The 2017 women’s cycling book list (and teasers for 2018)

It’s a kind of tradition that I collect a list of women’s cycling books published in a year. This is a very broad category – books by and about women cyclists and books with cycling in them by women.  It’s always fun to see what’s out there, they make great Christmas-birthday-Hanukkah-Kwanzaa-Solstice presents, and it’s definitely showing how much of an interest there is in the sport.   So here’s the 2017 version, with photography, autobiography, cartoons, recipes, Young Adult fiction, adventure, inspiration and more!

If you want the previous booklists, here are books published in 2016, 2015, and all the ones I found in 2014, when I started.   And if you want some ideas for other women’s cycling-themed presents, or gifts for women who love bikes, have a browse through the shopping category of the site, of things I’ve seen over the years.

As always, I don’t get any benefit from recommending this, it’s just something I enjoy (although if you buy them via my Amazon Associates link, I’ll get a cut).  And of course, if I’ve missed anything, please do share, in the comments or on twitter, and I’ll edit it in.   I’d especially love to hear about books that aren’t in English.

How to Build a Bike: A Simple Guide to Making Your Own Ride by Jenni Gwiazdowski (Frances Lincoln, ISBN 978-0711238985)

I’m a real fan of Jenni Gwiadowski, who runs the London Bike Kitchen, and you might remember my podcast with her from back in May, or me turning up on the Wheelsuckers podcasts she runs with Alex Davis, where I tried to convince Jenni to love pro women’s cycling, and the OVO Energy Women’s Tour.

The LBK is all about giving people the skills, tools and space to fix their own bikes, so it’s completely in character that Gwiazdowski’s first book is about building one from scratch.   I really love Gwiazdowski’s style, and with all her experience teaching people over the years, she’s the perfect person to write this.

You can buy a signed copy of the book from the LBK shop, which I recommend for bike-y presents, or via my Amazon Associates link

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One of my favourite women’s cycling initiatives is the Adventure Syndicate, and my last few booklists have had books by the fabulous Emily Chappell, Juliana Buhring, Sarah Outen and Lee Craigie – and this year there’s another to

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Sarah interviews… Helen Wyman, on her 2017

British cyclocross rider Helen Wyman has always been a fan favourite, and it seems like her racing is getting better than ever.   Winning her fourth Koppenbergcross this season, she was on the podiums of the last two Cyclocross World Cups, and with the weather turning wet, rainy and muddy, just as she likes it, this could be just the beginning of an exciting season.

We talked about what’s made a difference, and how the sport has changed over the last five years – including how Helen’s work on the UCI Cyclocross Commission has contributed to that.   It’s not all 100% positive, and we also talked about the changes Helen would like to see in the future, as well as losing her sponsor at a tricky time.

You can also get automatic updates via our RSS feed here, or via the iTunes store here.

Follow Helen on her instagram, where you can see the videos we talked about, on her twitter, facebook and website.

If you want to re-live some of the races we talked about, there are videos! Bogense CX World Cup highlights and full race replay; Zeven World Cup highlights and full race replay; and highlights of that Koppenbergcross win:

 

Sarah interviews… Vélofocus’ Sean Robinson on 2017 in women’s cycling

Last week Dan and I podcasted about our favourite racing moments of 2017, but I really wanted to hear about it from other people’s points of view, so I asked Sean Robinson, who, with Balint Hamvas, runs Vélofocus, which take my favourite women’s road cycling images.

Sean has a unique perspective of races, and we talked about his highs and lows of the season, how he thinks 2017 was different, and who we should look out for in 2018.

You can also get automatic updates via our RSS feed here, or via the iTunes store here.

Check out the excellent Vélofocus photography on their website, follow them on instagram, twitter and facebook, and of course, buy their book of the 2017 road season!

Watch the 2017 Road Cycling World Championships!

17th-23rd September 2017

It’s that time of year again – Road World Championships, and this time we’re in Bergen, in Norway.   I’m here to tell you how to watch the women’s races, and follow them online.

I love World Championships, and Norway is so stunning.  The racing should be hilly, and hard, and most of it will be live somewhere at least – here’s the UCI TV guide, and it will all be shown on the UCI youtube.  If some things are shown in your region but not everything, you should be able to access that, but you may need a VPN (try setting it to Canada), though there should be streams on sites like this one and this one.

Norway is in the European timezone, CEST, so 1 hour ahead of UK BST, 6 hours ahead of North American EDT, and 8 hours behind Australian AEST.

Those Youtube livestreams should stay there after the races are over, if you miss them, and there’ll be highlights on the UCI Youtube, as well as on the TV channel websites that are showing the races.

All startlists and results will be on the Tissot Timing site, either on the UCI page and on Tissot’s own above, and the entry lists and results are on the UCI site.

Tissot means we’ll have livetiming, which will be great for the time trials, and may include lap information on the road races.

If you want to follow live on twitter, the Bergen2017 account is excellent, and I’m guessing the UCI women’s cycling twitter may update us about their races?  The hashtag is #Bergen2017, and I’ll update my live racing list with people who are at the race.

