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….
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.
Last week I put up a post with the videos and links from Days 1 and 2 at the Track Cycling World Champs, and now here are the final three days, with even more amazing racing – the spectacular Points race, the Omnium, Sprint, Individual Pursuit and Keirin. There’ll be videos and links to photos and results, so read on…
The first medal from Friday was the Individual Pursuit, and in the bronze, two riders who raced each other through the Juniors – Amy Cure, who rides on the road for Lotto Belisol, and Ganna Solovey (who then had a steroid ban at aged 19). Guess who I wanted to win?
and then, the gold race – former IP World Champion Sarah Hammer, and Jo Rowsell, who’d already won a Worlds gold as part of the British Team Pursuit squad.
It’s been a a great couple of days from the Track World Champs in Cali, with all kinds of action – and it’s been strangely affected by the weather. Track riders are usually in these very tightly controlled environments, with perfect heat and humidity, but the Cali velodrome has a roof, but no walls, so there have been issues with wind that riders will never usually have to deal with.
I’ve got a collection of videos and links from the women’s scratch race, team sprint, team pursuit and 500m – and remember, if you want to watch the next three days live, here’s my guide.
I’m starting with my favourite race so far, and the first medal race of Worlds, the women’s scratch: