Podcast 2013 Episode 7 – The Sarah Guarantee

This week Sarah and I recap the week’s racing with Trofeo Alfredo Binda and Gent-Wevelgem, then leap into previewing the Ronde van Vlaanderen voor Vrouwen. Dan asks Belgium WTF? WTF Belgium? We also discover a huge range of cool stuff online. Videos, blogs, etc. Sarah makes an implausible guarantee to a rider (and I am merciless in taunting her for it). We get an awesome question from someone via twitter and weirdly enough actually have the same answer. Sarah also finds a couple of really uplifting stories of hardship and triumph from around the world. It’s one of the greatest weeks in cycling and so you should prepare properly by stocking up on Belgian beer and settling in for some hilarity. (1:14:48 MIN / 71.80 MB)

You can stream the greatest RVV preview here.



Or you can snag the latest episode from the iTunes store.

Things we talked about this week

Last weekend’s racing – read Sarah’s race report on Total Women’s Cycling, and check out the videos of both races.

Trofeo Alfredo Binda


  • Rabobank didn’t get off to the best start (I’m very glad no one was hurt):

First crash of the day. All shocked but okey. Continue with half the team to #GentWevelgem twitter.com/irisslappendel…

— Iris Slappendel (@irisslappendel) March 24, 2013

Next week’s racing

The Ronde van Vlaanderen – 31st March 2013

Energiewacht Tour – 3rd-7th April

A collection of videos from women’s team camps – Sarah’s bemused by the Cipollini-Giordana video

And the ORICA-AIS guide to looking good on the bike:

Jaysmackie‘s excellent teaser – what’s your answer?

@_pigeons_ if one choice, more coverage or races,1.All World cup races streamed free&full, 2.Strade Bianche/Roma Maxima Women’s races(OMG!)

— Jays Mackie (@jaysmackie) March 29, 2013

Some more serious sides of women’s cycling:

We like the idea behind 30 Days of Biking – if you want to pledge to ride your bike every day in April, sign up here

Things we forgot to mention, but should have talked about

Good news about USA racing!  The Philadelphia Classic is back – and paying equal prize money to the women!

Marianne Vos has been checking out the Worlds course in Florence (interview in English)

and her tweet about the course – so, just her style of riding, then!

Grazie Andrea Tafi for showing us the Worlds’ courses in Florence! TTT is flat & straight, RR the opposite: hills & corners:-) #RaboLivGiant

— Marianne Vos (@marianne_vos) March 20, 2013


11 thoughts on “Podcast 2013 Episode 7 – The Sarah Guarantee

  1. Love reading the equal prize money @ Philly. Hopefully it will start a trend that spreads rapidly. Surely there is a wealthy entrepreneur out there that recognizes the value of promoting women’s bicycle racing. We can always hope….

    • The USA races are really, really good at this – in cyclocross, especially. I can’t remember which race it is (Cross Vegas maybe?) but there’s one where the women get a bigger prize pot, on the basis that the USA women are better, in the global context, than the USA men. All power to those races – their pots are serious cash too, rather than the €250 the women race for in Europe….

      • I think the problem in Europe is the size of the men’s sport. It’s a huge sport in Flanders, the male riders know it and ask huge amounts of money to show their faces. Organisers best chances of attracting large amounts of people are to comply to their wishes, which leaves way too little for the women. In the US, the men’s side of the sport isn’t nearly that big, which means the US male cx’ers don’t have that power or influence over spectators or organisers.

        That also explains why equal prize money is mostly in cx in the US. Because with Lance, men’s road racing got a lot of attention and populairity, again, leaving too little for the women. So in my opinion, a decrease of populairity for the men’s side of things wouldn’t be such a bad thing for the women’s side, it might actually the best thing to happen to women’s cycling.

      • It’s been really interesting, seeing how the problems of men’s cycling has helped the women’s sport – we saw it with the Olympics, where many more people watched the women ride than watched the men – and bloody hell, it was spectacular! Contrasting the way the men rode – and the outcome than can only be described as dodgy – with the women’s lunatic attacking, said it all. And then, when Qatar was shown, there were so many people who were exhausted by the endless Armstrong affair, tuned in to the women, because finally, some cycling, and LOVED it… Here are riders who really love the sport, and want to take any opportunity to attack, and make racing fun. It shouldn’t matter that they’re women, they’re cyclists…. Now, to get more coverage of the races, so more people can see this!

      • That’s an interesting perspective, although I’d tend to come at it from a different perspective. In simple terms I don’t think that we have to accept that there’s a fixed amount of money in cycling and that’s it. And I’d contend that there are multiple unique factors in women’s cycling that should allow it to attract new money to the sport.

        So, in the short term I can see what you mean and sort of agree, I think in the long term the goal has to be for women’s cycling to create its own structure and business model that best suits its unique nature.

  2. I think there is a fixed amount of money in cycling as long women’s cycling has it’s current UCI management, or better said, non-management… What needs to happen for women’s cycling to have the growth boom that it could potentially have, is for someone to step up and take control of business side of the sport, with the UCI’s role reduced to the sporting side of things. Who that someone could be, I don’t know, in other sports it’s often been someone already involved in the sport, I’d say Kristy Scrymgeour would be a pretty solid choice for that 🙂

    Anyway, great work on the podcast as usual 😉 Not too sure on Marianne ”sacrificing” Binda for Flanders though, in this video she looks absolutely gutted after the finish (at 1.25): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBZuJ28NhiQ I guess she just had bad day, made possibly worse by the fact that everyone at Rabo seemed to have a bad day. But much can change in one week.

    • Yeah, I think you’re right about there needing to be a greater separation between sports admin and sports business. It’ll be a very tough path for whomever takes on that sort of project, but I think the benefits would be huge.

      And yes again, Marianne always rides to win really, but sometimes it’s nice to pretend that maybe she’s sandbagging. 😉

    • I think “bad day” at Binda, too – I wish we’d seen more of the chase, because it sounded like, on twitter, that Spec-lulu and ORICA were really ganging up on her, grinding off her team, making her chase over and over again – brilliant racing tactics, in fact!

      • Yeh, though everyone ganging up on Marianne isn’t something new. We often talk about Orica and their super strong and deep team, but Rabo (and Specialized if Ina and Evie are back) has that as well. For that exact reason, that they have enough fire power to cope with the other teams trying to get to Marianne. But the whole team felt bad in Binda, and the result showed. Flanders was different, Marianne said all Rabo’s where at the front when the decision came (except for PFP, she crashed hard and was taken to the hospital for a check-up, nothing broken), and it immediatly shows in the result. It’s actually scary to think that Rabo wasn’t far off signing Ellen and Anna vd Breggen, but both of them decided to stay at their current teams, probably for the better for the excitement this year 🙂

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