ROADSIDE Replay: I've been fortunate to see the Tour of Flanders in person and ride the famed Belgian cobbled bergs on more than one occasion - and as we plod into a 2nd year of locked down travel, a look back at happier times might serve as a look ahead to what's coming when travel opens up.
Our PEZ-Man in Italy, Alessandro Federico, wasn't going to miss the 2021 Strade Bianche, but no race accreditation and the worry of being stopped by the police added new challenges. Burt 'Race Chasing' is Ale's speciality, if anyone could do it... Ale - Il campione race chaser.
Ed Roadside in Belgium: From the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, Ed's gang of 'Race Chasers' moved a little down the road for the second race of the Belgian opening weekend - Sunday's Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne and more cobbled action. A stunningly dry day for a northern Classic, but that wouldn't 'dampen' the atmosphere.
There was little or no chance of seeing a top race in 2020, but before 'lockdown' our man is Spain, Alastair Hamilton caught the mountainous stage 4 of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana. He didn't make the ultra-steep summit finish, but there was still a lot to take in 'Roadside'.
Best of PEZ Roadside: You know when the season proper has started when your inbox is full of photos of cobbles and cold bike riders from Belgium with the name Ed Hood on the email. First up was the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, but the Classic weekend started on Friday night in Gent for Ed and his gang.
Ed Hood looks back at the final stage of the 2012 Vuelta in Madrid. ‘Ultimo kilometro!’ the 'speaker' bellows into his mic as up on the big screen, De Kort tries to make his legs forget about the Bola del Mundo. His ‘body weight over the pedals’ style is similar to his Capo, John Degenkolb who sits in his slipstream awaiting the mindful moment. . .
Stage 17, the penultimate stage of the 2020 Vuelta a España, finishes on the summit of the Alto de La Covatilla. Back in 2012 the second last stage of the Vuelta finished on another mythical climb - The Bola del Mondo. Ed Hood and Martin Williamson were there for PEZ, this is the story of their day, with updated big photos.
PEZman in Italy, Alessandro Federico, was facing the bleak situation of a no 'Race Chase' season, but the 'new normal' rearranged season gave him the 2020 World road championships on his doorstep. It would be rude not to go 'Roadside'. Here is his photo gallery of a day in Imola.