About

Welcome to the home of The Unofficial, Unsanctioned Women’s UCI Cycling Show. This unholy podcast was the unfortunate brainchild of Dan Wright, who (while in a moment of weakness or perhaps drunkenness) suggested to Sarah Connolly (aka the knower of EVERYTHING about women’s cycling – although she says she’s just a fangirl) that they record a podcast of him acting like a dick and her explaining the joys of women’s racing.

Also, they swear a lot. Dan maintains it’s because he’s really good at it and that swearing is “one of his skills”. Sarah says it’s because she’s British.

In any case this blog is all to do with professional women’s cycling, except for the bits that aren’t. If you’ve got comments, questions, ideas, contacts, need help changing a spare tyre or just want to hurl abuse, then have at it.  Our email is prowomenscycling[at]gmail[dot]com – you can contact us on twitter – Sarah is @_pigeons_ and Dan is @DanWOfficial.

Thanks for stopping by.

  1. October 17, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Hi!
    I do not know how I got here, but it was a great discovery!!!
    Please never stop posting!
    cycling-hugs! :-)
    Tania

    • sarahcycling
      October 20, 2012 at 6:51 pm

      Thanks so much! We really appreciate that!

  2. Craig
    April 9, 2013 at 4:37 am

    Not a comment or a reply, but I do have a question. I was wondering about upcoming women’s road races (and about whether there was a women’s Paris-Roubaix), so I thought I’d check on the UCI web-site and look up the calendar of women’s road races. Perhaps I didn’t look hard enough, but I didn’t find such a calendar on the UCI web-site. I dearly hope that I am simply blind, and that it is NOT the case that the UCI never bother to post one? Please advise. Thank you. :-)

    • Sarah Connolly
      April 9, 2013 at 9:42 am

      Aha! There is one, but it is nicely hidden – you go in through calendar in the left-hand side-bar, click road, then in the box at the top, you hit the drop-down menu, and it’s under “women elite” (hit “choice”) – and then, as it’s all frames, if you want to link to it, you open in a new tab – or I’ve done all that for you, and you click here!

      The thing with that calendar is that as races disappear off the calendar, you can’t tell, so I tend to use the calendar on Cycling Fever, which includes the changes, and links to better information.

      There isn’t a women’s Paris-Roubaix, which is a shame, because I think of riders like Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, Kirsten Wild, Trixi Worrack and Marianne Vos hitting the Arenberg Trench, and…. There is an interesting question re the ASO, because they run women’s versions of the Tour of Qatar, the Flèche Wallonne, but they can’t run a women’s race in France… a women’s P-R, Paris-Nice, Dauphiné, and of course, a TdF…. sigh!

      • Craig
        April 9, 2013 at 10:10 am

        Found it – thank you! :-) Nicely hidden is right. I was actually using the “UCI World Tour” site (www.uciworldtour.com) initially, from which you can access a very readable men’s calendar quite easily. The women’s calendar is definitely not as obvious. And yes, I do find it disappointing that (with all Pat McQuaid’s rhetoric about promoting women’s cycling) there is nothing even close to equitable space allocated on the UCI website. A little lobbying of the TV stations in each region would not go astray, either. (Zero coverage of most women’s tour events.)

        I also find it strange that ASO cannot find a way to run major women’s races in France, and that there seems to be little pressure from the UCI for them to change this. Is there really so little interest from fans, or from the riders themselves, or is this just the organisers telling the public what they want to see? There sure is a long way to go.

        Thank you, Sarah, for your assistance. And I do hope that things begin to change for the better very soon!

      • Sarah Connolly
        April 9, 2013 at 7:20 pm

        I wrote about women’s cycling and tv on Total Women’s Cycling last week – and yeah, lobbying is something that needs to be done. As I say over there, the argument that “we don’t show it because no one watches” is just bizarre to me, because the evidence says the opposite!

        Personally, I would make World Tour status conditional on men’s races running a women’s race, or partnering with/supporting a women’s race. I say that because there are some truly excellent women-only races that should be celebrated – and have a lot about engagement with fans etc, that men’s races can learn from. (If you want more of my ideas of how the UCI – and others – can help grow women’s cycling, here’s something I wrote on Cyclingnews last year)

  3. Craig
    April 9, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    I like your thoughts and ideas regarding raising the profile of women’s professional cycling. Clearly there is a difference of understanding among the various stakeholders about the need for change and the public interest in this side of the sport. I note on your “totalwomenscycling” article a suggestion to contact the UCI and ask questions. But I can’t help wondering: Ask whom? There is no “media officer” listed, no “public relations manager”, and certainly no “women’s interest group” chief. The Professional Cycling Council members (on the UCI website) includes nominees from the UCI, members representing the organisers, members representing the teams, and members representing the riders – but nobody representing women’s cycling. In fact, not even a female member. Where would a politely-worded email end up, if it were sent to “admin@uci.ch”?

