Podcast 2013 – Episode 24 – FUCP

The-Unofficial,-Unsanctioned-Women's-UCI-Cycling-ShowThis week didn’t have as much racing as the last few weeks have had but somehow we still managed to fit in the Sparkassen Giro, BMX World Championships, Vallnord MTB World Cup and more before getting into the substantial number of issues, comments, interviews and general things that happened during the week. It’s a long episode, but it’s mostly happy (except for the title which is dedicated to someone rather special)! ( 1:34:10 MIN / 90.41 MB)

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Here’s what we talked about this week….

Sarah got a bit excited about this weekend’s BMX World Championships and Vallnord MTB World Cup – she’s collected the videos from the races in one handy post.

Marianne Vos raced Vallnord XCo and didn’t do so well – but we love her even more for this tweet:

Okay, that was crap… I’ll skip the feeling from today’s race and look at the whole mtb experience this year. Happy I took this challenge!

— Marianne Vos (@marianne_vos) July 27, 2013

We love that she keeps pushing herself and learning – and admitting when things don’t go her way, and finding the good in it.


Despite all the media coverage of the Le Tour Entier‘s petition calling for a women’s Tour de France (eg this article on CNN with great quotes from Kathryn Bertine and Emma Pooley) ASO boss Christian Prudhomme says that a women’s Tour de France is impossible (and again in The Telegraph) and the Le Tour Entier crew were wrong to start the petition – they should have emailed him so he could have ignored them….

(Sarah is still laughing about the guys who tweeted her, Kathryn, Emma, over and over to tell us all that “NO ONE CARES!!!!”  To annoy Prudhomme and the “no one cares” brigade, click through and sign the petition.)


Interestingly, Brian Cookson, who’s standing as UCI President this year, has blogged about women’s cycling and says he wants to meet the Le Tour Entier group.  We can’t link directly to the entry, so here’s the blog mainpage – look for the blogpost of 26/7/13 – but he outlines more of his new ideas on women’s cycling.  At the moment we’re ready to forgive any previous words/inaction in British Cycling and the UCI, as long as change does happen (well Sarah’s willing, Dan’s still squinting suspiciously from the corners of his beady eyes).

Luckily not all race organisers feel the same way as Christian Prudhomme does.  We’re really excited about what Guy Elliott of Tour of Britain organiser Sweetspot had to say on Road.cc, about next year’s British Women’s Tour.  He can’t share too many details yet, but it seems like they’re not just being ambitious about 2014, but for the future.  This is really exciting!

We were interested in the implication in that piece that the UCI is unwilling to allow that Tour to clash with other races, given that Part 2 of Sarah’s analysis of the women’s calendar shows that not only do most of the women’s stage races clash with other stage races, but also there are some gaping holes in the calendar.  That post includes a visual view of the 2013 UCI season, so you can see what we mean.

Sarah has also blogged this week about issues in cycling that tend to be unspoken, including issues of race, sexuality, eating disorders and exploitation.  Thanks for all the comments, here and on twitter and everywhere else – we both love the conversations.


Speaking of Le Tour Entier, again, Triathlon star Chrissie Wellington wrote a great blog this week on being the change you want to see.

And more good news – USA Domestic Team United Healthcare are adding a women’s team for 2014


Even more possible change – the British Parliament is launching an Inquiry into women and sport, that opens on 1st August.  It’ll focus on

• Availability of facilities for training and playing sport, for both girls and women, at both elite and grassroots levels;
• Finance, including sponsorship and prize money;
• Media coverage;
• Reasons why participation in sport by women decreases;
• The variety of sports on offer to girls at school.

It’s open to anyone to contribute to, so if you’re connected to women’s sport in the UK, or are in the UK and have a view, you can send them your thoughts


If you’re in the UK, or can see things that are, the 29th July episode of The Cycle Show, the ITV4 magazine programme on all aspects of cycling, was dedicated to the women’s sport.  It included Jo Rowsell, Hannah Barnes, Laura Trott and the fabulous Helen and Stefan Wyman, with Helen explaining cyclocross.  If it’s not geo-restricted for you, you can watch it on the ITV Player

Speaking of Stef, would you like to help out a cycling team AND have a nice cup of tea? (or coffee, or whisky, but never wine?)  Buy a mug to help support Matrix Fitness Racing Academy!


Our friend Swordpanda blogged about being mechanic and pit crew for Maxine Filby at an Enduro race.

Anton Vos has a slideshow of photos from the Giro Rosa…  we still miss that race!

We were very moved by CJ Farquharson‘s tweet with a photo of the memorial to Amy Gillett at the Thüringen Rundfahrt:

Dug v. v. deep to take this pic, so emotional. My 2007 crash only 200 m away, 1st time race has passed here since pic.twitter.com/czEyGZG3Og

— CJ Foto (@CJFoto) July 29, 2013

If you read Spanish, here’s a profile of Lucy Garner on El Pelotón


Upcoming racing

The Route de France is an 8-stage race, from 28th August – Dimspace plotted the routes so you can see them, and there are previews on Les Déesses de le Route and there should be one on Velofocus soon – follow the race on their twitter account, and on the French women’s cycling sites Le Blog de Gwéna and VeloNova.

  1. July 31, 2013 at 2:34 am

    A nice response to all the “nobody cares” bah-brigade would be a meme-photo with a stern looking Marianne staring right at them, saying…

    “Your tweet that ‘nobody cares’… THAT WAS CRAP!”

    • entendered
      July 31, 2013 at 3:17 am

      Or maybe something along the lines of this?
      Ina says no!

  2. Mark Bentley
    August 1, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Sarah/Dan, as ever thank you for the podcast.

    Yes, Christian Prudhomme’s remarks about Harriet Harman’s letter were crass. However, I take one positive from this. CP has to confront the issue that there is no women’s TdF because so many of us (women and men) signed the petition. If the response to the petition had been poor he could have ignored us. However, he has been forced to comment and that can be used as the start for a debate. If comments that the ASO may meet with Marianne and Emma are correct we are further forward than we were a month ago. We never thought the ASO would roll over straight away and say they would run a women’s race in 2014, it’s bound to be a long campaign and this is the start.

    On Brian Cookson’s bid to win over women’s cycling fans I share Dan’s scepticism. If BC has seriously changed his mind and is committed to the issue then great and I will take back what I am about to say. I felt BC’s blog on the subject was rather superficial. There were no new ideas and it could probably have been drawn up by someone with no knowledge following half an hour of searching the internet. I would have hoped for something more insightful from a UCI management committee member. As a first step he could have consulted Nicole Cooke and Emma Pooley who have both spoken eloquently about the issues in the sport. However, Nicole and Emma (along with Lizzie Armitstead and Victoria Pendleton) have all at one time or another had some derogatory things to say about sexism and the attitudes they have encountered in British Cycling.

    As you have said elsewhere Nicole’s retirement statement had a huge amount of depth to it. In view of Tony Cooke’s replies to your blog I should perhaps read it again with a more discerning eye. The implications of what was said there are truly frightening.

    Keep up the good work.

    PS. I read the Telegraph, please don’t hold it against me!

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