Shirt week! The Velocio.cc 2017 collection

I’ve written about Velocio.cc before – the cycling clothing company set up by legend of women’s cycling, Kristy Scrymgeour, former cyclist, PR genius at HTC-Highroad and owner/manager of Specialized-lululemon, which morphed into Velocio-SRAM.

I’ve written about their original collection, their collaborations with pro cyclists Helen Wyman and Tiffany Cromwell, and the 2016 collection – and now it’s time for their new 2017 collection.

Velocio.cc sells full cycling kit for women and men, as well as ‘essentials‘ including socks, arm warmers, booties, caps and more.  They have some really interesting clothing innovations aimed at riding in different conditions (Ultralight for riding in the heat, Zero for the cold, Recon outerwear, and so on) and I like that they keep pushing at improving the kit – the 2017 wind vest, for example, has been redesigned to reduce flapping.

The sizing guide is here, and the shipping page here (UK customers and others, just be aware the Post Office might charge you an import tax, as they’re sent to EU addresses from Ireland).

I have to say that I miss their gorgeous cyan-and-white patterned jersey (as worn by Tayler Wiles in this tweet)… and if you do too, there are still some available, at sale prices!  Make sure you check out the entire sale page, because once the designs are gone, they’re gone…

If you want to know more about Kristy Scrymgeour, and her life with Velocio, read this interview with her from December, on Ella Cycling Tips.  And as always, I don’t benefit in any way from sharing this – I just like it, and hope you will too.

Sarah interviews… Catherine Marsal, on her amazing career in cycling

Catherine Marsal is a legend of women’s cycling and French cycling in general. Racing her first Olympic Games at 17, becoming the first ever Junior Road World Champion, and then the first woman to ever be Junior and Elite Road World Champion; winning World Championships golds as a Junior on the track in the Individual Pursuit and in the Team Time Trial; winning the Giro d’Italia, and another of the (now lost) Grand Tours, the Tour de l’Aude twice; and becoming the World Hour Record champion… and much more.

After she finished racing, she was a Directeur Sportif for Team SATS, and then after a break from cycling to do a degree and work in business, three years ago she took the job of women’s coach/manager for the Danish National Team – which has, of course, included being team coach when Amalie Dideriksen became the 2016 Road World Champion.

We talked about her amazing life in cycling, the ups and downs, racing with/against Jeannie Longo, and of course, the incredible results of the Danish women, and a lot more.  Marsal is fantastic to talk to, and was super-patient despite technical issues in the call, and if you’re at all interested in how cycling’s change since the 1990s, the experience of young riders who become World Champions, or Danish cycling, please do listen!

Update!  If you prefer to read interviews, I’ve written up part of it, over here.

You can follow Marsal on her twitter, and on facebook.

If you want to see the videos of some of the races we talked about, links to the 2016 Road World Championships, the 2017 Ronde van Drenthe, and Marsal breaking that Hour Record:

Videos and media from the 2017 Trofeo Alfredo Binda and Trofeo da Moreno

The Trofeo Alfredo Binda, the longest-running race in the UCI Women’s World Tour, is always a fan favourite, but this year even better than usual, because we could watch it all live – and there are also highlights of the Trofeo da Moreno, the junior Nations Cup race that runs on the same roads before the elite women.

Binda lived up to expectations – and with a surprise winner!  The 2017 Classics season have been amazing so far, and if you’re worried that it couldn’t live up to the Strade Bianche and the Ronde van Drenthe, don’t – it was another unpredictable race, despite the unseasonable sunshine!

There will be a lot more highlights to come, but as we have some good things to watch already, I’ll put this up now, and then edit more in as I see it.  I’ll start with the 9 min highlights from the UCI and 45min highlights from RAI, then some explanation about the livestream, as it was definitely idiosyncratic!

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In praise of the Enduro World Series – and their new Juliana Women’s Rides

Enduro MTB is a pretty new discipline, as far as cycling goes.  It’s kind of a cross between Downhill, cross country and Marathon mountain biking – a stage race format, with multiple events over a weekend, and competitors also riding the (mostly uphill) transfers between the (mostly downhill) stages.  If you want to know more about it, there are the wikipedia article, and introductions from Pinkbike and BikeRadar, and this video from GCN MTB.