    I certainly don’t consider myself an activist, and I generally don’t get involved in letter-writing or lobbying (outside of my own little “bubble”) – but I must say, there are some issues in professional cycling that are quite tiresome, quite archaic, and in some cases, quite nonsensical! I have begun to make myself more vocal in some areas, and I think that a few (thousand) more vocal people in favour of gender equity in cycling would be a start. I wonder also . . . . can anything be learned from recent advancements in other professional sports? Women’s tennis, for example, seems to have come along in leaps and bounds over recent years, and is now almost on a par with men’s tennis. What are they doing differently?

    I have noted too, that there seem to be differing perspectives on the nature of women’s racing. Whilst you point out (correctly, I believe) that the restricted distances in women’s road races make for a more attacking and energetic style of racing, I have heard commentary to the effect that women’s racing is simply chaotic and lacking in tactics or strategy. I think we need more voices and opinions from inside the women’s peloton, from former pro riders, from female cycling commentators (who know what’s going on), and less from those who only understand how men’s racing works. Personally, I find post-race accounts by some of the riders (such as Orica-AIS blogs) to be a fascinating insight into race strategy.

    (I must confess some ignorance in the area of women’s cycling, and indeed regarding your own background. However I do have some additional queries, on another topic, that I would like to pose. Perhaps there is a more appropriate forum or medium for that though?)

    I will keep looking for contact details within the UCI and other agencies, in case somebody somewhere has appointed a person whose sole task is to promote women’s cycling. I’ll let you know if I find anything. Thank you once again. :-)

    • Sarah Connolly
      April 9, 2013 at 11:30 pm

      Oh, so much interesting stuff there!

      First, if you want to ask more questions, you can always reach me at prowomenscycling[at]gmail[dot]com – or on twitter, where I’m @_pigeons_.

      Re women’s racing an tactics, I think that might have been the case 10 years ago, but as big teams developed – like the late Cervélo Test team, and HTC-Highroad, which became Specialized-lululemon, and in more recent years, AA Drink-leontien.nl (disbanded last season) and Argos-Shimano, Wiggle Honda, Boels-Dolmans and ORICA-AIS, that’s very much not the case now. I think it could look more chaotic if people are only used to watching men’s racing, because the shorter distances and smaller teams means that there is a lot more attacking – and attacking happens for different purporses than in men’s races – and riders and teams are always changing their tactics (as opposed to, eg the Sky trains in the huge, long, gruelling TdF mountain stages). Those ORICA race reports are always fascinating, and really useful (although I always have to remind myself to bear in mind they come from an ORICA perspective, so when they don’t win, they’re not happy, and other teams.riders may have different views!)

      Re the UCI, yes, it’s just that admin email, as far as I can tell – although all the National Federations have a voice on the UCI, so if you want to write an email to them, asking them to raise it with the UCI, you can try that (although different countries have different levels of responsiveness). There are some interesting developments happening – and with Tracy Gaudry appointed as the first female member of the UCI Board since 2005 (!!) there is some hope for change.

      And re other sports – yes, absolutely. I think the Olympics have been a huge wake-up call, in Britain at least, because people don’t differentiate between men’s and women’s sports there. And actually, with Track Cycling it’s the same. When I’ve been to Track World Cups in Manchester, the biggest and most anticipated races were between Anna Meares and Vicky Pendleton, because of their personalities and rivalry. One thing that the cycling media and organisations could do is learn from that, and start telling the stories differently. That’s been my mantra for the writing I do, and I hope I can carry that forward more this year.

      That’s a lot of words, sorry! But feel free to contact me about this and anything else! I can’t promise a fast reply, but I will get back to you! :-)

    • Sarah Connolly
      April 9, 2013 at 11:32 pm

      Oh, and I can’t believe I forgot to say this, but thanks for the kind words! :-D

  4. Martin Ernst Bruhn
    December 31, 2013 at 2:08 am

    Brava ten fold for so many great shares!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  1. July 4, 2014 at 6:56 am

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