Catherine Marsal’s amazing life in cycling – now in writing!

Catherine Marsal has had an amazing life in cycling.  The Frenchwoman was an Olympian at 17 in 1988, the first ever women’s Junior Road World Champion in 1987, and the Elite World Champion in her first year as an elite in 1990; struggling for a few years, then becoming World Champion in the Hour Record in 1995; winning the Giro and the Tour de l’Aude Grand Tours; working as a Directeur Sportif before retiring from cycling, and then coming back to the sport as women’s road coach for the Danish Cycling Federation.

She’s seen a lot, and I talked to her about all this, the difficulties of becoming World Champion at a young age, racing with (and against) Jeannie Longo, and of course, the amazing results of the young Danish women, especially in the last week, when 2016 Road World Champion Amalie Dideriksen won 2017 WorldTour #2, the Ronde van Drenthe, and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig won the GC at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, and then came third in WorldTour #3, the Trofeo Alfredo Binda.

Of course I think you should listen to my podcast with Marsal, but for those of you who prefer to read interviews, I’ve written part of it up below.

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ProWomensCycling:  It’s a little bit exciting for Danish cycling right now, isn’t it?

Catherine Marsal:  We are on a cloud!  Things have been going very well since the beginning of the season, the girls are improving so well, every race sees a new adventure, and I’m looking forward to every weekend, to see what’s going to happen next.

PWC: Did you expect that the Danes would do so well this year?

Marsal:  I was expecting – and hoping – that Amalie Dideriksen could express herself, and show her rainbow jersey.  Amalie is not World Champion by chance, she’s a rider who has being working so hard and getting results – maybe not always seen by the media, but she’s been progressing, and the World Champion’s title is something she had in the corner of her mind.  It was very important for her to win a WorldTour race in that jersey, and confirm to the world that she is the World Champion.

PWC:  She won Drenthe in such beautiful style – Boels-Dolmans rode the race so well, and she got into a break with some really clever riders, and just trusted herself.

Marsal:  She has such an instinct for racing, that is unbelievable for her age.  She knows how to handle a very tricky situation like that, and she has a very strong capacity to handle the pressure, and what we expect from her.  That will give her so much strength for the future. Continue reading

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:

Podcast 2016 Episode 36 – EPIC (That’s a Technical Term)

Podcast logoHey remember that time a few days ago when Sarah and Dan started talking about all the Best of the Year categories that VeloVoices are going to be holding voting on this week, and it took them an hour to get through the first category? Well they’re back! And this time they’re determined to get through all of the other categories (including the two extra ones that Sarah made up so that she could fit everyone in that she wanted to) no matter how long it takes!

Look, we’re not gonna lie, this podcast is EPIC (that’s a technical term). It’s huge. It’s long enough to be a Hollywood blockbuster, but it’s got more plot, more drama and more action than your standard Hollywood blockbuster, so there’s that! How could it not be when we’re discussing Best Race Finish of the Year, Best Breakthrough Rider of the Year, Unsung Heroines of the Peloton for the Year, Unsung Heroes/Heroines Behind the Scenes and Step-Up Rider of the Year?

So many great and worthy nominees, so much to argue about! Make sure you’re stocked up on time and refreshments, this one’s perfect for that long drive to see all your extended family for the holidays. Here goes… (1:59:50 MIN / 109.72MB)

You can get free automatic updates from our RSS feed here or via the iTunes store here.

And listen to, and read, our nominations for 2016 women’s cycling Rider of the Year.

Best race finish

There were so, so many fantastic racing moments this season, and it was especially exciting as we got more live racing, and long highlights, than ever before.  In chronological order…

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2016 Road World Championships – videos, photos & media from the Road Races

We haven’t had a flat Road World Championships since Copenhagen in 2011, so the sprinters were rubbing their hands with glee.  We’d seen the Team Time Trials and the Individual Time Trials on the course, but how would the peloton take it?  Find out with videos, photos, links and results from the Junior and Elite women’s road races – so exciting, and some amazing moments!

I’ll edit in more as I see it – if you have media you loved, please do let me know in the comments or on twitter.

Junior women’s road race

Highlights and full race replay:

If you don’t want to watch the whole thing,  click here for the final 1.5km, for a textbook sprint finish – high-speed, perfect lead-out.  Keep going until the last group crosses the line, because that was a really cute moment – but whatever you do, make sure you keep watching until the slo-mo overhead, it’s perfect racing.  I adore the final lead-out rider, Chiara Consonni, cheering for Elisa Balsamo’s win before she’s even crossed the line – so confident!  And I really, really love the Italians singing along with the anthem:

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2016 ITT World Championships – videos, photos and more

The 2016 Road World Championships have moved from the trade team Team Time Trial, and into the national team events, starting with the Individual Time Trials.  Two women’s races, over two days – here’s my collection of videos, photos and media from the Juniors and then the Elites.  As always, I’ll edit in more as I see it – if you see fun things I’ve missed, please let me know in the comments or on twitter.

Junior Women’s Individual Time Trial

Highlights and full race replay

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2016 Team Time Trial World Championships – videos, photos and more

The first race of the 2016 Road World Championships in Doha was the women’s Team Time Trial – here’s my collection of videos, race reports, tweets I liked and more media.

Highlights and full race replay (may be geo-restricted)

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How to watch the 2016 Road World Championships

It’s Road Worlds!  Later than usual, but the cycling season has been weird this year, with the combination of the Olympic Games, and the Road Worlds in Doha, Qatar, they’ve been pushed back to try to make sure they’re not TOO hot.  Here’s my guide to watching and following the races live.  We should be able to watch some every race..

The UCI have already said that because the temperatures are likely to be very high, the races may be cut short, to protect the riders, so the information is about the original plan.  Click through the links to get to the course information…

UCI stream for the women’s and men’s TTTs here

If you miss the races live, those streams will have the full races archived after they’re over.

So, how can we watch?

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