Holy fuck kittens/puppies/polar bear cubs, what a week in women’s cycling! It’s been totally fucking crazy. I mean really crazy, and it’s kind of got to Sarah and me this week. You can tell because we really do get all riled up. Languedoc Rousillon needs a good hard ranting, so we kick off with that. Then we rant California styles. Dan launches a new UCI ranked race for May 2014 and issues an open invite to anyone from the UCI to come on the podcast and tell him he’s wrong. After all that ranting we move into accentuating the positives and talk about a whole bunch of cool stuff. We especially want to mention Half The Road, the great documentary that Kathryn Bertine is putting together. Links down below, go donate now! We’ll wait for you to get back, promise. Now buckle yourselves in for some of the funniest ranting you’re likely to hear in the next hour and a bit. (1:15:21 MIN / 72.33 MB)
Things we talked about this week
The Tour de Languedoc-Roussillon
- Sarah’s background on the story of the race (with links to pictures of the food!)
- EDIT! Interview with Emma Pooley about winning the race, on Velonation (thanks Bassface!) and blog about Stage 1 from Marijn de Vries
- Stage videos – with the first one (titled Stage 2, because it should have been) including the riders’ sit-down protest against the organisers (a thousand thanks to CyclingFlash of Cycling Fever for finding all of these for us! Check out the CF video pages for more!)
- Articles about the race, and what it means for women’s cycling, with Evie Stevens interviews, on VeloNews, on Cyclingnews, and by Bonnie Ford on ESPN
- Amber Neben‘s foundation that gives bikes to homeless children, and works with their aspirations, the Dare to Be project
- Jens Voigt’s tweets about the Tour of California
How about that idea?!If Amgen signs again for sponsorship- we add for every year of this new contract i day more of ladies racing per year!!
— Jens Voigt (@thejensie) May 19, 2013
So that would get us up to a 1 week tour for the ladies. I would be proud to race the same race and roads with them. Amgen Ladies Tour!!! — Jens Voigt (@thejensie) May 19, 2013
- Interviews with Evie Stevens and Alison Powers after the race, by Cyclingnews
Articles about all the problems with women’s cycling this week
- By Sarah on this blog, by Bridie O’Donnell on SBS and by Neil Browne on RoadCycling and a bit on inrng
- and Iris Slappendel’s great tweet about the Giro:
— Iris Slappendel (@irisslappendel) May 18, 2013
Grand Prix Gatineau Road Race and ITT
- The brilliant ticker of the road race from Canadian Cycling Magazine and their photo gallery of the road race
- Lex Albrecht‘s fantastic videos of the GP Gatineau and the Chrono Gatnueau (we love the Albrecht Army!)
Tour of Zhoushan Island
- Race reports by Wiggle Honda on stage 1, stage 2 and stage 3.
- We were surprised this was Bronzini’s first GC win – but check her palmares, on CyclingArchives with the track results and on CQ, with more road placings
Kathryn Bertine‘s fantastic documentary about women’s cycling, Half The Road. Click here to watch the fantastic trailer and donate to make the film happen – and find out more on the Half The Road website – if you have any ideas about where the film could be screened, or any other ideas, get in touch with the contact details.
Ever wondered how the Dutch riders get so good at random attacking? We loved this blog by Annemiek van Vleuten on the Dutch national team going crazy sprinting for road signs. The lovely ConfusedSpider translated it on Podium Café for us – click through to see his full translation, but here’s our favourite parts.
On the first day of the training camp, at the first place name road sign we encountered (Bibbona), Marianne went, the next was for Iris, and after that all bets were off; every place name road sign was sprinted for in the last twelve days…
Ellen arrived three days later (she wanted to get some rest after her Gracia-Orlova win) and ended up in the middle of our sprinting violence, but immediatly joined in. Her team has mostly American and German riders, and it’s not in their culture to sprint for every road sign. The Americans only watch their avarage watts on their SRM, and the Germans don’t want their long and slow endurance training tempo interrupted (which they will do for about six hours). Ellen felt right at home with us as the powerhouse that she is, and sprinted with full commitment.
Marianne is hard to beat in a sprint, but if you’re not as explosive, you have to be smart. So all available tactics where used in this training camp. A short impression: when a few houses appear in the distance, everyone begins to focus. But in the meantime you try not to let the others know. You try to shift up a few gears without being noticed. You hope your chain is on the big ring when you see the road sign appear, as shifting up makes a sound, and you don’t want the others to know a place name road sign is coming up. Sprinting low in the handlebars is my preferred choice (as taught to me by my last DS Jeroen Blijlevens: sprinting with your hands on top of the handlebars is a big no no), but suddenly going low attracts attention. So you’d have to sprint with your hands on top of them, or casually go low earlier in a descent.
And with a road sign coming up, you try to casually keep talking, while trying to figure out when to go. You also try to distract the rider next to you by asking difficult questions and sprinting away in the middle of the conversation.
We didn’t talk about this, but here’s the great replay video of the Albstadt Cross Country MTB World Cup