This week we catch up after Sarah’s been away at the Boels Rental Ladies Tour in the Netherlands. There’s Plouay results to discuss, all the Dutch racing and of course what it means for worlds. Speaking of worlds, we’re two weeks out from the festivities in Bergen and so of course it’s time for the (sigh, eyeroll) polemica. This year it’s Australia’s turn to do something unforgivably stupid, and Dan’s got shoutpinions about it. (1:26:22 MIN / 79.08 MB)
This week Sarah and Dan talk through the polemica and outrage of Dan’s whisky choices. Also discussed is each of the stages from this year’s Ladies Tour of Norway, including a bit of race-related polemica. Then there’s a look ahead to the Boels Rental Tour next week and the implications of current races for Worlds which is coming up quickly indeed now. We also wax rhapsodical about the GP Plouay which is on live tomorrow! And there’s an interesting bit of news from around the place with retirements and some fascinating new projects from retired riders. Beware, the swearing abounds this week. (46:38 MIN / 42.72 MB)
Saturday 26th August 2017
It’s the last big Classic of the women’s cycling season, and wow, I love this race. It’s got one of the ugliest tough climbs in the sport, the Côte du Ty Marrec, which is this tough, grinding dual big wide road that looks pretty benign, but is tough as hell. It was the site of what’s still one of my all-time favourite cycling moments, in 2010, when Emma Pooley, after sandbagging her heart out, caught Marianne Vos, Emma Johansson and Judith Arndt out on that last climb, attacking up the inside right just as Vos looked over her left shoulder. I’ll never get bored of that!
And then last year, after hundreds of attacks, catches, splits and reformations, a group of around 20 elite riders came to the line together, and definite underdog Eugenia Bujak started her sprint surprisingly – and won! The biggest result of her career, and for her team BTC City Ljubljana.
And that’s what makes a Classic classic to me – that feeling that we’ve got no idea what will happen right up til the last moment. Plouay, like all my favourite races, has been won every way from solo to small group to large bunch, and I love it for it. Who could win? Practically anyone!
Like last year, it’s 4 laps of the 26.9km circuit, and then one of 13.9km. I have to warn you, there’s pretty much no mobile phone coverage of the northern part of the big loop, because it’s running through beautiful forests, so we don’t get many updates on twitter, BUT part of it is live on TV!
How to watch and follow
The race starts at 13:40 European CEST (12:40pm UK BST; 9:40pm Australian AEST; 7:40am North American EDT)
TV coverage will start at 15:15 CEST (2:15pm BST; 11:15pm AEST; 9:15am EDT) on France 3 TV, which you can watch here if you’re in France (or via VPN). It’s also going to stream on the Eurosport Player, through maybe without commentary, and there could be more streams here and here – and I’ll tweet streams on the day.
To follow on twitter (with the caveat of the lack of mobile coverage on a lot of the course), the race twitter is a good one, last year’s hashtag was #GPPlouay, and of course there’s #UCIWWT too. And I have my usual list of live-tweeters.
Big thanks to my amazing Patreon supporters for funding me to do this kind of thing.
Hey remember that time a few days ago when Sarah and Dan started talking about all the Best of the Year categories that VeloVoices are going to be holding voting on this week, and it took them an hour to get through the first category? Well they’re back! And this time they’re determined to get through all of the other categories (including the two extra ones that Sarah made up so that she could fit everyone in that she wanted to) no matter how long it takes!
Look, we’re not gonna lie, this podcast is EPIC (that’s a technical term). It’s huge. It’s long enough to be a Hollywood blockbuster, but it’s got more plot, more drama and more action than your standard Hollywood blockbuster, so there’s that! How could it not be when we’re discussing Best Race Finish of the Year, Best Breakthrough Rider of the Year, Unsung Heroines of the Peloton for the Year, Unsung Heroes/Heroines Behind the Scenes and Step-Up Rider of the Year?
So many great and worthy nominees, so much to argue about! Make sure you’re stocked up on time and refreshments, this one’s perfect for that long drive to see all your extended family for the holidays. Here goes… (1:59:50 MIN / 109.72MB)
And listen to, and read, our nominations for 2016 women’s cycling Rider of the Year.
This week Sarah and Dan recap the Trophee d’or and GP Plouay races along with a broader discussion about the summer block of racing and how it’s gone this year with the Olympics. Sarah manages to “dan” the results of at least one race and we also preview the impending cycling at the paralympics. We get stuck into the latest news in transfers and also talk about a couple of interesting new teams on the horizon. (52.52 MIN / 49.40 MB)
Things we talked about this week included:
- The WorldTour GP de Plouay – videos, photos and media here
- The new team, Africa Rising – and to catch up with all the other transfer news, head over the Cycling Fever collection
- Megan Fisher talks about what Para-cycling and and Paralympics mean to her, in this great Ella piece
- And handcyclist Karen Darke is crowd-funding to have a film made of the Rio Paralympic experience – you can support that over here.
- Jill Kintner dominated Crankworx
- Boels Rental Ladies Tour, 30th August-4th September, the Netherlands. Follow the race with the @ladiestour twitter account and the #BRLT16 hashtag. The final stage might be shown live on Dutch channel L1, and Sarah will update about that nearer the time.
- Tour de l’Ardèche, 1st-4th September, France. Follow live with the @TCFIA twitter, though they mostly seem to post links to their facebook, and possibly the #TCFIA hashtag.
- Vallnord MTB World Cup, 3rd-4th September, Andorra – there’ll be tons on media, and the Downhill and Cross Country Finals will be streamed here on Red Bull TV – and Sarah’s guide to watching the races, with amazing pre-race media full of beautiful mountains (sigh!)
- Lotto-Belgium Tour, 6-9th September, Belgium. Follow live on the race twitter and with the #LottoBelgiumTour hashtag.
- Downhill MTB and Trials World Championships, 6-11th September, Italy – thre’ll be tons of media, and we’ll do a guide nearer the time, but the Downhill Finals will be streamed live on 11th September, here on Red Bull TV.
- Paralympic Games Track Cycling, 8-11th September, Rio – we’ll put up a guide to watching nearer the time.
- Giro Toscana, 9-11th September, Italy
- Chrono Champenois ITT, 11th September, France – may be streamed live – if it is, Sarah will put up links nearer the time
- Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta, 11th September, Spain – this will be shown live, & Sarah will put up a guide to watching it nearer the time.
- Paralympic Games Road Cycling, 14-17th September, Rio – we’ll put up a guide to watching nearer the time.
This week we talk our way through Plouay and what the world cups have been like this year (hint: they’ve been amazing!). Then we talk about the Para-cycling Road World Championships in Greenville, South Carolina. And proving that it’s been another action packed week of women’s cycling, we then turn our attention to the Tour de l’Ardeche and Boels Rental Ladies Tour, both of which started during the week. Of course it wouldn’t be a podcast if there wasn’t a bit of mountain biking and a whole lot of insanity in there too (so there is). We talk about our most amazing bits of transfer news and of course rumours. It’s a big episode and there’s something in it for (literally) everyone, so if you’re an everyone, or related to an everyone, you should probably listen up. (1:33:59 MIN / 90.23 MB)
Last week’s racing
Videos and things from the final round of the Road World Cup here – including the full hour and a half live coverage. And wow:
— pioneercyclo (@pioneercyclo) August 31, 2014