I’ve already talked about riders who blog on their own sites and on team sites, and use twitter, but now it’s time for some visuals! Here are some great ways video is used in women’s cycling, but riders, teams and fans – and as ever, if you know more, let me know in the comments!
Rochelle’s World – Rochelle Gilmore
I could have mentioned Rochelle Gilmore for her excellent blogs (I especially like this blog on how it feels to be on the receiving end of Teutenberg’s tactical genius, from last years ChongMing Island tour – and more recently, following her hard path back to pro racing, after she had to learn to walk again, after a crash in last year’s Giro Donne) and for her twitter, but what really makes this Aussie sprint star stand apart is her use of video. She’s got an ongoing series on her youtube channel, following her life on and off the bike, and it’s a lot of fun
She’s got episodes on everything from fixing a ceramic bottom bracket, to learning to ride a mechanical bull, to previewing the Olympic road race for Australian tv, to footage of actual surgery on her knee (have to admit, I got about 5 seconds into that one before squeamishness took over!). They’re a really nice eclectic mix – and I like the way she features the director of Faren, one her her team, Faren Honda’s title sponsor – I love all that kind of behind-the-scenes action!
They’re really simple, these videos, but SO effective! Video shows so much of riders’ personalities…. and that’s why I love this team’s approach, and wish they had more!
When you click on some of the rider profiles on the Orica-AIS women’s team page, you’ll find links to videos under some of them – and when you do, click! click! click! They’re really, really funny!
They’re fronted by Tiffany Cromwell, their tough-as-nails Aussie star, who, when she’s not working her heart out for the team (eg, instigating the key break on the cobbles of the Ronde van Vlaanderen, that helped her team leader, Judith Arndt, win the race) she’s attacking herself – in a 100km solo attack that won her a stage of the Giro Donne, or ending up second in the GP Plouay World Cup, behind superstar Marianne Vos). When she’s not on the bike, she has a great website and twitter, but I especially like her on the videos. For example, the Orica packing tips – starting sensible, and then…. Tiffany! And here she’s asking her team-mates questions from fans on facebook:
I love the interaction between team-mates! There haven’t been many women’s team videos (check out all the men’s!) – they did a lot at the Tour of Qatar (a preview with Aussie road champion Amanda Spratt, reactions after Stage 1, Stage 2, and their post-win race roundup) and they previewed the Classics season with Loes Gunnewijk…. Please Orica-AIS, can we have some more?
Rowena Fry and Amanda Spratt take Skippy for a ride
Luckily, even when there aren’t team videos, some of the riders make their own! Here’s Orica’s Rowena Fry taking their mascot, Skippy, on a ride to watch the Flèche Wallonne, with the camera attached to Amanda Spratt. Fun riding footage, and a nearly-nasty dog-meets-bike moment at the end
These are from the 2011 season, but I really enjoyed the videos from the AA Drink-Leontien.nl manager, Michael Zijlaard. the videos are still on Zijlaard’s youtube – I like the riders dancing in ice vests in the middle of this Giro Donne video – and I love the footage of backstage at the races, and from the team car… but what I really like best in these is the on-bike footage. I’m sure it’s breaking some kind of UCI regulation, but dear teams, PLEASE can we have more of this? This one has on-bike footage of riding – and crashing – in the Ronde van Vlaanderen
My next video recommendation isn’t for a team or a rider, but for the fantastic work of Womenscycling.net. CJ Farquharson travels the world taking photos of the races, and I’ve relied on the race reports she and Suzanne produce for the best on-the-spot information, ever since I started following women’s racing. I don’t have enough praise for their work – it really is the first point of call for every race – with some great backstage shots too! You can find more of CJ’s photos on her sales website, CJFoto.com and follow them on twitter, too – but check out their videos on their youtube account. These get embedded into their race reports as well, but for one quick video hit, go there!
What they specialise in are pre- and post-race interviews with the riders, and because they’re always at the races, they’re known and trusted, and get great access. Here’s Marianne Vos talking about her post-Olympics period, for example
have a loom through, because they’ve got interviews with practically everyone, and they’re all fun times. These are interviews they don’t get paid for, too – they’re just produced for the love of the sport, and I’m very grateful for that!
My final shout-out goes to all the fans who go to races and post snippets up online for us to see. Head and shoulders are the fan (fans?) behind Petites Reines. Their website has photos and lots of information, especially about cyclocross, but they also have a great Vimeo account, which has videos from everything they go to. Thankyou!! It’s lovely stuff! Have a look around – and marvel at the work that’s gone into this huge compliation of clips from riders they’ve spoken to. As an example, here’s video from this year’s Trofeo Binda:
I’ll be coming back to cyclocross later in this series, but if you like it, or want to know more, check back through the Petites Reines videos too!
These are just some of the rider-, team- and fan-based video fun there is, and as always, if you know of some I’ve missed, please let me know in the comments or at @_pigeons_. Here’s hoping we’ll see some more, from the Giro Toscana, Tour de l’Ardèche and Brainwash Ladies Tour, so it can be nominated for the Unofficial Unsanctioned Social Media Jersey! And, as ever, huge thanks to everyone who makes these videos – it’s very much appreciated!
Next in the series: Social Media Superstars