It’s a weird time right now, and I’m reminded of something that’s come and gone a lot for me in the last year – why I’m not more outraged about women’s cycling.
So, it’s the Tour Down Under in Australia. When they announced this, and Cadel’s race, I was really pissed off that they weren’t UCI races, and that there are no UCI races at all in Australia, so their riders have to go overseas to get points to qualify for the Worlds and Olympics (and it’s SO much more expensive for Aussies to get to UCI races than eg for Brits). And now there’s a ton of conversation on twitter about how outrageous it is that there’s no live coverage of the women’s race, while the men’s race is bigged up everywhere.
And I agree, absolutely I agree, but I’m in this strange place right now. It’s January, I have my usual SAD and life has been punching me in the face this month. I’m exhausted, and I’ve got to that stage where getting angry about cycling doesn’t help me, it just makes me feel worse. And honestly, I don’t know what I can do about it. I’ve been writing about women’s cycling for years, and I still don’t know how to effect the slightest change. So I’m focusing on pulling together posts of videos and photos and such, and celebrating what we have, because right now, that’s what I can do.
But by doing this, am I part of the problem? Am I letting races off the hook and pretending everything’s A-OK? Have I been dragged down into accepting how things are when I should be speaking up and using my tiny corner of the internet to call for more? I just don’t know. When I pull together video posts, it’s to promote what we do have, but am I papering over cracks? I honestly don’t know, and of course the overthinking doesn’t help. I guess the fact I’m not doing the podcasts with Dan, while he’s taking the winter off, means I’m not having that regular ranting spot that helped me, because it was in the context of a wider conversation, so it wasn’t just focusing on negatives.
Anyway. If you have thoughts, let me know – and if anyone wants to write a guest blog with the videos of the Tour Femenino de San Luis in them, I’d love that too. I didn’t have the energy to follow that race, and check out the videos there are, it was really easy to. I’m gutted I missed it, but real life etc…
Our friends Nikki and Gethin are out in Adelaide, and sending us daily reports from the women’s Tour Down Under. Thank you so much! I’ll be adding any videos of the day’s stage to the bottom of the post as I find them.
Action moved to the 2km long city centre Crit course in Rymill Park, central Adelaide for Stage 2 of the Santos Women’s Tour. The women were sharing the stage with the People’s Choice Classic – the traditional curtain raiser for the men’s event which followed on immediately afterwards, so benefited from much bigger crowds than at Stage 1 yesterday.
It was another great day for Orica AIS as Mellisa Hoskins beat out Kimberly Wells of High 5 Dream Team. The bunch sprint meant that Valentina Scandolara retained the leader’s jersey that she gained in an attack-fest Stage 1.
Today saw Stage One of the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under take place – a 59km road stage from Woodside on the outskirts of Adelaide to Murray Bridge, in true Aussie plain talking style, a town with a bridge over the Murray river!
The 2014/5 Track World Cup season is only three rounds long, and finishes this weekend in Cali, Colombia, running from 16th-18th January 2015. It’s the last chance this season to get the points to get to Worlds, and it counts towards Olympic qualification, so it should be fast and furious racing. There’ll be some limited live coverage, on Sunday, so I’m here to tell you how to watch that, and how I’ll be following it live-ish, the rest of the time.
First, television. Here’s the UCI’s broadcast schedule, including streaming – and here’s their live feed for Sunday 18th January:
This will start at 4pm local COT time (same as USA EST; 9pm UK GMT; 20:00 European CET; 1pm USA PST; 8am Monday Australian AEDT) – it will be a mix of live streaming and highlights from the previous days’ racing.
It’s still road racing time in Australia, and we’re so lucky, our good friends Nikki and Gethin are down at the Tour Down Under, blogging for us – here’s their race preview! Come back for more throughout the race, follow them on twitter and on their travel blog.
We’re away travelling at the moment and more by luck than judgement we find ourselves in Australia at the height of their road racing season. At this time of year, most of Australia’s best riders are home from Europe & join the domestic riders for a number of events either side of the Aussie nationals – held last week in Ballarat, Victoria (a couple of hours from Melbourne). We’d already blogged for Neutral Service about the Bay Crits in Melbourne, then we were delighted to discover that the Santos Tour Down Under in Adelaide is also running a 4 stage women’s race alongside the UCI-rated men’s event. We’d already thought about going over and combining the men’s race with a couple of days indulging our inner wine-ponce in the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale. The women’s race sealed the deal, so here we are in Adelaide….
Valentina Scandolara is a huge fan favourite because of her love of attacks, and her friendly personality, online and in races. Continuing the recent Australian theme on the blog, she’s come from a block of training in Brazil to join her ORICA-AIS team-mates – cheering them on as they rode the Bay Crits and the National Road Championships before racing with them in the Tour Down Under, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and the Ladies Tour of Qatar. We talked about what being on ORICA’s been like, going from being “a wild animal in the city” to re-learning some cycling basics, how it felt when heart problems forced her out of the 2014 Road World Championships, the difference between winning Worlds medals as a junior and elite, and a whole lot more, including why she is so vocal about riders not being paid, and where she goes wrong in the Army…
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Subscribe for automated updates via the iTunes store here or via our RSS feed here. (The Vale post will take a little bit of time to upload as Dan’s left me in charge of the tech, and it’s not going well….)
Links for this podcast
Find out more about Vale through her twitter, and facebook, and through the Vale Scandolara fan club site – and read her profile on the ORICA-AIS site. Vale and her team-mate Amanda Spratt did some daily Q&As with me during last year’s Giro Rosa, and you can read them on Podium Café: pre-Giro; after Stage 2; Stage 3; Stage 4; and Stage 5.
Here are the videos from the 2014 Team Time Trial World Championships, where Vale won silver, the Bay Crits, where her team-mate Gracie Elvin won Stage 2 with Loes Gunnewijk second, and Vale’s win in the 2014 Giro del Trentino:
and talking after the Sparkassen Giro World Cup, and coming second in the 2014 Italian National Road Championships
Vale’s first races of 2015 will be the Santos Tour Down Under on 17-20th January, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on 31st January, and then the Ladies Tour of Qatar, 3rd-6th February 2015. Make sure you’re cheering for her online and in real life!
Big thanks to my Patreon supporters, who fund me to do these interviews – as always, I really appreciate you.
It’s been a hard week, but cycling is still making me smile. I started out with one thing, then two, and the list kept growing…
- Big thanks to Bicycling.com for featuring my podcastery in their round-up of 10 podcasts to listen to on the trainer. I’m super-flattered.
- Related…. we’ve done a little bit of podcast-rebranding – the Unofficial Unsanctioned Women’s UCI Cycling Show will still be Dan and me talking (laughing, swearing) about everything we love about women’s pro cycling (Dan is taking a break until the road season starts again, because he deserves it) and my interviews with pro riders and people involved in the sport are now Sarah interviews… with a snazzy new logo that I adore – thankyou so much, Ben! They have their own categories in the sidebar, but you can still get to them via the same iTunes and RSS as normal, and through the podcast section of the site. If you want to catch up with previous interviews, here are all the ones from last year.
- This is not flattering, but makes me laugh…
— Caroline Stewart (@swordpanda) January 11, 2015
- This is very flattering AND made me laugh
— Adi Oso-Groot (@middlering) January 13, 2015
- And this video is just gorgeous, and makes me wish I could do this too
OK, back to spreadsheets – thankyou, all my twitterfriends, and cycling social media types, for all being so awesome.