Podcast 2017 Episode 5 – The Weather Looks Horrendous

cropped-podcast-logo.jpgThis week we preview the first of the Spring Classics! Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Tielt-Winge are on this weekend (the weather looks horrendous!!!!! Yay!). We review the Cali Track World Cup and the results from the last cyclocross race of the season in Leuven. There’s some tougher news that we need to talk about, but it’s positive in the sense that good journos like Laura Weislo are doing some great work in following up on these stories. Most importantly it’s time for round two of our kit vote, so make sure to get in and vote for your favourites! (1:36:14 MIN / 88.11 MB)

NOTE: We do apologise for some background noise on this week’s recording – there were builders working next door to Sarah….

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Things we talked about included

Don’t forget to vote in Part 2 of Sarah’s 2017 women’s cycling Best Kit voteTibco-SVB won Part 1, the vote for the WorldTour teams (the top 20 UCI teams who get automatic invitations to the 2017 Women’s WorldTour stage races) – this is a selection of smaller teams, all of whom have been nominated by readers/twitterati, and there are some great designs in there.

This week’s racing

UCI Highlights and full broadcast from the Round 3 of the 2016/7 Track World Cup, in Cali, Colombia.

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Podcast 2017 Episode 4 – Why Make It Harder?

cropped-podcast-logo.jpgThis week we talk through the last few cyclocross races of the season. We also take a quick look at all the track racing that’s coming up soon, including the Paracycling Track World Championships. We take some time to kick off the great team kit voting challenge for 2017, so make sure to visit the post to see the pictures, videos and (of course) to vote! We do talk about some of the tougher stories to have come out recently regarding the types of abuse that have been uncovered in the sport. It’s tough reading and listening, but it is good for the sport to bring these problems to light. (58:23 MIN / 53.47 MB)

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Things we talked about this week

Sarah has pulled together the kits for the top 20 women’s teams into one big post, with links to where you can buy them, and most importantly, the 2017 Best Kit poll.  Head over here, check them all out, and VOTE!


Four sobering pieces on bullying, harassment, sexual abuse and other unacceptable practices within women’s cycling:

One of the things that’s being done about these issues is the Dutch Cycling Federation’s project to find out the scope of bullying and harassment in Dutch Cycling – listen to Sarah’s podcast with KNWU’s Anne Loes Kokhuis to find out more.

Recent racing

IJsboerke Ladies Trophy #8, 2017 Krawatencross Lille

Such an exciting way to round of the series – and it finished with Sarah’s absolute number 1 favourite cycling move!  Full race replay, and highlights:

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Podcast 2015, Episode 33 – Australia!

Podcast logo Dan is busy right now, so I swapped him for another Australian, to explain all about the Aussie Summer of Cycling, and why we should all be meeting up in Melbourne and Adelaide for January 2017.  Monique Hanley is a former bike racer who does a ton of work promoting cycling, especially women’s cycling, and especially through her roles on the Executive Board of Cycling Victoria, and as chair of Cycling Australia’s Women’s Commission, and she’s one of my very favourite people in cycling.

January is an amazing month for Australian road cycling, and it’s fantastic to see the strong UCI mini-season for the women back Down Under.  We talked about how cycling has changed for the country – and given Monique’s roles in Cycling Federations, we also talked about the recent Genèvieve Jeanson podcast and story on Cyclingnews, and what cycling bodies can learn from her experience, and prevent anything similar happening in the future.

Listen to the podcast, or click through to Soundcloud to download.



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Things we talked about this week

The Australian Summer of Cycling:

There’s always great information on the Cycling Australia website, and on their twitter, and there are great videos on their YouTube – we wish all races would use their format, of riders telling the stories of the races.  I’ll put links to watching the races live nearer the time.

UPDATE!  Here’s Cyclingnews’ video preview:

The Kirsten Frattini’s Genèvieve Jeanson podcast and story are on Cyclingnews – and I wrote about it here.  The Australian Sports Commission have a strong Play By The Rules section to support athletes in all sports, and their  member protection policies and documents are here, with all their other Integrity In Sport policies.  If you in Australia and affected by domestic abuse in any way, there are organisations here  that can provide help, advice and support.

Follow Monique on her twitter, and listen to the interview about her cycling story Dan and I did with her pretty much exactly two years ago.  You can find out about all the work Cycling Victoria do on their website, including their pages for women and girls, and their resources for clubs.

So important – Cyclingnews’ Genèvieve Jeanson story & podcast

This week Cyclingnews published a really important piece of journalism, that all cycling fans need to read or listen to.  It’s not an easy story to engage with, because it’s the last thing people want to think happens in a sport they love, but it’s so important we pay attention, so we can all help recognise it and work to prevent it, as fans, media, and people involved in all cycling at all levels.

