Sharon Laws is a fascinating rider, one of those who gave up a good career to race bikes, and she’s had more than her share of adventures since then. Last year she was racing in the USA with UnitedHealthcare, but she’s back in Europe for 2015 after signing for the reinvigorated super–team Bigla, although her season got off to a bad start when she broke her collarbone in the Tour of Qatar.
She told me about all that, and more, and previews Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne World Cup, with a great take on what it’s like to ride the Mur de Huy. (25:06 mins, 39.1mb)
Listen to the podcast interview here (Right click, save-as to download)
You can follow Sharon on her twitter, and find out more about her on Bigla team rider profile – and of course, follow the Bigla twitter too. And you can read my previous interviews with Sharon from 2011 and from 2013 on Podium Café, and an audio interview with her from the 2014 Friends Life Women’s Tour.
The women’s Flèche Wallonne Road World Cup won’t have a live stream, but there will be highlights videos on the UCI youtube and maybe some highlights on the men’s race coverage. I’ll follow the race live with my twitter list, which is the nearest thing to a feed, and I have more ways to follow the race in my guide. You can find out more about the course, startlist, history and more on the race website, and on Velofocus’ preview.
Hey team, it’s only fair that we warn you straight up this week might be one of our best episodes ever (especially with the epic troll Sarah pulls on Dan about two-thirds of the way through). Sarah’s just got back from volunteering at the Energiewacht Tour (or possibly from Technically Germany, though Dan’s suspicious that it’s not a real place) and there’s so much to talk about. Sarah’s sleep deprived and Dan’s coffee deprived. Somehow we manage to discuss the race in detail and laugh maniacally along the way. It’s probably the fault of the seals. We also quickly recap Redlands and some other stuff. (1:17:11 MIN / 74.1 MB)
To stream the episode in all its deprivational glory, click here (right-click, save-as to download).
Things we talked about this week
Check out the videos for the stags (These videos start with the “samenvatting”, the highlights, and down the side have the full coverage – “deel 1 van 3″ is part 1 of 3 etc)
- Stage 1 – and the post-Stage 1 talkshow
- Stage 2b (with highlights of the 2a TTT) – and the evening talkshow
- Stage 3 – and the evening talkshow
- Stage 4
- The hour-long overall race highlights – and the 16-minute highlights
Here’s Gracie Elvin‘s video diary
UnitedHealthCare’s TTT camp
Hi team, it’s been a big week of cobbles and racing so we give a big recap to the Ronde van Vlaanderen, the kind of recap a monument deserves. We also cover GP Dottignies and Sarah has some exciting news about the Energiewacht Tour. There’s plenty of blogs and videos to check out below as well. Along with some Mountain Bike inspiration and a modest amount of bickering. Basically everything you want in a podcast, all in one neat package. (1:03:44 MIN / 61.19 MB)
To stream the cobbliest podcast of the week click here (right-click, save-as to download).
Things we talked about this week
For those who prefer their cycling a bit more dirty…
Hello everyone! This week Sarah and Dan tackle the most intense deconstruction of three paragraphs you’re likely to hear all week. As dull as that sounds, it’s guaranteed to be better than your high school poetry assessment, so there’s that! In racing news, we recap the action from Cholet-Pays de Loire and take a quick look ahead at an exciting weekend of Trofeo Binda and Gent – Wevelgem. Of course, there’s a lot more to the episode than just that, but telling you any more now would defeat the purpose of listening to it, so get excited and press play! (1:10:56 MIN / 68.10 MB)
To stream the podcast with the most potential for the week, click here (right-click, save-as to download).
Things we talked about this week
Last week’s racing
So much racing! We talk all about the Omloop van het Hageland, and then head over the border (or in Dan’s view, two suburbs over) to Drenthe for three fantastic races, including the first round of the 2015 Road World Cup, the Ronde van Drenthe. Along the way we look at Loren Rowney’s crash in the Drentse 8, examine some tactics, and how analysis is completely dependent on hindsight, and wander all over the peloton.
(Because there was so much racing this week, we didn’t have time to talk CIRC, women’s wages or the proposed women’s World Tour, but we’ll be focusing on that next week)
As always we’ve got the videos and links to everything we talked about down below, but make sure you stream the podcast, we enjoyed it and we hope you do too. (56:38 MIN / 54.4 MB)
To stream this week’s adventures in cycling click here (right-click, save-as to download).
This week’s racing
So many videos and photos – click here to watch the action!
The 2015 cycling season has hardly started, but wow, Boels Dolmans are already the team to beat, with Ellen van Dijk and Lizzie Armitstead winning at the Ladies Tour of Qatar, Megan Guarnier winning Strade Bianche, and Chantal Blaak winning Le Samyn. Blaak is such a huge talent – being part of the Team Time Trial squad that won the Open de Suède Vårgårda TTT World Cup last year, and then going on to win the Road Race, finishing the season with a gold in the TTT World Championships. She’s one of those riders that epitomises Dutch-style Classics cycling, loving the rain, cobbles, wind, breakaways, and every time the race gets hard, so who better than to talk about the first Road World Cup of the season, the Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe World Cup? She tells us what it’s like to race in Drenthe, how it was to win a World Cup and World Champs gold last year, how she got into cycling, and much more. (27:10 mins, 26.1 MB)
Listen to the podcast here (Right click, save-as to download)
If you prefer to read your interviews, there’s a transcript of the first half of this interview over on Podium Café.
The Boels Rental World Cup on Saturday 14th March 2015 is one of three women’s races in Drenthe – starting with the Molecaten Drentse Acht on Thursday 12th, which Blaak won last year, and finishing on Sunday with the Novilon Eurocup on Sunday 15th. Follow those links to find out more, and make sure you’re following the Ronde van Drenthe twitter. There will be live streaming and tv of the World Cup on RTV Drenthe and on NOS.nl and I can give you all the details of following and watching live over here – and here’s the clip of Blaak at the 2014 Drentse 8:
Last week Chantal won Le Samyn des Dames, and you can see her beautiful long sprint in this Sporza video. Her win at the Open de Suède Vårgårda World Cup was a gorgeous attacking moment, and all the videos are here. And if you want to watch her as part of Specialized-lululemon’s gold medal winning team at the Vårgårda TTT World Cup and the 2014 TTT World Championships, click through those links.
I’m funded to do interviews like this by my wonderful Patreon supporters – thank you, so much, for everything you do
Hi everybody and welcome to 2015! It’s kind of the season but not really the season which means it’s the pre-season, and pre-season means we’re talking about Ladies Tour of Qatar. Of course, we’re never satisfied with just one subject so we’re also talking about Cyclocross worlds, Para-cycling and all the crazy, funny, awesome blogs and videos and things we’ve seen about the place in the last couple of weeks. (1:09:31 MIN / 66.73 MB)
To stream the pre-season hilarity click here (right-click, save-as to download).
Things we talked about
We didn’t talk about this, but we liked it – Evie Stevens in the velodrome with Specialized: