"Mondialisation", isn't it great? We've spooked the 'roos down in Oz; raced the camels across the desert; scattered the parrots in the rain forest and even searched for Jack Kerouac's ghost on Big Sur. But now it's time to come home, to Flanders and Het Volk. It's no super-imposed marketing exercise here, it's in the blood, in the soil.
To tell you the truth it wasn't the best night of racing ever, but given that the hall goes from being sub-tropical to Arctic in three seconds and we're down to 10 teams from 13 due to crashes and illness; the place is only 20% full and it's end of term, maybe it's not surprising. Then again, the win wasn't decided until the final madison very late into the night...
When we were down at Grenoble in the Autumn, we had a look at the bikes; up here in the frozen North we decided to check-out the machines of a couple of the "heads" who weren't in action down in the "soft South." Where better to start than with the "Capo's" bike?
Once again PEZ-man, Ed Hood, is doing the dirty work at a Six Day - cleaning, running, sorting, tending to, washing, and anything else humanly conceivable that needs to be completed. Luckily for Ed and the rest of the travelling circus, Hasselt is the final Six of the winter season. Ed brings us up to speed on the first two nights.
It all kicked-off back in September last year at Maastricht in Holland. Since then it has visited Amsterdam, Dortmund, Grenoble, Munich, Ghent, Zurich, Rotterdam, Bremen, Stuttgart, Berlin and Copenhagen. It will be all over in six days time; here in Hasselt, Limburg, Belgium: the 2006/2007 Six-Day circus will finish its tour of Europe.
Dirk Demol of The Discovery Channel Bicycle Racing Team has the greatest job in the world. He is the Assistant Director Sportif for the Spring Classics. Dirk won the 1988 edition of Paris Roubaix in the longest breakaway to date. He also won the Circuit of the Flemish Ardennes, and came in second to Stephen Roche in the 1980 Amateur Paris Roubaix. PEZ talks with Dirk about his Roubaix winning ride, preparation, and the desire to get out of the factory.
After returning from Australia and racing in the Tour Down Under with his Predictor-Lotto Team, Freddie Rodriguez returned to the Bay Area for a rest week as well as to do some reconnaissance of the Tour of California (ToCA), February 18-25. PEZ got hold of Freddie and enjoyed a day of talk and training with the ToCA hopeful and multi-time USPRO Champ.
The countdown to the February 18th opening of the Tour of California is on and Team CSC is assembling in NorCal for three weeks of training. American time trial stud Dave Zabriskie talked to PEZ about his chances at this year’s ToCA, and how last year’s all-out effort may have hurt him later in the season.
Long arms stretching to the skies, 34 year-old Erwin Vervecken of Belgium gave 20,000 rabid home fans what they had come to Hooglede in West Flanders for, with his third World Elite Cyclo-Cross championship title and right behind him, arguably the biggest surprise in Cyclocross history.