Shirt week! The wonderful merino world of Findra

This is a personal story, I’m warning you in advance!

When I’ve met the Adventure Syndicate folk at events, and watched Lee Craigie‘s video about riding the Caledonia Way, I’ve noticed their lovely merino tops, made by Scottish women’s cycling brand Findra.  I loved the style, of course, and the little details, like the thumb-holes, and the great textured elbows – it’s really nice clothing, and the website is full of gorgeous things.

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Podcast 2017 Episode 9 – Spare a Moment To Do Some Good

This week we catch up on all the attacks (so many attacks!) from Trofeo Moreno and Trofeo Binda last weekend. You know racing is intense when top riders are gunning it on the front just to settle down the sheer number of attacks! The Dwars Door Vlaanderen started while we were recording, so we give that a moment’s consideration and also take a look ahead at Gent-Wevelgem on this weekend. There’s a heap of cool media and some epic races including the ABSA Cape Epic and the Indian-Pacific Wheel Race; and of course heaps more! (1:21:45 MIN / 74.85 MB)

You can sign up for automated and free downloads via the iTunes store here or via our RSS feed here.

This week’s women’s cycling news and links round-up

It’s Mothers’ Day this weekend in the UK, so if there’s a cycling-loving mum in your life, check out the Shopping section of the site for things we’ve seen and liked – how about a 2017 WorldTour team kit, or presents that help pro women cyclists, or everyday women’s cycling? Yes, I know, you might not have ordered in time, but you can always order something and give her a card saying something’s on the way!

This week’s racing

Videos and media from the 2017 Trofeo Alfredo Binda and Trofeo da Moreno.

With her great results in Binda and elsewhere, Elisa Longo Borghini moved to No. 1 in the UCI rankings. Read how she got there, on the Wiggle High5 website.

The Absa Cape Epic

There is a LOT of great media on the race website, and tons more videos on the race YouTube – and all the results can be found here.

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Follow the 2017 women’s Gent-Wevelgem and junior race

Sunday 26th March 2017

So far, the 2017 Women’s WorldTour has been fantastic for fans, with the first three rounds, Strade Bianche, the Ronde van Drenthe and Trofeo Alfredo Binda all being streamed live.   But all good things must come to an end, and the run of live racing stops here.  No stream for Gent-Wevelgem, I’m afraid.  But we can still follow the race live on twitter, and hopefully there will be highlights too.  I’ll tell you all about that, as well as how to follow the women’s Junior Nations Cup and U17 races as well.  But first, a little bit about the race.

Women’s WorldTour #4, Gent-Wevelgem

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Catherine Marsal’s amazing life in cycling – now in writing!

Catherine Marsal has had an amazing life in cycling.  The Frenchwoman was an Olympian at 17 in 1988, the first ever women’s Junior Road World Champion in 1987, and the Elite World Champion in her first year as an elite in 1990; struggling for a few years, then becoming World Champion in the Hour Record in 1995; winning the Giro and the Tour de l’Aude Grand Tours; working as a Directeur Sportif before retiring from cycling, and then coming back to the sport as women’s road coach for the Danish Cycling Federation.

She’s seen a lot, and I talked to her about all this, the difficulties of becoming World Champion at a young age, racing with (and against) Jeannie Longo, and of course, the amazing results of the young Danish women, especially in the last week, when 2016 Road World Champion Amalie Dideriksen won 2017 WorldTour #2, the Ronde van Drenthe, and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig won the GC at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, and then came third in WorldTour #3, the Trofeo Alfredo Binda.

Of course I think you should listen to my podcast with Marsal, but for those of you who prefer to read interviews, I’ve written part of it up below.

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ProWomensCycling:  It’s a little bit exciting for Danish cycling right now, isn’t it?

Catherine Marsal:  We are on a cloud!  Things have been going very well since the beginning of the season, the girls are improving so well, every race sees a new adventure, and I’m looking forward to every weekend, to see what’s going to happen next.

PWC: Did you expect that the Danes would do so well this year?

Marsal:  I was expecting – and hoping – that Amalie Dideriksen could express herself, and show her rainbow jersey.  Amalie is not World Champion by chance, she’s a rider who has being working so hard and getting results – maybe not always seen by the media, but she’s been progressing, and the World Champion’s title is something she had in the corner of her mind.  It was very important for her to win a WorldTour race in that jersey, and confirm to the world that she is the World Champion.