Genèvieve Jeanson, in case you don’t know, was the 1999 Canadian World Junior Road Race and Time Trial Champion whose elite career came to a halt in 2005, after EPO was found in a blood test.  Jeanson later said that she’d been taking EPO since she was 16 years old, but the worst part of her story was the allegations of physical, emotional and sexual abuse she made against her coach, André Aubut, who, along with Maurice Duquette, the doctor who gave her the drugs, was banned from being involved in sports for life by the Canadian Center for Ethics in Sport.  It’s a really harrowing story, and Jeanson isn’t the only cyclist whose story includes nasty abuse – USA rider Tammy Thomas is another rider who says her doping was entwined with being abused, and ex-Cycling Australia official Warwick Phillips was stabbed by a rider he was convicted of sexually abusing when he was coaching her as a teenager.  And of course, earlier this year the CIRC report into doping in road cycling very briefly referred to women being exploited sexually and financially in the sport, while Ukrainian rider Hanna Solovey, who was caught doping at age 19, has talked about the continual verbal abuse that kept her scared of him (original Russian, and translation on Velorooms).

Jeanson’s story has been told in a French-language book by Alain Gravel, L’affaire Jeanson : l’engrenage, and a film, La Petite Reine  inspired by her life, but there hasn’t been an English-language interview with her since the original doping story broke, until now, when journalist Kirsten Frattini met Jeanson at the 2015 Road World Championships, and interviewed her for the Cyclingnews podcast.  You can listen to that interview here, and for people who don’t do podcasts, there’s an article below it, that not only goes into detail about Jeanson’s story, but also talks to other people involved in the sport who talk about what they saw of the public aspects.  They’ve also published some of the follow-up questions Frattini had after the podcast interview, and that is great journalism.  I genuinely think this is the most important cycling story that’s been published this year.

The thing that I think upset me most about this story was all the people who were corroborating the physical and emotional abuse.  I can make guesses that maybe some of the young riders just didn’t know what to do about it – especially as some of this abuse seems so public, race officials and other responsible adults involved in cycling must have seen it too, and didn’t stop it – so I just have to take my hat off to Frattani for including a list of resources at the end of her article, where people can get help on issues of violence, abuse and doping.  They’re Canadian-based, as Jeanson and Frattani are, so I’ve added a list of UK resources at the bottom of this article too.

What we can all do to prevent this kind of awful story happening in the future is to be aware of the issues (and recognise that while these public stories are about girls and women, abuse also happens to boys and men) and if we’re worried about anyone in our lives, take action.  There are some excellent organisations providing help, and there’s never any harm done in asking “Is this ok?” and “Is this something I should act on?”.   We should see what our Cycling Federations have to say about child protection, and if we’re not satisfied, ask them to do more – and the big Federations and anti-doping agencies need to be mindful that sometimes doping and abuse are entwined, so that they can recognise that doping might be part of a bigger problem, and provide support, especially to young and vulnerable athletes.  Abuse, including blackmail and threats about doping, is never ok, and doesn’t belong in our sport.


  • What to do if you’re worried a child or young adult is at risk of, sexual abuse – resources for children and young people (Childline) and for adults (NSPCC)
  • This is Abuse website – aimed at young people, but useful for everyone to help identify abuse, and find support
  • Childline – 24 hour counselling and support for children and young people
  • The NSPCC’s Child Protection In Sport site, which includes ways to raise sports-specific concerns, as well as support for organisations and clubs around prevention
  • British Cycling’s Safeguarding policies, including a link for reporting concerns, and their Equality Policy, which includes harassment.

These are all UK resources, but Olympic.org, the official website of the Olympic movement, has a portal on sexual harassment in sport that includes how to spot it, international resources, and what people can expect sports federations to do about harassment and abuse.


What did the CIRC report say about women’s cycling – and why is no one reporting on it?

I don’t have the time to write in-depth about this, but I wanted to mention it.  Actually, I don’t want to mention it, because it’s really depressing, and I’d rather focus on the positive side of this sport I love, but it’s important that we note it, in the context of shining a light into the dark corners, and committing to rooting this out of cycling.

Some background to the CIRC report (full text available here)

The Cycling Independent Reform Commission (“Commission” or “CIRC”) was established by the Union Cycliste Internationale (“UCI”) “to conduct a wide ranging independent investigation into the causes of the pattern of doping that developed within cycling and allegations which implicate the UCI and other governing bodies and officials over ineffective investigation of such doping practices.” (page 6)

It’s been all over the news in the UK at least because of the issues about doping, and the links to Lance Armstrong etc.  But I want to look at what it says about the women’s side of the sport, and specifically the bits I haven’t seen reported, including allegations of sexual and financial exploitation.  Hat tip to Mariska Tjoelker, who brought this to my attention.  From page 70, the specific section devoted to women’s cycling (bold sections my emphasis)

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