The Enduro World Series is the biggest competition, a season-long series that takes place in some truly gorgeous locations.  It’s only been running since 2013, and it’s very definitely outside the umbrella of the UCI, organised by the Enduro Mountain Bike Association (EMBA), which itself started in 2012, and from the start, it’s been very inclusive, especially of women, but also of fans.  It has excellent media, with lots of rider involvement, in the previews of each race, highlights, and lots of things in between, and it makes these available to pretty much everyone.  Check out the video page and photo galleries on their website, and drool over that beautifully-MTB combination of fantastic people doing extraordinary things on amazing bikes, in the most incredible landscapes.

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The 2017 Absa Cape Epic – truly epic South African MTB – watch live!

19-26 March 2017

I try to avoid the word “epic”, as it’s so over-used in cycling…  but this time, it’s warranted!

The Absa Cape Epic is an 8-stage MTB race in South Africa, contested by teams of two riders in three categories: women’s and men’s teams, mixed pairs, Masters and Grand Masters.  The race is 691km in total, with 15,400m of climbing, in some of the most incredible landscapes.  Riders sleep in tent villages, provided for them, and have to contend with extreme conditions.  It’s glorious, and it’s especially great for fans of women’s cycling, because it’s exactly the same course for the women as for the men, and really shows up anyone who think women are physically lesser.  You can check out the route video, and on the website.  And the race is so supportive of women – they say they were the first major cycling race to offer equal prize money for the women and men.

We can follow the race live, and watch on the race livestream, as well as watch on TV!  You can find where and when it will be shown on TV here, and the details of the livestream timing here. The stream will be on the race homepage, and live timings are in South African SAST, which is 1 hour ahead of European CET, 2 hours ahead of UK GMT, 6 hours ahead of North American EDT, and 9 hours behind Australian AEDT – so a 9am start would be 08:00 CET, 7am GMT, 3am EDT and 6pm AEDT.  If you missed the stream live, you can also watch replays of each day on the race livestream and catch up on all the action.

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#WeWantRVVLive – telling the world how much we want to see the women’s Ronde van Vlaanderen

Update!  Since we all started tweeting #WeWantRVVlive, there’s been a development, and it’s good news!

Now, it’s not perfect – this stream is for subscribers to Belgian TV/telecoms/internet company Proximus only… so far!  But maybe that will change too, if eg a company like Eurosport buys the rights, and we can always ask them!

Is it because of the hashtag campaign?  Very hard to tell.  We know even a few weeks ago, the Ronde van Vlaanderen organisers and Sporza were telling journalists and fans that no, there wouldn’t be a stream, because of budget issues.  So it could have been a coincidence, and they’d found the cash and this just brought the announcement forward, or it could have been a response to the campaign.

But you know what?  It doesn’t matter!  There is literally no downside to women’s cycling fans coming together and showing that hell yes, we want to see the women’s Ronde van Vlaanderen live, and that there is a ton of demand for all women’s cycling races.

It sometimes doesn’t feel like much, to write a tweet, or a facebook message, or send an email – but together, our efforts combine, and we can change the sport!

So, please do tweet to the Ronde van Vlaanderen organisers, Sporza and Proximus, and thank them for putting on the stream, or contact them on facebook, instagram, or through whatever channels you prefer (find the links on their websites: the RvV, Sporza and Proximus – you may need to scroll right down) – and please do ask your local TV broadcaster if they’ll consider buying it too.  Use the #WeWantRVVLive hashtag, and #RvVwomen while you do it, and share and like other people’s social media, and who knows, maybe we’ll have more good news!

Now, for the original story…

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Shirt week! Iris Slappendel’s IRIS collection

Ex pro cyclist Iris Slappendel had always combined design work with her bike racing career, as she had a Design degree.  She’s done all kinds of things, from designing bikes, to making websites to team-mates, to designing bike kit, for Milltag and for Strongher, for example, and most famously for the Dutch 2016 Olympic cycling team, and the UCI’s Road World Cup leaders’ jerseys.  But now she’s launching her own bike kit brand, I Ride In Style, which sells cycling kit for women and men The initial limited collection is available for pre-order until 29th March 2017.

Of course there are the cycling jerseys and bib shorts, for both men and women, but I love that Slappendel also includes some more affordable items too – a T shirt in women’s and men’s fits, a cap, and socks.  And alongside the clothing, she has a collection of unique bags, made from recycled and upcycled materials, something she’s been selling for years – you can buy bags made from an old sofa, a leather jacket, a sleeping bag, and old coat.

Find out more on the website, including the size guide (up to XXL for women) and worldwide shipping guide (UK residents, remember you might need to pay an import tax when they arrive!).  You can also follow on the I Ride In Style twitter and instagram, and sign up to a newsletter on the IRIS site.  And of course, follow Slappendel on her twitter, instagram and personal website.