PWC:  She won Drenthe in such beautiful style – Boels-Dolmans rode the race so well, and she got into a break with some really clever riders, and just trusted herself.

Marsal:  She has such an instinct for racing, that is unbelievable for her age.  She knows how to handle a very tricky situation like that, and she has a very strong capacity to handle the pressure, and what we expect from her.  That will give her so much strength for the future. Continue reading

Shirt week! The Velocio.cc 2017 collection

I’ve written about Velocio.cc before – the cycling clothing company set up by legend of women’s cycling, Kristy Scrymgeour, former cyclist, PR genius at HTC-Highroad and owner/manager of Specialized-lululemon, which morphed into Velocio-SRAM.

I’ve written about their original collection, their collaborations with pro cyclists Helen Wyman and Tiffany Cromwell, and the 2016 collection – and now it’s time for their new 2017 collection.

Velocio.cc sells full cycling kit for women and men, as well as ‘essentials‘ including socks, arm warmers, booties, caps and more.  They have some really interesting clothing innovations aimed at riding in different conditions (Ultralight for riding in the heat, Zero for the cold, Recon outerwear, and so on) and I like that they keep pushing at improving the kit – the 2017 wind vest, for example, has been redesigned to reduce flapping.

The sizing guide is here, and the shipping page here (UK customers and others, just be aware the Post Office might charge you an import tax, as they’re sent to EU addresses from Ireland).

I have to say that I miss their gorgeous cyan-and-white patterned jersey (as worn by Tayler Wiles in this tweet)… and if you do too, there are still some available, at sale prices!  Make sure you check out the entire sale page, because once the designs are gone, they’re gone…

If you want to know more about Kristy Scrymgeour, and her life with Velocio, read this interview with her from December, on Ella Cycling Tips.  And as always, I don’t benefit in any way from sharing this – I just like it, and hope you will too.

Sarah interviews… Catherine Marsal, on her amazing career in cycling

Catherine Marsal is a legend of women’s cycling and French cycling in general. Racing her first Olympic Games at 17, becoming the first ever Junior Road World Champion, and then the first woman to ever be Junior and Elite Road World Champion; winning World Championships golds as a Junior on the track in the Individual Pursuit and in the Team Time Trial; winning the Giro d’Italia, and another of the (now lost) Grand Tours, the Tour de l’Aude twice; and becoming the World Hour Record champion… and much more.

After she finished racing, she was a Directeur Sportif for Team SATS, and then after a break from cycling to do a degree and work in business, three years ago she took the job of women’s coach/manager for the Danish National Team – which has, of course, included being team coach when Amalie Dideriksen became the 2016 Road World Champion.

We talked about her amazing life in cycling, the ups and downs, racing with/against Jeannie Longo, and of course, the incredible results of the Danish women, and a lot more.  Marsal is fantastic to talk to, and was super-patient despite technical issues in the call, and if you’re at all interested in how cycling’s change since the 1990s, the experience of young riders who become World Champions, or Danish cycling, please do listen!

Update!  If you prefer to read interviews, I’ve written up part of it, over here.

You can follow Marsal on her twitter, and on facebook.

If you want to see the videos of some of the races we talked about, links to the 2016 Road World Championships, the 2017 Ronde van Drenthe, and Marsal breaking that Hour Record:

Videos and media from the 2017 Trofeo Alfredo Binda and Trofeo da Moreno

The Trofeo Alfredo Binda, the longest-running race in the UCI Women’s World Tour, is always a fan favourite, but this year even better than usual, because we could watch it all live – and there are also highlights of the Trofeo da Moreno, the junior Nations Cup race that runs on the same roads before the elite women.

Binda lived up to expectations – and with a surprise winner!  The 2017 Classics season have been amazing so far, and if you’re worried that it couldn’t live up to the Strade Bianche and the Ronde van Drenthe, don’t – it was another unpredictable race, despite the unseasonable sunshine!

There will be a lot more highlights to come, but as we have some good things to watch already, I’ll put this up now, and then edit more in as I see it.  I’ll start with the 9 min highlights from the UCI and 45min highlights from RAI, then some explanation about the livestream, as it was definitely idiosyncratic!

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