One of the games I love to play is “Equivalenting” – where people tell me their favourite male riders or favourite kinds of riders, and I find them a female equivalent to cheer for at the Road World Championships. I started this before the 2012 Olympics on twitter, for people who didn’t watch a lot of women’s cycling (because it’s hard to watch, let’s face it) but really wanted to love the racing, and for curious women’s cycling fans, who want to see what I’d say.
You can read some of my old Equivalents posts if you like, from the 2012 (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3) but I’ve started again for 2014. If you’d like me to Equivalent for you, tell me your favourite rider and why you like them in the comments or on twitter, and I’ll see what I can do – and of course, if you can think of a better Equivalent, please share it!
So, without further ado…
The two biggest pure sprinters in the peloton are Kirsten Wild, who’s not racing Worlds this year, as she’s focusing on track, and Giorgia Bronzini. Now you might be thinking “Ponferrada is too hilly for Bronzini”, but remember, she got over the hills in Geelong to win her first of two Road World Championships golds, and managed to stay invisible in the pack until she exploded out in the finishing straight.
Like Cav, she’s a smaller rider, and also has a Track World Championships gold medal (in the 2009 Points race) – and she has a huge advantage in Worlds, because the Italian National Team genuinely don’t seem to care who wins unless it’s one of them, so if she’s looking like she’s doing well, she’ll have her chance.
The Giro della Toscana was so full of chaos that the majority of the peloton refused to start the final stage. I’ve written a round-up of the story, with reactions from riders and teams, including those that chose to race, and it’s here on Podium Café – but I HIGHLY recommend DS Marv Barras’ story about it all on the ORICA-AIS website. So much to feel enraged about! I can’t believe the women’s peloton can be treated so badly. If I ever see a statement from the UCI, I’ll be sure to let you know….
UPDATE: Toscana winner Claudia Häusler sent me a statement on why she rode the final stage – please click through to Podium Café to read it.
I can’t believe the Giro is over already! Here’s my Stage 8 report on Podium Café, with all the usual results, links, photos and stuff – and I’ll be winding up my favourite moments and interviewing riders about the race this week. I’ll edit in more videos as I find them, but here are what’s up so far…
Here’s the race highlights video, with interviews with all the big stars at the end
For the full hour of video, either start with Part 1 and let the playlist run, or watch in bits – Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 – with the podium and post-race fun:
Hi kids! This week it’s pretty much all Giro Rosa, Giro Rosa, Giro Rosa. The race is ongoing. We’ve had three amazing stages and Sarah and I do our best to capture the variety and craziness of it all. We also look at what’s left (including stage 4 which is going on right now!!!!!) and we slip in a few swears and rants just so you feel like we’ve made a good effort, but in the interest of getting the episode up quickly it’s all in one glorious take. Here’s the first ever UNEDITED Unofficial, Unsanctioned Women’s UCI Cycling Show! (1:17:42 MIN / 74.59 MB)
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Of course, we had to start with the official Giro Rosa theme tune!
This week we talked about the Giro Rosa!
Here are the links…
If you want to read about what happened on Stage 3 – including the dramatic last 10km, and the finish up the 19%, cobbled, twisting, narrow streets – head over to Podium Café and read my race report – it’s full of links to other things I’ve seen. But here are the videos – including, below the jump, the full hour race report
Amber Pierce, who rides for Pasta Zara-Cogeas, has been giving us regular updates on what she thinks of the race – and what teams are doing and why. I love these insights – thankyou Amber!
Official race video with interview in English with Marianne Vos after the race:
This week I’ve been playing my favourite game of giving people my guess at the women’s peloton equivalent of their favourite male riders, so if they’re new to women’s cycling, they have people to cheer for at the Worlds road race this afternoon. So far, Part 1 included equivalents for Jens Voigt, Cancellara, Boonen, Greipel and Contador, and Part 2 had Philippe Gilbert, Cav, Sagan and Phinney…. but you still have more! So, without further ado….
For his ITT and climbing ability, if you like Nibali, cheer for Tatiana Guderzo. Guderzo is an Italian climbing star, who you’ll always find in the GC of the mountainous stage races. She’s a former Road World Champion, too. I say this a lot, but look up the 2009 Worlds, for a masterclass in “how to beat Marianne Vos”, as Guderzo and Cantele took it in turns to attack poor Vos over and over again, until Guderzo escaped for the win, with Cantele frustrating any and every chase effort. Guderzo is supported by the Fiamme Azurre, the sporting arm of the Italian police and prison service, so you’ll see photos of her in her uniform, working for them in the off-season.