This week’s links (poor Dan’s sick)

We were hoping to podcast this week because SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT!!!  Good and bad and WOW DID YOU SEE THE USA NATIONAL CHAMPS’ FINISH??? but poor Dan has tonsils the size of golf balls, and can’t really speak properly, so he can’t do it.  If you want to wish him lots of love and “get well soon” wishes, please do so on twitter – but in the meantime, here are the links from the last week in women’s cycling – we’ve got amazing MTB and road racing, and links that made me laugh and want to punch things, so pretty much something for everyone…..

Last week’s racing

Cross Country MTB World Cup, Nové Město na Moravě

Where better to start than with the first round of the 2015 XCo World Cup?  I say this a lot, but Red Bull‘s sponsorship makes it really easy to fall in love with the racing, and there are tons of team and rider media and blogs that keep you there.  You can watch the entire replay of the women’s race on Red Bull TV, and then we have highlights and team recaps…

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Shirt Week: Tahnée Seagrave’s #Copparide for breast cancer

Tahnée Seagrave is the latest young British downhill MTB talent, the 2013 Junior DH World Champion who finished her first elite season on the World Champs podium, winning bronze last year in Hafjell.  She’s got huge dreams for the 2015 season, but she’s also got big plans off the bike for the first DH World Cup at Fort William (6th & 7th June).

Tahnée is an ambassador for UK breast cancer awareness charity Coppafeel, and Fort William will be the location for her competition, #Copparide, where lucky winners will get a limited edition race bike, the kit she’s races Fort Bill in, and a huge pile of MTB goodies.

So how do you enter?  There 5,000 #Copparide wristbands, costing £5 each and every purchase gets an entry into the prize draw, with prizes able to be shipped anywhere in the world.  Buy and enter here!

And if you want to support them in different ways, the #Copparide t-shirts will be on sale soon, with all proceeds going to Coppafeel – keep an eye on the FMD Racing online shop, and at the World Cup.  If you’re there in person, hashtag your photos #Copparide, and you could win a camera.  All the details of the competition, the charity and more are here on FMD Racing’s #Copparide webpage.

Watch the 2015 USA National Road Championships LIVE!

While the European cycling world runs their National Championships over the same pre-Tour de France & Giro Rosa weekend (this year 25th-28th June), in the USA they’re earlier, which works so well in the women’s cycling calendar – post California, pre-Gatineau and the Philadelphia World Cup.  And because the USA loves us cycling fans, the road races are streamed live!

The USA Road Championships are in Chattanooga, Tennessee this year from 23rd-25th May, and include the road race & ITT for professional women, men and paracyclists.  The women’s able-bodied road race is on Monday 25th May, at 9am North American EDT (2pm UK BST; 15:00 Euro CEST; 11pm Aussie AEST) and we can watch it live (and archived) on the USA Cycling Youtube:

You can also follow on twitter with USA Cycling, and the #USPro hashtag, and there are more details of all the other races and the courses on the competition website.   The able-bodied and para-cycling ITTs and the para road races won’t be shown live this year, but use the livetiming, and twitter to follow them too.  And of course, I’ll round up everything I see from the races after the weekend.  The women’s road race is always super-exciting, attacking racing, so tune in!

A change to the advertised schedule…

May 22, 2015 1 comment

So, usually in the week after a Road World Cup, I’d be putting up the 26 minute UCI highlights video, having already put up a post with their short highlights video and photos, race reports and more the day after the race.  But, while it was the 2015 Tour of ChongMing Island World Cup on Sunday, we won’t be having anything from the UCI this year.  Why?  I have no idea.  They gave us all of that last year, and a short video in 2013, so if you want to see any moving images from this year’s race, all you can do is look at Wiggle Honda’s video.

It’s frustrating, because while the UCI talks about how women’s cycling media is their priority, but so far this year we’ve much had less overall than we did last year, even when eg the Ronde van Drenthe was streamed in Dutch.  And it’s especially frustrating, because ChongMing, being in China, is so much harder to get information on than the other rounds, and has additional obstacles for teams racing there, from travel and visa issues through to riders having to be hyper-vigilant not to eat contaminated meat.  I have to wonder why the UCI think teams will continue to go through all of that to race there, when even the governing body has the race on a lower tier than all the other World Cup.  Sure, there are points, but ChongMing never impacts on the overall World Cup which is, I’m sure, a reason why teams like Boels-Dolmans, Rabo-Liv, Velocio-SRAM, Liv-Plantur and ORICA-AIS skipped it this year.

Sigh.  So I’m looking for some women’s cycling good news, but what I find it this – Lucy Martin writing on the Matrix Procycling site about what happened with Estado de Mexico-Faren last year, how she wasn’t paid, and the UCI couldn’t help.  This stood out:

I decided this was the best time to retell what happened after my latest phone conversion with the UCI, which has kind of concluded the case. I was advised that taking legal action against my former team would be costly and high risk and simply not worth doing seeing as I already have missed nine months salary. So that option has gone. As this has taken so long, my second option to pursue payment via the UCI Bank Guarantee put in place under the UCI rules was also not an option, as that has now expired. In any case, the UCI informed me it was likely the bank guarantee for the team was never in fact set up and even if it was, it is so difficult to communicate with the Mexican Federation and the fact that there be other creditors owed this money, that this isn’t really an option and that is impossible to receive.

Ugh.  So much wrong with this – the only bright spot is how impressed I am with Lucy for speaking out, because as I’ve written before, there is huge pressure on riders to keep quiet when they’re exploited (and not only financially, but also sexually, I’m still horrified about that), and last year was at least the third year I’d heard rumours that riders on a Faren team were unpaid.

So, I think I’ll stop typing now, because it’s all so depressing.  There are bright spots – confusedspider just pointed out there are 2015 RaboLiv videos on vimeo that I hadn’t known about, and there’s some great racing set to be streamed, or watched on replay this week – crits and MTB – and on Monday there’s live video from the USA National Championships.  So it always could be worse!  But still, if you want me, I’ll be the one in the corner with my head under a blanket, feeling miserable.

Watch Crits in the UK & USA LIVE!

May 21, 2015 2 comments

It’s probably officially summer now in the Northern Hemisphere [looks out of the window, laughs] and that means CRITS!  And crits mean racing we can watch, at least in the UK and the USA, so I’m here to tell you how to watch them.  Welcome to the world of the Tour Series, the Milk Race and the USA Crits!

Firstly, if you’re not already a crit fan, why should you watch them?  When I started getting into road cycling, with the Tour de France as the pinnacle, I was confused by crits.  They’re only an hour long, they’re on the same course, surely they’re just bunch sprints following some heart-stopping crashes?

Well yes, kind of, but they’re so much more than that.  There’s so much action in them, they’re all adrenaline all the time, and riders above all have to be clever and gutsy as well as fast.  And they’re fantastic to watch in real life, so much to see, and with the Tour Series races I’ve been to, great road-side commentary to help newbies understand.  It’s the same course for women and men, and there are usually a ton of support races, including for handcyclists, so if you turn out you can see a lot of cycling.  Best of all, as I say, we can watch & follow them from all over the world, and at an hour long, that’s easier to fit into busy lives than watching the stage races.

(This is obviously UK/USA-centric, but if you know how to follow and/or watch women’s crits in other countries, please do let me know in the comments or on twitter, and I’ll write a follow-up)

The Milk Race, 24th May 2015

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Watch the 2015 Nové Město Cross Country MTB World Cup LIVE!

May 21, 2015 1 comment

It’s the first round of the 2015 Cross Country MTB World cup, and we can watch it live!  I’m excited, are you?

It’s 22nd-24th May 2015, in Nové Město na Moravě, Czech Republic, 22nd-24th May, and here’s what’s being shown live, thanks to the wonderful folks at Red Bull Bike.  Click the links and you’ll get the count-down to each race, and if you miss them live, they’ll be archived here as soon as the races are over:

If you can’t watch live, you can still follow along on the UCI MTB twitter.  There is a ton of information, including videos and photos on the race website, and there’s more information on Red Bull Bike, including this profile of the women to watch out for.  Here’s their course preview video, and article.

Update!  And here’s Specialized’s video with Annika Langvad

Podcast 2015 Episode 12 – Sarah Offends Yet Another Continent

Podcast logoIt’s an awesome episode this week as we discuss We talk ChongMing Island Tour and World Cup, Tour of California, Venezuela and European racing. It’s big! We also play a fantastic game called “How many continents can Sarah offend in one podcast?” Place your bets now and press play to find out if you’re right! Also, at some point Dan uses the word “apace” (true story)! (1:17:55 MIN / 74.82 MB)

To stream the most continental podcast of the day, click here (right-click, save-as to download).

You can also get free updates via the iTunes store here or via our RSS feed here.

This week’s racing

Tour of ChongMing Island Stage Race

Videos from each of the stages by Wiggle Honda

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