You can also follow the race instagram, facebook and snapchat as Bergen 2017, and their website is fantastic.  Check out the full programme, with a ton of amazing-looking events.  And there is also a lot more information, including all the rules, on the UCI Worlds portal.

Enjoy!  I’ll be on twitter all week, if you have any questions – or ask me in the comments below.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Watch the 2017 Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta LIVE

10th September 2017

The Women’s WorldTour has pretty much ended already, with Anna van der Breggen having sewn up the overall title, and most of the big names turning their eyes to the World Championships next week.  But while Bergen Worlds is hilly, there’s still 1 more chance for the sprinters.

The Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta is a 90km race on the same 5.8km circuit around iconic Madrid as the past 2 years – no technical sections, and an incline rather than a hill, but it’ll hurt on laps 10-15 for sure!

The race starts from 14:15 Euro CEST (1:15pm UK BST, 8:15am USA EDT, 10:15pm Aus AEST) and it’s live on Eurosport and Teledeporte in Spain (you can watch Teledeporte via a VPN) and on Eurosport in the UK, and on the Eurosport Player, and Sporza in Belgium (you can VPN there too).  There should be streams in different places – try here or just google.

You can also follow with the #MadridChallenge hashtag on twitter.

The race information is on the website, including startlist (though I’ve been using CyclingFever’s) and the route details.

Follow the 2017 Boels Rental Ladies Tour live

29th August – 3rd September 2017

It’s the final stage race of the 2017 Women’s World Tour, and the final big Dutch race of the season – the Boels Rental Ladies Tour.  Expect killer tactics, with attacking every day, and a surprisingly hilly race for such a flat country.  It’s in the south and central area of the Netherlands.

It starts with a 4.3km Prologue, then Stage 2 starts flat, with hills at the end; Stage 3 is an 18km ITTwith some technical parts to the course; Stage 4 looks great for breakaways, mostly flat but with some small inclines; Stage 5 starts in a valley and finishes with Classics-style loops; and the final stage is really tough, 159km up and down all day.

We can’t see this one live, but there’ll be twitter updates and daily video highlights from the race youtube and from the UCI.  I’ll be there tweeting from the race account, and we can follow on the #BLT2017 hashtag.

Tuesday’s Prologue and the Thursday’s ITT will both have live-timing, on Cyclingonline.info.

The Netherlands is in European CEST: 1 hour ahead of UK BST, 6 hours ahead of USA EDT and 8 hours behind Australian AEST.  So when the Prologue on Tuesday 29th starts at 14:30 CEST, that’s 1:30pm BST, 8:30am EDT and 10:30pm AEST.

Lots of information about the route, and videos of previous years on the race website, and provisional startlist here – and here are the highlights from last year, when Chantal Blaak won her first ever stage race.  Tons more videos on the YouTube!

Watch the 2017 GP de Plouay LIVE!

Saturday 26th August 2017

It’s the last big Classic of the women’s cycling season, and wow, I love this race.  It’s got one of the ugliest tough climbs in the sport, the Côte du Ty Marrec, which is this tough, grinding dual big wide road that looks pretty benign, but is tough as hell. It was the site of what’s still one of my all-time favourite cycling moments, in 2010, when Emma Pooley, after sandbagging her heart out, caught Marianne Vos, Emma Johansson and Judith Arndt out on that last climb, attacking up the inside right just as Vos looked over her left shoulder.  I’ll never get bored of that!

And then last year, after hundreds of attacks, catches, splits and reformations, a group of around 20 elite riders came to the line together, and definite underdog Eugenia Bujak started her sprint surprisingly – and won!  The biggest result of her career, and for her team BTC City Ljubljana.

And that’s what makes a Classic classic to me – that feeling that we’ve got no idea what will happen right up til the last moment.  Plouay, like all my favourite races, has been won every way from solo to small group to large bunch, and I love it for it.  Who could win?  Practically anyone!

Like last year, it’s 4 laps of the 26.9km circuit, and then one of 13.9km.  I have to warn you, there’s pretty much no mobile phone coverage of the northern part of the big loop, because it’s running through beautiful forests, so we don’t get many updates on twitter, BUT part of it is live on TV!

How to watch and follow

The race starts at 13:40 European CEST (12:40pm UK BST; 9:40pm Australian AEST; 7:40am North American EDT)

TV coverage will start at 15:15 CEST (2:15pm BST; 11:15pm AEST; 9:15am EDT) on France 3 TV, which you can watch here if you’re in France (or via VPN).  It’s also going to stream on the Eurosport Player, through maybe without commentary, and there could be more streams here and here – and I’ll tweet streams on the day.

To follow on twitter (with the caveat of the lack of mobile coverage on a lot of the course), the race twitter is a good one, last year’s hashtag was #GPPlouay, and of course there’s #UCIWWT too.  And I have my usual list of live-tweeters.

The provisional startlist is here, and there is the great Cycling Fever one too.  Tons more information, including about the full 4 days of Plouay cycling festival, on the race website.

Want more?  Collections of videos of Marianne Vos winning 2013, 2014‘s solo win by Lucinda Brand;   2015, won by Lizzie Deignan from a small group.

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Big thanks to my amazing Patreon supporters for funding me to do this kind of thing.