Guess what team?! It’s the Week of Worlds! (WoW!) That’s right we talk all things worlds (well, except for the road race because that’s going to be part two). Before we get into all the awesome things that are going to happen in Ponferrada we catch up on the Lotto-Belisol Belgium Tour, a race we’d rather not talk about (Giro Toscana), the Chrono Champenois with Time Trial interestingness, and THEN we start to talk about Worlds! It’s so exciting and there’s SO MUCH to talk about it’s amazing. Because we also cover some great blogs and articles we saw during the week, and of course we kind of have to talk about ~that~ kit and the kind of weirdness of a story being hyped beyond all recognition. I (Dan) mean, what else do you call a story about a nude kit that’s clearly not a nude kit even in the photo that’s allegedly nude-ish? And then on top of that, what do you say when the UCI has time to comment on that (even though according to their own rules they must have already been aware of the kit – and also, it’s gold so WTAF?) but still can’t comment on stories of riders not being paid by teams and other actual issues? Well, as it turns out, we have quite a bit to say. I know, you’re surprised. (1:19:41 MIN / 74.71 MB)
To be utterly WoWed by the least nude podcast you’ll ever hear, click here (right-click, save-as to download).
This week’s women’s cycling links
Last week’s racing
Chloe Hosking’s blog on winning her stage – including what it’s like racing without a contract for next year – we hope she gets one soon. Lots more information, photos and results on the race website.
Every now and then I do posts about gift ideas for women’s cycling fans and women who cycle. It’s always a case of things I like, or that are recommended to me, I don’t get any personal benefit – I just want to help you buy nice presents for the nice people in your life!
Now, I love reading, so I’m starting with books, and I’m pretty sure there’s something here to suit every taste. I’m roughly dividing this into books by women cyclists, about women and cycling, and books about cycling written by women, but it includes everything from autobiography to poetry, chicklit, history, science fiction, economics, books about men’s races and more. My big thanks to Feargal McKay, whose reviews have introduced me to a lot of these (I’ll link to the reviews, to give you more of an idea about the books). The link to each book title takes you to the publisher’s page where possible, which usually has information on how to buy, and I’ve included some other shopping links to for some of them.
Of course there are tons more books out there, so if you have any recommendations of womensy-cyclingy books, please get in touch, and I’ll put together an second post.
Books by women cyclists
Nicole Cooke: The Breakaway (Simon & Schuster, ISBN 978-1471130335)
If you’re interested at all in women’s cycling in the UK, you have to read this one. Cooke was the first cyclist to win the Olympic and World Championships road race in the same year, in 2008, and she fought all the way, on and off the road. She wrote this without a ghost-writer, so it’s very much her own voice, and if you know anything about Cooke, you’ll know she doesn’t pull her punches. Read the reviews by Feargal on Podium Café (part 1 and part 2) and on the Guardian, and buy it on Amazon uk and Amazon.com.
From one World and Olympic champion to the next – this is the story of Vos’ 2012, where author Rick Booltink followed her around for the year. It’s very honest, talking about how she became anorexic in the push to win the Olympics, and then came back from that to win, and she talks about all the pressure and doubts. Vos is this incredible character, and this is very honest… but! it’s only available in Dutch! It’s available on Dutch book-seller Bol.com.
People have been asking me about my thoughts on that Colombian kit, the IDRD-Bogotá Humana-San Mateo-Solgar one from the Giro Toscana. I was a bit confused – I laughed, RTed it and talked about it online last week, filed under “fugly”, because I always have a softspot for terrible kits – like Footton-Servetto’s, or the ones with appalling colour clashes. I’ve had a couple of days cutting back my internet use, so it was a little bit of a shock to hear that this kit has gone viral. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there are some bad choices there, and “looks ‘nude’ in photos in bad light” is never a good move, but the reaction has been a little bit extreme.
This afternoon, people started linking me to articles on it – like this one, on BBC Sport, which hilariously has protected us from the thought of genitalia with a modesty panel, which makes it seem so much worse than it really is. There are articles on the Guardian and apparently all the other big UK newspapers, and on websites like Jezebel and Buzzfeed, it’s been discussed on at least two national UK radio stations – and part of this interest is because of Brian Cookson, the head of the UCI, who tweeted this:
I want to look at this from a couple of different angles – if it is obscene; if it’s more obscene than men’s kits; is it sexist; and Cookson’s public intervention in comparison to other issues.
Continuing her series of special feature interviews, Sarah speaks with Amber Pierce, the founder of the recently launched Network for Advancing Athletes, a mentoring program focused on helping developing and elite women athletes develop and grow in their sports. Currently based in the US, but with ambitions to grow internationally, and an online Q&A section, this project has been a true labour of love for Amber. She shares with Sarah the inspiration behind the idea and how she hopes to build a peer support and mentoring network for women across a variety of sports around the world. It’s always a pleasure to catch up with Amber and this is a conversation you will not want to miss.
To stream the networkiest, athletiest podcast of the day, click here (right-click, save-as to download).
You can find the Network for Advancing Athletes online here, with great resources including great FAQs like this one about managing depression as an athlete, and a range of articles on useful topics as well. If you are an athlete, or want to be one, you can submit your own questions here – and if you’re in North America and would like to apply to have a mentor, here’s more about it.
