Podcast 2016, Episode 14 – It’s OK, he’s an Aussie

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G’day from sunny Manchester this week team! Dan’s on holiday and enjoying the snow in the English spring. This week we’ve got heaps to talk about and it’s not all scandals involving Australians in Manchester. We also talk the end of the Assos Girl, the penalties for motor doping, crowd-funding and that big Marianne Vos crash.

On top of that, there’s heaps of racing to cover off. We’ve got Joe Martin Stage Race in the US, Omloop van Borsele, Dwars door Westhoek, and heaps of Cairns MTB activity. Of course there’s the usual hilarity and this week an added bonus of technical difficulties (which we’ve done our absolute best to correct, but sorry/not sorry).

Before you do anything else, make sure you vote for all the great cycling-related entries in the 2016 #BeAGameChanger awards – voting closes on 1st May, so hurry!

Things we talked about included….

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An incomplete list of British Cycling’s issues with women riders

This week there’s been tons in the news about British Cycling and discrimination, particularly relating to allegations of sexism, saying a rider’s too old to race at 25, and most recently, discrimination against para-cyclists.  This started when British Cycling talked to the Telegraph about dropping sprinter Jess Varnish from the programme – which wasn’t a surprise, as she had voiced her frustrations about how BC had handled the Team Sprint, when GB failed to qualify at the 2016 Track World Championships.  Varnish’s issue then was the choices BC had made about the teams they put into races for the Olympic Qualifying period, and so BC’s sacking her was expected at the time.

She then responded, and what was surprising is that she’s alleged to have been told to “go off and have a baby”, and that at 25 she’s too old to improve.  It was followed by British Cycling’s Performance Director, Shane Sutton, denying that in the media – and some great pieces by former Olympic and World Champions Nicole Cooke and Victoria Pendleton speaking out in defense of Varnish, Varnish’s official statement, and an interview talking about a ‘culture of fear‘ at BC, an interesting comment from Lizzie Armitstead, a piece on the MTB issues from Jenny Copnall and then (Daily Mail link) Para-cyclist Darren Kenny and “multiple sources” talking about offensive language and behaviour towards Para-cyclists – which lead to Sutton’s suspension, and then resignation.

Update! Olympic Champion Rebecca Romero also talked about the toxic velodrome atmosphere

So that’s this week! But this is very much part of a pattern.  While big name men like Bradley Wiggins have come out defending Sutton, and track superstar Laura Trott doing the same, this is part of a LONG pattern of top-name women talking about their bad experiences with British Cycling and their approach to women’s cycling (whether they use the word “sexism” or not), and Shane Sutton.

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Podcast 2016 Episode 10 – This Week in HTFU

Podcast logoThis week’s episode is an epic one. I’m not gonna lie, Sarah and I are ridiculously excited about the news leading up to the Ronde van Vlaanderen this weekend. It’s going to be amazing. Before we get into that though we catch up on everything Gent Wevelgem! There’s the Pajot Hills Classic, the first round of the Enduro World Series (from Chile!) some BMX and whole load of other interesting bits and pieces from around the web. We also have a new pinnacle of HTFU to present and some more great news about prizemoney (and all the ways in which that’s fantastic too)! We’ve got some great rider blogs and a heap of new videos to check out below as well! (1:08:59 MIN / 63.0 MB)

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Things we talked about this week

Make sure you watch the Ronde van Vlaanderen on Sunday.

This week’s racing

Women’s World Tour #4 – Gent-Wevelgem

Collection of videos, photos and links.

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Pajot Hills Classic

Photo gallery on Ella Cycling Tips and on Rabo-Liv’s website – and full results.

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2016 BMX Supercross #1, Santiago del Estero

The full videos of the season intro show, Qualifications, Time Trials and the Main Event – and the winning runs:

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Emma Pooley returns to cycling for Rio 2016

If you, like me, have been wondering who on earth British Cycling would get to race the ITT at the Rio Olympics, look what I just got in my inbox – a press release from Emma Pooley!

EMMA POOLEY ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR 2016

Multi-sport athlete and current long distance duathlon World Champion Emma Pooley is hoping to return to the British Cycling team for the Rio Olympics, whilst continuing her rise to success in long-distance triathlon and duathlon.

Pooley is one of Great Britain’s most respected and successful road cyclists of the past decade, winning the UCI time trial world championship as well as 5 further medals at Olympic, World Championship and Commonwealth level. She retired from cycling aged 31 in August 2014, after achieving Commonwealth silver in both the road race and time trial in Glasgow. Turning her attentions to triathlon and endurance events, just one month later Emma won the Zofingen Powerman long-course duathlon world championships, breaking the course record by 16 minutes.

Since then she’s added Alpe d’Huez, Embrunman and Zofingen again to her list of endurance victories.

