Podcast 2017 Episode 31 – Being Italian IS a Tactic

This week we talk through the Junior and Elite Women’s Road Races from Bergen in Norway. There was all sorts of excitement in both races, and we talk through the highlights, the lowlights and the interesting moments that made the races. We also have a bit of a chat about riders to keep an eye on from the Junior racing, and of course we get a bit sidetracked, distracted and diverted some of the time too. (1:08:20 MIN / 62.57 MB)

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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 2017 Episode 8 – Won By Sprinters Doing Sprinty Things in a Sprint

This week we revisit all of the excitement from the Women’s World Tour at the Ronde van Drenthe. There’s more great racing from Drentse 8 and Setmarna Ciclista Valenciana. On top of this we have several really good articles about ways to improve women’s cycling to discuss and there’s been some interesting news in regards to British Cycling, and Jeannie Longo’s husband Patrice Ciprelli. Of course we can’t finish on a downer so we also take note of some of the fun stuff we’ve seen around the web this week. As always, heaps of links and videos in the post on the website!

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News and videos from the last week in women’s cycling

This week’s racing

Videos, photos and more from the excellent Ronde van Drenthe in this post here.

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Drentse Acht van Westerveld

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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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Videos and media – 2016 Boels Rental Ladies Tour

September is always so busy with tons of racing, it’s wonderful.  On of this week’s road races was the Boels Rental Ladies Tour in the Netherlands, with most of the big teams, and that combination of classic Dutch-style racing with wind, echelons and 1000 attacks on a mostly flat course until the final stage all over the Cauberg and the other Limburg hills.  There’s always a lot of video and media from the Holland Ladies Tour, and this year lived up to expectations, so grab a cuppa, and enjoy!  Of course I’ll add in more as I see it, and you can share things I’ve missed in the comments

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This race had fantastic social media, with tons of updates on the race twitter, including photos and videos.  The race’s own videos include the finish-line, and clips of the race, as well as interviews with the winners, and you can find photo galleries for the whole race from Boels-Dolmans, Rabo-liv, and Liv-Plantur – with more stage galleries below, too.

Stage 1

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This week’s women’s race videos…

The final week of women’s road cycling before the Road World Cycling Championships start in Richmond, and it went out with a bang, with video from the Lotto Belgium Tour, Giro Toscana and the Madrid Challenge crit-like day race.  And then we also have the final Para-cycling Road World Cup of 2015, in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa AND the latest attempt on the Hour Record by Molly Shaffer Van Houweling.  In chronological order…

The Lotto Belgium Tour

This has a really great parcours, with something for everyone, and the race pulled in the excellent Motomedia team to give us daily video.  If you only have time to watch one, make it the final 4th stage, over the hills and cobbles of Geraardsbergen, including, of course, the Muur – but really I’d settle in and watch them all…

Stage 1

This one was flat, but it’s Belgian-style racing, so attack!  And there’s another video too, from VoxWomen

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