Celebrating Social Media – part 9 – the 2012 Worlds riders

I loved the Worlds road race – and Dan told us how much HE loved the Worlds – but looking down the results, it struck me how many of the top 20 riders have fantastic social media! So I thought, what better way to update my social media series, before I hit you with the cyclocrossers next week.  Check out all these riders – click their blogs and follow them on twitter, I know you won’t regret it!

1.  Marianne Vos

Marianne Vos’ win at the Worlds was spectacular, and she’s not only great on the road, she’s also fantastic online.  I’ve already told you about how much I love Vos’ twitter – it’s a lot of fun, she’s friendly, funny, and tells us all about her life and racing.  You can also catch up with all her news on her website, especially the video section.

2.  Rachel Neylan

It still makes me smile, remembering Neylan’s spectacular ride for silver.  I’ve been a fan of her for ages – her story is really inspiring, and she’s always told it so well on her blog.  She’s an enthusiastic social media user, with accounts on twitter, facebook and LinkedIn – I really liked her twitter, when she was so excited to be selected for the Worlds, but ever since the race it’s been adorable, thanking everyone for all their support, and emphasising that her silver is a team effort.   Here’s her story, from her website, and here’s an interview I did with her for Podium Café last year – yes, yes, I know it sounds like shameless self-promotion, but it’s evidence how happy she is to interact with fans, and online life!

3.  Elisa Longo Borghini

Our 2012 bronze medallist has a fantastic twitter account, where she tweets in Italian and English, and she comes across as friendly, intelligent and funny.  She also has a website, which has a blog section – it’s having piccoli problemi at the moment, but damn, she’s been riding SO hard, I’m sure she’ll get around to it in the off-season, so check back regularly for more updates on her.  She’s a huge talent, and at only 20, is just getting started…

4.  Amber Neben

Just last week, I was talking about how much I admire Neben, and you can read all about that on my Equivalents post.  She’s not been blogging much recently, but her website is a great one, and I’ve always liked her twitter, for the way she’s so happy for her team-mates, and her enthusiasm.  And definitely check out her Dare To Be Project, raising money to provide bikes to homeless children – it’s a really inspiring project, and an example of a cyclist using her sport to help other people.  I love that.

5.  Anna van der Breggen

Young Dutch talent Van der Breggen topped her break-through season with a fabulous ride, getting into the key break and then working her socks off for Vos, forcing the other breakaway riders to chase her down, leaving them less energy for when Vos attacked.  You can find out more about her – and follow her through what looks like it will be an exciting career, via her website and twitter – in Dutch, but if you don’t speak Dutch, that’s what google translate is for.

6.  Rossella Ratto

The other young Italian in the final break, Rossella Ratto, might be familiar to you from when she came 2nd in the 2010 Junior World Championships behind Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, and 5th in last year’s Junior ITT Championships.  She’s the first rider in the top 10 not to have a website or twitter….  or at least, I can’t find one – but if you do, add it to the comments, and I’ll update.

7.  Linda Villumsen and 8. Judith Arndt

Villumsen won the sprint for 7th out of the group that was chasing the breakaway, one place ahead of her Orica-AIS team-mate, Judith Arndt, while in the ITT, Arndt won, with Villumsen in bronze position (Arndt’s second ITT rainbow jersey in a row, and Villumsen’s fourth year on the ITT podium).  But neither of them have public social media accounts!  Arndt is retiring at the end of the season (makes me sad) but maybe they’ll both re-start their websites?  Pretty please?  In the meantime, they both have profiles on Orica-AIS’ recently revamped (and awesomified) site

9.  Emma Johnsson

Luckily, the 9th-placed rider, Emma Johansson, move than makes up for it.  I really like her website, which she updates with a lot of photos and news, and her twitter, too.  And clearly lots of other people do too – she won the Brainwash prize in the Social Media Jersey competition.  You can read all about how it’s been a tough year for her – and I’m really hoping we can follow her as she has a fantastic 2013 season, to more than make up for it all.

