Podcast Special Feature Episode 47 – Sarah Interviews Sarah Fader and Amber Pierce on the USA cycling scene
This year I started to watch the USA Criterium series, which was made so easy by USA Cycling mandating that if races want to be included in the series, they have to get the races streamed live on the USA Crits youtube (superb move! I’d love to see other Federations follow that!). It’s high octane racing, with PREEEEEEEEEEM laps for tons of cash every 5 laps or so, and it intrigued me. So I had to take the chance to talk to Sarah Fader and Amber Pierce, to find out more.
Sarah Fader is a star of the USA Crit circuit, who’s also the co-founder and manager of the Pepper Palace team. For 2015 she’s hoping to take the team to UCI level, and expand into the USA National Racing Calendar and North American UCI-ranked races, and Amber’s one of the riders joining the team. They told me about the differences between the series, how Sarah deals with both managing and riding on the team, and the plans for stepping up, the exciting developments on the USA cycling circuit for 2015 and much more. (41:32 MIN / 39.88 MB)
To stream the Pepperiest Palaciousest interview the internet has ever seen (or heard), click here (right-click, save-as to download).
If you want to follow Sarah Fader and Pepper Palace, there’s a team website, instagram, facebook page, and twitter. Amber is on twitter, and you can follow her latest project, the Network for Advancing Athletes, on their website and twitter – if you want to know more about that, check out my recent interview with her about the project.
The USA Crits series has a website, great twitter, and of course the YouTube account, and if you’d like to get a taste of the action, try the Chris Thater Memorial race, which Sarah won – full race, and highlights video – and Sarah also recommends watching the Athens Twilight Crit - full race coverage and highlights:
and the Novant Health (Presbyterian) Invitational (those links will take you to Youtube videos, which include the women’s, elite men and various other races that happen on the same day).
Sarah continues her series of interviews in this one-on-one talk with Helen Wyman. In it they talk about Helen’s results this season in the USA and Europe and how the two CX scenes are different, she explains start fees and prize money, why women’s CX is a really good opportunity for sponsors, and much more about the wonderful world of cyclocross. (42:12 MIN / 40.68 MB)
To stream the crossiest interview either side of the North Atlantic, click here (right-click, save-as to download).
(Note: Because Helen and Sarah both like to talk, this is just part 1 of the interview. Here’s Part 2, where Helen runs through the season. Spoiler: you should watch it all!)
There’s a video-diary from Helen’s USA trip
Ans the Kona video from Helen, and two very young riders facing their first race of the 2014/15 season:
And another recent video profile of Helen on Fans of Flanders.
You can see how Helen came second in Sunday’s bpost bank trofee Ronse on this great photo-set by Balint Hamvas on cyclephotos.co.uk, and in this little video by Sporza. The full Ronse (mostly men’s) replay is here.
If you want to see videos from the start of the 2014/5 USA CX scene, there are How the race was won from CrossVegas and the KMC Festival day 1 and Behind The Barriers TV videos from, KMC Day 2, and the Rapha Super Cross Gloucester – Day 1 won by Helen, and Day 2. Photos of CrossVegas and the dusty Gloucester on VeloNews.
And this was lovely – Alex Carleton’s blog about Helen showing her some lines at the Midnight Ride.
Follow Helen on her website and excellent twitter, where she’ll probably answer any question you have – and make sure you check out her page on the Kona website. And Sarah’s written a guide to following, and watching, European women’s cyclocross.
This week there was a minor twitter controversy, as in a podcast interview with Suze Clemitson about women’s cycling, for Velocast, UCI President Brian Cookson said that he wouldn’t be looking to introduce a minimum wage for women road riders this year, which had been one of his election manifesto promises, and on twitter he cited advice from the UCI Women’s Commission as a reason for this decision.
I was interested in this, and wanted to know more, so I asked Kristy Scrymgeour, who sits on the Commission as owner and manager for Specialized-lululemon, and she told me a bit more detail about why the Commission have advised this – and how the minimum wage will be addressed.
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.
Kristy Scrymgeour has seen cycling from all kinds of angles – she started as a cyclist in Australia and the USA, then became a cycling journalist when Cyclingnews was first starting, before moving to work for the ground-breaking HTC-Highroad team, in charge of PR and media for the men’s and women’s teams. When that team folded, she took the women’s side forward as Specialized-lululemon, who have just won their fourth Vårgårda Team Time Trial World Cup, and then backed that up with their rider Chantal Blaak winning her first solo World Cup at the Vårgårda Road Race. But alongside all this success, they’re also crowd-funding for their team to continue next year, with the Project X fundraiser.
Sarah talked to Kristy about the crowd-funding, and tons more, including how the team got through their 2013 full of injuries and dealing with the “less good” start to 2014 (and how “less good” can refer to results, but it made them stronger); how they stay on top of the TTT; running a race programme across two continents; the team goals for the rest of the season; Kristy’s work on the UCI’s women’s commission of the UCI, and changes we might see in the future.
To stream the Xiest podcast in cycling history, click here (right-click, save-as to download).
If you prefer to read interviews rather than listen to them, the first part, on Vårgårda and Project X, is written up on Podium Café.
You can follow Specialized-lululemon on their website, facebook and twitter, and support the Project X fundraiser on Indiegogo. Kristy is on twitter as @kscrymo and do check out her other initiatives – the Velocio.cc clothing range, and Ally Stacher‘s Ally’s Bars, which will go big in September.
The two Project X videos are below, starting with the brand-new video featuring the team talking about what cycling means to them, as well as the project