The first races of 2017: GP Sven Nys and the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classics

Happy New Year!  And as always, the brand new year starts with a bang, with the adrenaline-fuelled Bay Crits in Melbourne, Australia, and in Belgium, the penultimate round of the IJsboerke Ladies Trophy, the women’s races at the DVV Trophee cyclocross series.  It’s always a great way to start the year, and I’m here to tell you how to watch them.

The Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classics, 1st-3rd January 2017

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2016 Bay Crits – videos, photos & more

It’s not just the cyclocross riders who celebrate the New Year with hardcore racing – down in Australia, the road peloton rub their hands with glee and hit the Bay Crits hard.  The Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic is four stages of crits, from hotdog to wicked-tough climbing circuits, and it kicks off the Aussie Summer of Cycling in a big way.  Videos and photos and more

Stage 1 – Ritchie Boulevard, Geelong

Short video highlights on SBS Cycling Central (these may only last for a month or so, but please watch these ones if you can), and the same video is here:

and video from the High5 Dream Team:

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Vale Scandolara’s 2016 Australian Adventures – the Q&A

Podcast interview logoJust before she won Stage 3 of the fantastic Bay Crits, I interviewed Italian star Valentina Scandolara, about her Australian adventures, setting up her own Aussie team, escaping in the 2015 Road Worlds, and what she’s hoping for from 2016, including with her new team, Cylance Procycling.  You can listen to that interview here, but because she’s so much fun, I’ve written it up as well.

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ProWomensCycling:  You’ve been having a fun time in Australia – you were all over the podium in various races before Christmas, and now you’re racing in the Bay Crits.

Vale Scandolara: I always try to have fun, with cool people, and nice places, and races to do.  I did some races before Christmas.  I was focusing on training, and I went to these races with the Roxsolt team, and Carlee Taylor and Julie Leth, and some other Australians and New Zealanders, and it was lots of fun.  I saw some new places, like Bright, in the mountains in Victoria, and it was amazing.  Not quite Italy, but it was quite amazing!

PWC:  I saw from your twitter that you’ve been forcing yourself to endure the horrors of the beach too

Vale:  It’s very hard – you have to work on your tan-lines, but I’m coping!

And then I had the chance to organise a team, Alé Cycling, for the Bay Crits.  It was very nice for me, I got in contact with my ex-sponsor when I was in Alé-Cipollini, Alé clothing in Italy, and they got in contact with Alé Australia, and they were really interested in my proposal to make a team for Bay Crits,   so I called some girls.  Carlee Taylor was supposed to race with us, but she was sick and is resting before Nationals, so I’m sorry she’s not here, but we’re having a fair bit of a laugh as well.

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Australian Adventures! Sarah interviews Valentina Scandolara

Podcast interview logoVale Scandolara is a fan favourite for her exciting racing, and for her friendly and positive personality, and given she’s such a sunny person, it only seems right that she’s escaped the European winter to race in the Australian Summer of Cycling.  She told me how Italian bike clothing company Alé enabled her to set up her own team for the Bay Crits, what it felt like being in that final break in the 2015 Road World Championships and to nearly make it, and about her plans for 2016, with her new team Cylance.  This includes a bonus extra chat with Vale’s Bay Crits team-mate Julie Leth, who’s back from injury, finally, and just became officially Australian, having won the Aussie Madison Championships with Nettie Edmondson.

Listen to the podcast here, and click through to Soundcloud to download it, or if podcasts aren’t your thing, read the Q&A over here.

 

 

You can get automated free podcast updates via the iTunes store here (leave us a review too!) or via our RSS feed. (Please note, this is a new RSS, so long-time listeners may need to re-subscribe)

Make sure you follow Vale on her adventures with her twitter and instagram, and keep an eye on her YouTube for the very best rider-made videos out there.  And for more Vale, Read her Q&As after she came second on Giro Rosa Stage 3, listen to my longer interview with her from last January.   Vale’s 2016 team is Cylance – make sure you check out  their website, and follow their instagram and twitter too.

Follow Julie Leth on her twitter and instagram, and find out more about her team, Hitec Products, on their website.

