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)
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And listen to, and read, our nominations for 2016 women’s cycling Rider of the Year.
There were so, so many fantastic racing moments this season, and it was especially exciting as we got more live racing, and long highlights, than ever before. In chronological order…
Round 7 of the 2016 Women’s World Tour was the first to leave Europe – and the first stage race of the Tour, which was always going to be interesting. The Tour of ChongMing Island is a flat one, for sprinters – and after all the big teams turning out for each of the Classics, the dynamics change, as traditionally there have always been big name teams and riders that have missed out China from their schedule. This is for a range of reasons – cost, for the small teams; sponsor priorities, for others; and everything from riders not wanting to risk food contamination, to the timing of the race, where a lot of top riders are taking a break right now, to recover from the Classics and look ahead to big season targets like the Giro and the Olympics.
Some people wish all teams were mandated to race all World Tour races, as a result, but I really disagree. I’ve loved the Classics season, but I also loved how, when stage racing started, the peloton has split, and there are opportunities for more riders and teams to shine – and ChongMing demonstrated this, although it does make me question the meaning of the World Tour – it’s not the best races in the world, but again, I don’t think that’s necessarily bad, especially as the new series format gave us significant media from the race, for the first time ever – in the past we’ve had to rely on Wiggle High5 for any visuals, with the maximum ever being short stage clips.
So without further ado, on to the racing! Photos on the UCI website, and more photos on a Chinese news site – and coming up, highlights, full race replay and Wiggle High5 team videos, in that order, with results and more from each of the three stages…
Stage 1, 139.8km