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A change to the advertised schedule…

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 1 comment

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.

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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Last week’s women’s cycling links – a podcast post without the podcast

No podcast this week, as Dan and I needed a break, but there was still a lot of racing, so here’s a round up of women’s cycling videos, blogs and links from the last week in road, BMX, MTB, a bit of track, and a surprising look at what a rider gets up to in her spare time….!

This week’s racing

TONS of video from this week!

The Women’s Tour of California

The first videos are little highlights, the second are 30 minutes long

Ella Cycling Tips race report – and highlights:

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In which I am reduced to ranting about race hashtags….

So, here comes a rant-ette.

I love twitter.  I have made friends, got jobs, built my cycling career and above all followed women’s cycling because of it, it’s completely transformed the sport for me.  But right now I’m practically having an embolism watching how teams, media and everyone really uses hashtags, and it’s something that happens so often, right now I actually want the UCI to mandate official hashtags.

So when a race is on, I check out the race twitter (if there is one) and use the hashtag they use.  And a good race makes it really simple – they plaster it on the website, on their twitter, in their press releases, at the team managers meeting (thank you, Aviva Women’s Tour & Energiewacht Tour!).  Ideally they chose the hashtag understanding that social media has character limits, and make it short & easy to remember (Race initials plus last 2 digits of the year!  Ideally just the race initials! Everyone knows what year it is!) but ultimately, it’s their choice, they run the race…  and ideally everyone uses it.

But no.

Read more…

Shirt week! Support the Bristol Grand Prix and get this awesome t-shirt!

I live in Bristol, in the UK, and I am very, very happy to see how well my friend Nicola Waterworth is doing organising the FIRST! EVER! BRISTOL GRAND PRIX!!!

Taking place in beautiful central Bristol on Saturday 20th June, there are races for juniors, Cat 1-4 women and 2 men’s races, Cat 3-4 and Cat 1-2.  They’ve got a crowdfunder which has hit their initial target of £10,000, and they have 5 days left to reach their stretch goal of £15,000, and for just £12 you can help them achieve that AND get this fabulous t-shirt!

You can also enter via that page – they’re in the process of getting British Cycling registration, so it’ll count for points – and if you’re in/near Bristol on the day, why not pledge to be a volunteer too?  Scroll down for more info!

Map, timetable, lots more info, including their links to Bristol’s Big Green Week on their website, and follow them on twitter too

 

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