10.  Paulina Brzezna-Bentkowska

Finally, Brzezna-Bentkowska, who rode alongside Johansson on the RedSun team in 2009 and 2010.  I can’t find any social media accounts for her – but Polish wikipedia tells us all about her, which you can read via google translate.

11.  Annemiek van Vleuten and 12. Ashleigh Moolman

I rhapsodised about Van Vleuten and Moolman in the very first part of this series, on blogging riders.  They both have really fantastic websites, two of the very best out there – check out Van Vleuten’s and Moolman‘s – and they’re on twitter as @AvVleuten and @AshleighCycling, respectively.  They really make an effort to help us follow their sport – click through to each, to see how.

13.  Joëlle Numainville

Numainville has been based on the North American circuit, but every time this 24-year-old sprinter comes over to Europe, with the Canadian National Team, we certainly know ALL about it from her results.  She was third in this year’s Ronde van Vlaanderen World Cup, and won a stage of the hilly Tour de l’Ardèche – as well as being on the podium of all sorts of USA races.  I don’t know if this website is run by her, but you can find out all her news there, and on facebook.

14.  Alena Amialiusik

The Belorussian has been lighting up races all year, and turning up on podiums at l’Ardèche, the Route de France and Limousin, and in Gracia-Orlová.  She doesn’t appear to have her own site or accounts, but read all about her on the BePink website.

15.  Emma Pooley

Pooley’s very new to twitter, having only recently set herself up as @PooleyEmma, but here’s hoping she is a convert very soon.  Follow it, and see how it turns out…

16.  Evelyn Stevens

Stevens, the World ITT silver medallist, on the other hand, has been around on twitter for a while as @evelyn_stevens, and it’s one of those accounts that fools you into thinking you know just what she’s like – and that you’d love to be her friend.  It’s a really nice one – while she only has one post, World Peace and Happy Babies, on the Specialized-lululemon blog page, it definitely makes you wish she’d written more!  Dear Evie, please write more blogs – and dear Specialized team-mates, please persuade her what a good idea this would be, we’ll really thank you for it.

17.  Jessie Daams

Belgian rider Jessie Daams didn’t get the chance to race as often as she wanted to this year, but when she did, she won the final stage of the tough Thüringen Rundfahrt, and came 6th in the European u23 ITT.  I really hope she gets snapped up by a great team for 2013 – follow her on twitter, and hopefully we’ll hear good news VERY soon.

18.  Liesbet de Vocht

Daams’ Belgian team-mate, De Vocht, hasn’t updated her blog for a while, but she’s a regular tweeter, at @LiesbetDV.  She’s been working hard all year for Rabobank, and won the Lotto Cycling Cup season-long series of Belgian races.  And you know what happens in Belgian races – wind, rain, cobbles, so of COURSE she’s the kind of rider you should be following!

19.  Hanka Kupfernagel

I did say it was nearly the cyclocross season, so get ready by following Kupfernagel, who worked DAMN hard to persuade everyone that women should be allowed to ride CX – and then get prize money – and won the first ever CX World Champs.  She has a comprehensive website, in German and in English, which has loads of great information, photos and stories.  (The English side will tell you it hasn’t been updated recently, but it’s still got all sorts of interesting pages to read).  But much as I like the site, my favourite thing is her twitter, and especially the banter and joking with the other CX women…  but more on them next week!

20.  Giorgia Bronzini

Finally, Bronzini may have lost the rainbow jersey, after two years as World Champion (and 2009-10 points World Champion, on the track), but there’s every chance she’ll be picking up another one in the future.  Her website has a fun profile of her (or via google translate) and she’s also on facebook and twitter.  I may have already told you, I’m a massive fan, you you know I’m following all of them!

So, that’s our top 20 – and as I say, check back next week, when it’ll be time to get muddy….  roll on the CX season!


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