Watch Vale win Bay Crits Stage 3, and talk about it after the stage:

Catch up with all the news, photos and action from the Bay Crits so far on the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic website, and video highlights on SBS Cycling Central – and follow the last two stages with the #BayCrits hashtag, and via the @SummerOfCycling twitter, who’ll also be keeping us updated on the Santos Women’s Tour.  There’s a lot more information about the Aussie January races in this podcast with Monique Hanley.

Vale went on to win Stage 3, and you can see photos here.

I’m funded to do these interviews thanks to my wonderful Patreon supporters – thank you so much!  If you want to join them from just $2 a month, there’s more information here.

Happy New Year! And the first bike racing of 2016

Firstly, Happy New Year!  Huge thanks to everyone who’s supported me, shared my stuff and chatted with me about the wonderful world of women’s cycling.  I hope you all have a wonderful 2016, and that we get even better bike racing.

That racing starts immediately, and there’s tons of racing to watch and follow this weekend – road, track and cyclocross!

Bay Crits, 1st-4th January

We start in Australia, where New Year’s Day is celebrated at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic, aka the Bay Crits, 4 days of super-tough criterium racing, for able-bodied and para-cycling women and men.  Lots of information on the website, we can follow live with the #BayCrits hashtag, and there’ll be videos afterwards on the Bay Crits YouTube and on SBS Cycling Central.  I’ll collect the videos after the race is over, like I did in January 2015.  The Bay Crits are in Victoria, which is in the AEDT timezone – 11 hours ahead of UK GMT, 10 hours ahead of European CET and 16 hours ahead of North American EST.  So the women’s Stage 1 starts at 17:00 AEDT, for example, which is 6am GMT, 07:00 CET and 1am EST.

The Bay Crits kick off an amazing month of road cycling in Australia – the Summer of Cycling.  If you want to know more about the races, the wonderful Monique Hanley, who works for Cycling Victoria and Cycling Australia, among other things, talked to me about them all, how women’s cycling in Australia is developing, and much more – listen to that podcast here.

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GP Sven Nys, 1st January

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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.

 

 

You can get automated free podcast updates via the iTunes store here (leave us a review too!) or via our RSS feed. (Please note, this is a new RSS, so long-time listeners may need to re-subscribe)

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.

Sarah interviews… Vale Scandolara – Podcast 2015, episode 3

Podcast interview logoValentina Scandolara is a huge fan favourite because of her love of attacks, and her friendly personality, online and in races.  Continuing the recent Australian theme on the blog, she’s come from a block of training in Brazil to join her ORICA-AIS team-mates – cheering them on as they rode the Bay Crits and the National Road Championships before racing with them in the Tour Down Under, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race and the Ladies Tour of Qatar.  We talked about what being on ORICA’s been like, going from being “a wild animal in the city” to re-learning some cycling basics, how it felt when heart problems forced her out of the 2014 Road World Championships, the difference between winning Worlds medals as a junior and elite, and a whole lot more, including why she is so vocal about riders not being paid, and where she goes wrong in the Army…

(click through to download)

Subscribe for automated updates via the iTunes store here or via our RSS feed here. (The Vale post will take a little bit of time to upload as Dan’s left me in charge of the tech, and it’s not going well….)

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Links for this podcast

Find out more about Vale through her twitter, and facebook, and through the Vale Scandolara fan club site – and read her profile on the ORICA-AIS site.  Vale and her team-mate Amanda Spratt did some daily Q&As with me during last year’s Giro Rosa, and you can read them on Podium Café: pre-Giro; after Stage 2; Stage 3; Stage 4; and Stage 5.

Here are the videos from the 2014 Team Time Trial World Championships, where Vale won silver, the Bay Crits, where her team-mate Gracie Elvin won Stage 2 with Loes Gunnewijk second, and Vale’s win in the 2014 Giro del Trentino:

and talking after the Sparkassen Giro World Cup, and coming second in the 2014 Italian National Road Championships

Vale’s first races of 2015 will be the Santos Tour Down Under on 17-20th January, the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on 31st January, and then the Ladies Tour of Qatar, 3rd-6th February 2015.  Make sure you’re cheering for her online and in real life!

Big thanks to my Patreon supporters, who fund me to do these interviews – as always, I really appreciate you.