcho.’
With the new year dawning, we’ve got little time left to live in the past. So to help signoff the year that was 2007, the PEZ-Crew submitted their takes on the best, the worst, and the most interesting moments of possibly the most tumultuous season ever in pro cycling…