If you know anyone who might want to be a mentor (or want to be one yourself), here’s the page for that – and for anyone else, there’s a variety of different ways you can contribute as well.
This week real life got on top of us, so we won’t be ‘casting this week (if you miss us, check out the ‘cast archive, to listen to things you might have missed), but we have the usual links and videos and stuff we’ve loved this week – and I wanted to have a look at some stats about the Boels Rental Ladies Tour. If you don’t know about the Tour, it’s one of those fantastic Dutch races – starting with an ITT, 3 stages of pancake-flat roads with crazy winds that are probably harder to race in than hills, and two hilly Valkenberg stages. For more info, check out the race website, the Velofocus preview and here’s the race highlights video, with finish-line footage, and post-race interviews with all the winners (subtitled to English!)
So, Dutch racing – and I would expect Dutch riders to dominate. OK, some big names were out (Loes Gunnewijk is still out injured, Marianne Vos pulled out halfway through as she wasn’t recovering well, Annemiek van Vleuten is training for Worlds), but look at my stats
Top 10 GC
|2014||2 x Ned & Bel,1 x Ger & Swe||Evelyn Stevens||
|2 x USA, Ger, Italy, Pol1 x Ned & Swe|
|3 x Ned1 x Ger, Aus, Italy(plus TTT, Speclulu)||Ellen van Dijk||
|4 x Ned, 2 x Ger1 x GB, Italy, USA, Pol|
|4 x Ned2 x Ger(plus TTT, Speclulu)||Marianne Vos||
|2 x Ned, Ger, Italy1 x USA, Swe, NZ, Bel|
|5 x Ned1 x Bel||Marianne Vos||
|6 x Ned1 x Swe, Aus, Can, Italy|
|6 x Netherlands1 x Germany||Marianne Vos||
|5 x Netherlands,3 x Ger, 2 x Swe|
Now, I know I’m geeky about cycling, but I find that so interesting. What I think is happening is that riders from other countries have been learning about how to race Dutch-style – it’s especially nice that Evie Stevens won this year, because two years ago she wrote about how she used to feel about these races:
Constant sideway winds, torrential cold rain, 1000 exceedingly tall women all fighting me for position 999, a million tricky corners, roads too small for cars, road furniture jumping out at me left and right, the sight of the 999 tall women stretched out in front of me and the winning break disappearing into the cold midst, me adding as much value to the team’s performance as a rain jacket on a sunny day …this horrifying vision used to pop into my brain when I thought of racing in Holland. It is true, I used to suffer from Dutch Anxiety.
I love that blog! Every time I think of it, it makes me grin!
So what will the Dutch need to do? Is the Holland Ladies Tour turning into the International Ladies Tour? Do they need more rain and wind, more cobbles? Or will we find the Dutch riders getting revenge? I suppose, with Vos winning three Giros, maybe they’re already stealing the Italian races…. Or maybe we’ll see the Dutch women getting revenge next year, with 7 of them getting into breaks at kilometre 15, echeloning the peloton into submission, and attacking even more than normal? I love it, I can’t wait!
Update! I know, I know, there was also no Kirsten Wild, or Lucinda Brand in the Boels Tour, and it was weirdly un-windy this year – and I’m not being 100% serious about the Dutch riders losing the ability to win Dutch races – I’m just interested in the profile of who does well in this race, and enjoying myself immensely! Anyway, onwards to….
More things from last week’s racing
I wrote about riders not being paid and being treated really badly by teams, and I have
two three updates to make. Firstly, people have rightly said these things also happen to men, especially young men, at entry-level and in Conti teams, and I don’t know about that, but I’ll believe it – it’s a cycling problem, I’m sure – but I so think there are layers of sexism that women face that the men don’t, and the fact there is only one layer of UCI teams for women mean that there isn’t an obvious pro level to escape to.
I don’t want to dismiss the shit young men go through, though – and of course I hope that the UCI will set up pathways to help everyone with team issues.
Secondly, some comments from Bridie O’Donnell:
UPDATE! And a third (including it as an example of a pro’s experience, not for the nice words about me!)
2014 was a really exciting year for women’s cycling, with a lot more video of races, new teams appearing, and I genuinely believe that the UCI women’s commission is doing it’s best to try to change the culture around women’s cycling. So it’s depressing to read this article on La Bicicleta México, alleging Mexican riders on Estado de Mexico-Faren not only haven’t been paid, but also have faced discrimination within the team and unacceptable treatment from team staff.
These stories are depressingly familiar. Every year I hear off the record reports about rider just not being paid, or being treatd badly, and when they complain, nothing happens as a result. When I tweeted about this, some people justifiably asked me why riders don’t talk about this publicly, but there’s something incredibly insidious about these situations, because riders who ‘rock the boat’ by complaining then face the inherent risks in being seen to be ‘difficult’.
Within cycling, reputation is really important – it is a team sport, after all, so if a rider is seen as ‘difficult’, even if she’s raising about something she’d totally right about, she has less of a chance of getting a berth on a team, and could end up blacklisted. And then you hear about riders going to the UCI to complain about not getting paid, and the only result being the team sacking her, taking her bike away and denying her the opportunity to ride, and that can be the end of a career she’s sacrificed so much for, gone in an instant.