Podcast 2014 Episode 29 – Big Enough For Polemica

Podcast logo What a Giro Rosa this year! This week Sarah and I talk about the spectacular racing, with several surprises. Among the reasons to celebrate, we enjoy the fact that the race is big enough to now generate International Fan Polemica ™ about tactics! How cool is that?! We do take the time to break down our view of events on the “controversial” stage 9 (spoiler alert: we didn’t find it that controversial really). BUT, even if all this does is encourage more international fans to love their favourite riders even more and wish for victory over their apparent nemeses, then YAY! In addition to recapping the rest of the Giro, we also talk European Championships and go through the first couple of stages from Thüringen Rundfahrt (a race close to Dan’s beer-soaked heart) and note the huge range of races coming up shortly, including La Course by the Tour de France and the Commonwealth Games. It’s a huge episode, but it’s worth the listen, if only to make comprehensive notes to tell Sarah and Dan exactly why they’re wrong about everything. (Warning:  if you’re new to our ‘cast, it does have a bit of swearing!) (1:32:46 MIN / 89.06 MB)

To stream all the Polemica you could want and more, click here.



Subscribe and never miss an episode, get it free via the iTunes store, OR via our RSS feed.

Cool stuff to check out:

First off, we loved this great video from Specialized-lululemon about the love of the bike and why they do what they do


Also, this great video from Specialized NLBE with the Boels-Dolmans team about their equipment, goals and motivations

One of our favourite races, Thüringen-Rundfahrt, is on now – here’s the Podium Café race thread, where Loren Rowney and Lisa Brennauer preview the race for us.

Here’s the finish of the European Championships. The picture tells the story:


In bad news, Olga Zabelinskaya failed a drug test over a supplement – here’s the original article, or via google translate

For all the Giro Rosa coverage Sarah’s provided at Podium Cafe, including rider interviews, QandAs and race recaps, go here.

Don’t forget the post-Giro interview Sarah’s done with Emma Pooley here – and she ask Rabo DS Koos Moerenhout some questions about the Madonna del Ghisallo controversy – read it on Podium Café.

And, for all the video highlights, check out the links to each stage:

Stage 5 Videos

Stage 6 Videos

Stage 7 Videos

Stage 8 Videos

And Stage 9 Videos

And of course, our podcast-recap of the first five days.


7 thoughts on “Podcast 2014 Episode 29 – Big Enough For Polemica

  1. True – RaboLiv weren’t blocking Abbott the *entire* climb. But you basically admitted they broke the rules three times. Does RaboLiv have to break the rules the *entire* climb for it to be unfair?

    To me, it doesn’t matter if you do it once, twice, three times or the entire way up. If you’re breaking the rules, you’re breaking the rules.

    If Abbott had not been blocked in she would have taken third on GC.

    And it wasn’t just Ferrand Prevot. Vos and Van der Breggen were clearly participating in the blockade.

    Absolutely ridiculous!

    • I genuinely don’t know what you expected Vos to do in the scenario – should she just have sat on her side of the road? She followed the wheel she was on, and that’s it. She wasn’t, eg, dropping back and coming back on Abbott’s either side. And this isn’t against the rules – it’s harsh as hell, but Abbott could always have got round or moved up.

      Of course it was psychological bullying, but are you suggesting climbers have to stick to one line all the way up the hill? The Rabos were never dangerous, and climbers weave across roads all the time. I really feel for Mara, because that was a horrible situation to be in – BUT she didn’t attack out of it when she had the chance because she wouldn’t/couldn’t.

      • I don’t think there is any doubt that Rabo Liv did block Mara Abbott on the climb. Every time Abbott tried to make a move she was blocked. On a climb like that there is a limit to the number of moves you can try because you ultimately run out of energy as happened to Abbott. Good tactics by Rabo Liv but sadly not great viewing.
        It would have been great to see another show down as had occurred on the previous day with Pooley and Abbott shelling riders one by one from the leading group. The final stage though was much shorter (only 80km) and so that scenario was unlikely to unfold. Vos, Ferrand-Prevot and van der Breggan had too much energy in the legs and could take turns covering Abbott’s moves.
        I know women’s cycling fans point to shorter stages giving more exciting racing but in this case I don’t think it did. However that is not the fault of the race organisers who as you explained are constrained by UCI rules on the overall and average length of stages for women.

      • Oh, I totally agree re the 80k length – when I say “shorter stages are more exciting”, I’m thinking 120km – but the UCI limit stage races to not only max 125km per stage but also average 100km per stage over the course of the race – madness, if there’s 1 110km stage, there has to be a 90k one as well.

        I would have loved to see another Emma v Mara – but the thing is, Mara didn’t respond when Emma attacked – as we said in the ‘cast, when Ferrand-Prévot chased up to nearly catch Emma, she did it on the wrong side of the road, clearly signalling she wasn’t going to work more for Mara just to attack later. Mara had a long chance then (relatively) to chase Emma herself, and didn’t – or more likely couldn’t – and it was only after that that Pauline got hard-core. Personally, I think Mara couldn’t do it, that the day before had taken a lot out of her, and there’s no shame in that. Mara’s best on those crazy-long, grinding climbs that never give up and have no chance for recovery, and Madonna del Ghisallo just isn’t a Mara-esque climb in that respect. And there’s no shame in her being out-climbed by Emma – and no surprise either, as last time they went head-to-head when both of them were 100% well, in 2010, they ended the 2 Grand Tours 1 all, Mara winning the Giro and Emma the Tour de l’Aude. Emma definitely won the climbing prize of this Giro, and Mara’s biggest rival in the climbs was Anna van der Breggen, with AvdB out-climbing Mara on Stage 6, just, Mara out-climbing AvdB on Stage 8 just, and them finishing the Madonna del Ghiasallo at about the same time.

        Of course, every time I talk about this I get grumpy, because there are no more climbing races like this this season, and Mara chooses not to race the hilly races in Europe at all. Worlds has hills, but being a circuit race, it also has descents – so all we can hope for is a hilly Emakumeen Bira and a re-vitalised Trentino and a mountainous Giro next year, to wait for re-matches 😦

      • Well said, Sarah *C*! No sense arguing with fangirls whose imagined race-outcome didn’t go quite as planned…

        But to make things fair, the Giro organizers need in future to provide a race-parcours that is a little more ‘balanced’ (including a REAL time-trial stage!, and an additional mountain-stage).. once the UCI does something about those stupid regulations of theirs regarding the length of women’s races (and stages in those races) then a more balanced & competitive Giro. And more such races in the calendar in years to come.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s