It’s been four years in the making but this week’s podcast is possibly the most special of them all so far for the simple reason that for the very first time Sarah and Dan are recording in real life, together in the same room. Is this the episode in which someone is murdered? Is this the episode in which bickering and fighting ends the whole project? Or do we simply discuss the Tour de Yorkshire, GP Elsy Jacobs, Gracia Orlova, the forthcoming para-cycling and a bunch of cool cycling events? The only way to find out is to press play and enjoy the ride! (1:00:53 MIN / 00.0MB)
Things we talked about this week included…
This week’s racing
Make sure you all follow the wonderful Matt Stephens, Eurosport commentator extraordinaire!
The first of three rounds of the Para-cycling Road World Cup starts this weekend, in South Africa – and it’s hugely important for Paralympic qualification, not to mention full of the usual awesome athletes – and we get to watch some of it live!
The race information is over here on the race page, which the routes, and everything else you’ll need in one spot, and the startlists and results will be be on the UCI website, as is the overall entry list. Sadly no Tissot livetiming though.
The competition schedule is here, and all timings are in SAST – that’s the same as European CEST, 1 hour ahead of UK BST, 6 hours ahead of North American EDT and 8 hours behind Australian AEST.
Here are those livestreams – they last all day, but in the past they’ve been full of brilliant commentary and interviews between the races – the links take you to the specific streams.
- Saturday 7th May, Timetrials – 09:00-18:00 SAST/CEST (8-5 BST; 3am-midday EDT, 5pm-2am AEST)
- Sunday 8th May, Road Races – 09:00-18:00 SAST/CEST (8-5 BST; 3am-midday EDT, 5pm-2am AEST)
For information about specific riders, and to follow a country’s progress, I’ve got a twitter list for Para-cyclists and team accounts which I’m adding to all the time, and teams to watch on twitter include Australia, Canada, Colombia, Germany, Great Britain, Netherlands, New Zealand, USA Paracycling twitter.
There are various National Federations’ Paracycling portals, including Cycling Australia, the Dutch Federation, Cycling Ireland, Italian Federation, Cycling Canada, Netherlands para-cycling portal, USA Cycling and USA Paralympics news page, British Cycling’s news pages (if you want more British news, keep an eye on the BBC Disability Sport pages too) and Paralympics New Zealand’s facebook, and the German team facebook.
I’m always looking for more sources of Para-cycling information, so if you have places you love, please do share, either in the comments, or on twitter – I’ll add things to my women’s cycling tumblr as I see them, and make a post-race post here too.
6-8th May 2016
This is a short one. Of course I understand that the social media situation is different in China than in most other countries, so it’s harder to follow a race in China than in Europe, or Argentina, or Thailand, or Qatar, and so on, but it’s that incongruous situation where we’re at the UCI Women’s World Tour #7, the Tour of ChongMing Island, and we’re not going to get to follow it so easily.
Now, there is a livestream that will show 1.5 hours of racing each day, from Chinese channel CCT5, and there are other streams into that from outside China – BUT my Mac virus guard isn’t letting me get to those pages, as it says there’s malware so I’m obviously not pushing that – but Your Mileage May Vary, make your own choices! The links to the streams are at the bottom of the Road & Mud preview, which has all the other information (In brief? It’s pancake flat, it’ll be sprinty, and very hard for escapes to get away). There’s another preview on Ella Cycling Tips.
We can pick up some other live information through the #ChongMing hashtag on twitter, and of course the #UCIWWT – and Vélofocus is out there, taking photos, so follow him too. As always, the best startlist is Cycling Fever’s – and remember, ChongMing is UTC +8 (UK BST +7, Euro CEST +6, USA EDT +12, Australian AEST -1) so if the livestream starts at 14:00 local time, that’s 6am BST, 07:00 CEST, 1am EDT and 3pm AEST). I guess we’ll find out more after the finish!
I’m really excited about this brand new cycling-and-women project, The Adventure Syndicate, that brings together nine amazing women who have incredible adventures on (and off) the bike, to share their stories, and inspire other women (and men too) to have their own cycling experiences too. I interviewed two of the Syndicate members about it – cycle courier, solo round-the-world-ish cyclist, and author Emily Chappell, and Scottish cross country MTB star and Cycletherapy founder Lee Craigie. They told me how it came about, who else is involved, and where they want to take it all in the future – including how everyday cyclists can get involved in their North Coast 500, and hang out with them in Inverness on the weekend of 16th May.
This is just the start, so make sure you bookmark The Adventure Syndicate website, and follow them on twitter, instagram and facebook. There’s more information about each of the Syndicate cyclists here, including links to their personal sites.
Emily wrote about the North Coast 500 here – and you can follow them on the Adventure Syndicate media – and join them en route, as well as before and after in the Velocity Café in Inverness, on 14th and 17th May. Emily’s post about riding up Mont Ventoux is here.
Emily and Lee talked about Findra, the Scottish cycling clothing company for women (which men are wearing too!) – and here’s that snowboarder being chased by a bear…
Big, big thanks to my Patreon supporters, who fund me to do interviews and lots more women’s cycling work – you can join them from as little as #/€/$ 2 a month over here.
Saturday 30th April 2016
It’s a super-busy weekend of racing, with two stage races, and over in Yorkshire, the revamped Asda Tour de Yorkshire women’s race, which is on the same day, and exactly the same route, as Stage 2 of the men’s race. And we get to watch it live – including World Champion Lizzie Armitstead racing on her home roads, and Emma Pooley‘s return to the peloton.
The race is being shown on ITV4, where the awesome ex-top sprinter and Wiggle High5 boss Rochelle Gilmore and Ned Boulting are commentating, and on British Eurosport, where I’ll be part of the commentary team with Matt Stephens. It’s a very early start – the race begins at 08:15 UK BST (09:15 Euro CEST, 3:15am USA EDT, 5:15pm Australian AEST) and is due to finish around 12:10 BST (13:10 CEST, 7:10am EDT, 9:10pm AEST).
If you can’t watch the TV, you can follow the race on twitter with the #TdY hashtag, and #WTdY, which is specific to the women’s race, and via the Tour de Yorkshire twitter. There’s more on their facebook and instagram.
This week there’s been tons in the news about British Cycling and discrimination, particularly relating to allegations of sexism, saying a rider’s too old to race at 25, and most recently, discrimination against para-cyclists. This started when British Cycling talked to the Telegraph about dropping sprinter Jess Varnish from the programme – which wasn’t a surprise, as she had voiced her frustrations about how BC had handled the Team Sprint, when GB failed to qualify at the 2016 Track World Championships. Varnish’s issue then was the choices BC had made about the teams they put into races for the Olympic Qualifying period, and so BC’s sacking her was expected at the time.
She then responded, and what was surprising is that she’s alleged to have been told to “go off and have a baby”, and that at 25 she’s too old to improve. It was followed by British Cycling’s Performance Director, Shane Sutton, denying that in the media – and some great pieces by former Olympic and World Champions Nicole Cooke and Victoria Pendleton speaking out in defense of Varnish, Varnish’s official statement, and an interview talking about a ‘culture of fear‘ at BC, an interesting comment from Lizzie Armitstead, a piece on the MTB issues from Jenny Copnall and then (Daily Mail link) Para-cyclist Darren Kenny and “multiple sources” talking about offensive language and behaviour towards Para-cyclists – which lead to Sutton’s suspension, and then resignation.
Update! Olympic Champion Rebecca Romero also talked about the toxic velodrome atmosphere
So that’s this week! But this is very much part of a pattern. While big name men like Bradley Wiggins have come out defending Sutton, and track superstar Laura Trott doing the same, this is part of a LONG pattern of top-name women talking about their bad experiences with British Cycling and their approach to women’s cycling (whether they use the word “sexism” or not), and Shane Sutton.