“Looking back on 2015, I can honestly say I’m delighted with how my first full season of triathlon and multi-sport has gone. I am full of gratitude for the opportunities I’ve had: some amazing races in beautiful locations, memorable experiences, and meeting some wonderful people.”

THE RETURN TO BRITISH CYCLING IN RIO

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Emma Pooley on tv tonight

I know that tons of you, like me, are so sad Emma Pooley announced her retirement this year, so this one’s for you….

I sometimes wonder, idly, what tv shows cyclists can do – retired track superstar Vicky Pendleton on Strictly Come Dancing was a great fit, but I think I’ve hit the jackpot here.  Tonight Emma Pooley will be on that BBC 2-est of tv shows, University Challenge. (I say BBC2-est, but wikipedia tells me it started in the USA, and on ITV in the UK…  so weird!).  For those of you not in the UK, it’s a panel quiz show where 2 teams of 4 from different universities compete, all the way through to a grand final.  This is the Christmas series, with famous/noteable alumni, and Pooley, with her PhD in geo-technical engineering is brilliant for it.  I bet she’s out there somewhere saying “I was terrible“, but I bet she’ll be great!

UPDATE!  I’m getting hits from people looking for who Emma Pooley is – she’s a former World Champion and Olympic silver medallist cyclist, who’s turned to triathlon, and who was a massive fan favourite for her funny, passionate interviews where she never pulled punches, and for her style of riding, best described as “suicide attacks”.  I interviewed her a couple of times last year – before her first race of the 2013 season (listen or read Part 1 & Part 2), after she won the National Championships/before the biggest women’s cycling race, the Giro Rosa; after she won 3 stages in the Giro (listen or read) and then on why she chose to retire from cycling and move to triathlon (read it on Rouleur or listen).  She’s awesome – if you want to follow her, she’s on twitter as @PooleyEmma.

It’s tonight, 26th December, at 6:45pm GMT (19:45 CET; 1:45pm USA EST) on BBC2 and here – and shortly after it’s on, it’ll be available here on BBC iPlayer for a month or so.   If you can’t wait, here’s a clip (I want to do my hair like that!).  Huge thanks Rob Brewer for pointing all this out to me!

UPDATE!  Emma and her team, Trinity College Cambridge, are through to the semi-final, that’ll be on Wednesday 31st December at 8pm (21:00 CET; 3pm USA EST or 7am Thurs Aussie  AEST) on BBC2 and here, or Thursday 1st January at 8:30, BBC2 too and here.  Stream them live as they happen on the BBC iPlayer.

UPDATE!  Pooley’s through to the final!  Friday 2nd January, 7:30pm GMT (20:30 CET; 2:30pm EST; 6:30am AEST) – on BBC2 and streamed live, and archived here for a month.

UPDATE!  And her team won! I bet she was relieved when she got the questions on Bradley Wiggins, the Tour de France, Swiss food and German words right 🙂

(It’s likely to be geo-restricted to the UK, but Hola and Tunnelbear can help you there, as always – turn your tunnelbear off as soon as the stream’s started to save your allocation)

Podcast 2014 Episode 49 – Highs and Lows

Podcast logoIt’s our highlights show, with bonus lowlights thrown in for no extra charge! We take turns to talk about our favourite moments and stories from the 2014 road season. There are a lot of them and it’s a lot of fun! We break it up in the middle with a couple of the less inspiring moments of the year (UCI, we’re looking at you). BUT because we like you we then finish off with even more highlights so you can wrap it up on a high. (1:18:42 MIN / 75.56 MB)

To stream the highest and lowest cycling podcast you’ll find on this page, click here.

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As always, share your highlights from the season with us in the comments or on twitter. And if you’re looking for links and relevant information, check out our podcast archive here.

Women’s sports and prize money

A few short links for you today, that are kind of related.

1.  If you’re in the UK, you might have seen a lot of things on various BBC sites on the different between prize money for women and men in the same sports.  That’s partly to do with this BBC report, which does a sport-by-sport comparison (including the Para-sports, which really suffer here) – and there’s an article about it too on the BBC site.

2.  One of the places this has been talked about is on BBC Radio 4 programme Woman’s Hour, where superstar Emma Pooley was discussing the issues.  If you missed it, listen here (if it’s restricted, you might need something like Hola set to the UK)

3.  Helen Wyman‘s latest blog on Cyclingnews talks about the work she’s been doing on prize money within cyclocross, and how she worked with Twenty20 Cycles to get equal prize money for the women at Saturday’s Koppenbergcross.  Helen also talked to me recently about how since men’s cyclocross in Belgium is pretty much at saturation point, so women’s cycling is the obvious way to bring in more audience – that’s in part 1 of my interview with her, in part 2 she talks more about her work with the UCI.