Catherine Marsal’s amazing life in cycling – now in writing!

Catherine Marsal has had an amazing life in cycling.  The Frenchwoman was an Olympian at 17 in 1988, the first ever women’s Junior Road World Champion in 1987, and the Elite World Champion in her first year as an elite in 1990; struggling for a few years, then becoming World Champion in the Hour Record in 1995; winning the Giro and the Tour de l’Aude Grand Tours; working as a Directeur Sportif before retiring from cycling, and then coming back to the sport as women’s road coach for the Danish Cycling Federation.

She’s seen a lot, and I talked to her about all this, the difficulties of becoming World Champion at a young age, racing with (and against) Jeannie Longo, and of course, the amazing results of the young Danish women, especially in the last week, when 2016 Road World Champion Amalie Dideriksen won 2017 WorldTour #2, the Ronde van Drenthe, and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig won the GC at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, and then came third in WorldTour #3, the Trofeo Alfredo Binda.

Of course I think you should listen to my podcast with Marsal, but for those of you who prefer to read interviews, I’ve written part of it up below.

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ProWomensCycling:  It’s a little bit exciting for Danish cycling right now, isn’t it?

Catherine Marsal:  We are on a cloud!  Things have been going very well since the beginning of the season, the girls are improving so well, every race sees a new adventure, and I’m looking forward to every weekend, to see what’s going to happen next.

PWC: Did you expect that the Danes would do so well this year?

Marsal:  I was expecting – and hoping – that Amalie Dideriksen could express herself, and show her rainbow jersey.  Amalie is not World Champion by chance, she’s a rider who has being working so hard and getting results – maybe not always seen by the media, but she’s been progressing, and the World Champion’s title is something she had in the corner of her mind.  It was very important for her to win a WorldTour race in that jersey, and confirm to the world that she is the World Champion.

PWC:  She won Drenthe in such beautiful style – Boels-Dolmans rode the race so well, and she got into a break with some really clever riders, and just trusted herself.

Marsal:  She has such an instinct for racing, that is unbelievable for her age.  She knows how to handle a very tricky situation like that, and she has a very strong capacity to handle the pressure, and what we expect from her.  That will give her so much strength for the future. Continue reading

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Sarah interviews… Catherine Marsal, on her amazing career in cycling

Catherine Marsal is a legend of women’s cycling and French cycling in general. Racing her first Olympic Games at 17, becoming the first ever Junior Road World Champion, and then the first woman to ever be Junior and Elite Road World Champion; winning World Championships golds as a Junior on the track in the Individual Pursuit and in the Team Time Trial; winning the Giro d’Italia, and another of the (now lost) Grand Tours, the Tour de l’Aude twice; and becoming the World Hour Record champion… and much more.

After she finished racing, she was a Directeur Sportif for Team SATS, and then after a break from cycling to do a degree and work in business, three years ago she took the job of women’s coach/manager for the Danish National Team – which has, of course, included being team coach when Amalie Dideriksen became the 2016 Road World Champion.

We talked about her amazing life in cycling, the ups and downs, racing with/against Jeannie Longo, and of course, the incredible results of the Danish women, and a lot more.  Marsal is fantastic to talk to, and was super-patient despite technical issues in the call, and if you’re at all interested in how cycling’s change since the 1990s, the experience of young riders who become World Champions, or Danish cycling, please do listen!

Update!  If you prefer to read interviews, I’ve written up part of it, over here.

You can follow Marsal on her twitter, and on facebook.

If you want to see the videos of some of the races we talked about, links to the 2016 Road World Championships, the 2017 Ronde van Drenthe, and Marsal breaking that Hour Record:

2016 Road World Championships – videos, photos & media from the Road Races

We haven’t had a flat Road World Championships since Copenhagen in 2011, so the sprinters were rubbing their hands with glee.  We’d seen the Team Time Trials and the Individual Time Trials on the course, but how would the peloton take it?  Find out with videos, photos, links and results from the Junior and Elite women’s road races – so exciting, and some amazing moments!

I’ll edit in more as I see it – if you have media you loved, please do let me know in the comments or on twitter.

Junior women’s road race

Highlights and full race replay:

If you don’t want to watch the whole thing,  click here for the final 1.5km, for a textbook sprint finish – high-speed, perfect lead-out.  Keep going until the last group crosses the line, because that was a really cute moment – but whatever you do, make sure you keep watching until the slo-mo overhead, it’s perfect racing.  I adore the final lead-out rider, Chiara Consonni, cheering for Elisa Balsamo’s win before she’s even crossed the line – so confident!  And I really, really love the Italians singing along with the anthem:

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Australian Adventures! Sarah interviews Valentina Scandolara

Podcast interview logoVale Scandolara is a fan favourite for her exciting racing, and for her friendly and positive personality, and given she’s such a sunny person, it only seems right that she’s escaped the European winter to race in the Australian Summer of Cycling.  She told me how Italian bike clothing company Alé enabled her to set up her own team for the Bay Crits, what it felt like being in that final break in the 2015 Road World Championships and to nearly make it, and about her plans for 2016, with her new team Cylance.  This includes a bonus extra chat with Vale’s Bay Crits team-mate Julie Leth, who’s back from injury, finally, and just became officially Australian, having won the Aussie Madison Championships with Nettie Edmondson.

Listen to the podcast here, and click through to Soundcloud to download it, or if podcasts aren’t your thing, read the Q&A over here.

 

 

You can get automated free podcast updates via the iTunes store here (leave us a review too!) or via our RSS feed. (Please note, this is a new RSS, so long-time listeners may need to re-subscribe)

Make sure you follow Vale on her adventures with her twitter and instagram, and keep an eye on her YouTube for the very best rider-made videos out there.  And for more Vale, Read her Q&As after she came second on Giro Rosa Stage 3, listen to my longer interview with her from last January.   Vale’s 2016 team is Cylance – make sure you check out  their website, and follow their instagram and twitter too.

Follow Julie Leth on her twitter and instagram, and find out more about her team, Hitec Products, on their website.

Watch Vale win Bay Crits Stage 3, and talk about it after the stage:

Catch up with all the news, photos and action from the Bay Crits so far on the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic website, and video highlights on SBS Cycling Central – and follow the last two stages with the #BayCrits hashtag, and via the @SummerOfCycling twitter, who’ll also be keeping us updated on the Santos Women’s Tour.  There’s a lot more information about the Aussie January races in this podcast with Monique Hanley.

Vale went on to win Stage 3, and you can see photos here.

I’m funded to do these interviews thanks to my wonderful Patreon supporters – thank you so much!  If you want to join them from just $2 a month, there’s more information here.

Podcast 2014 Episode 5 – What’s the Capital of Delaware?

The-Unofficial,-Unsanctioned-Women's-UCI-Cycling-Show Hi everybody! This week Sarah and I recap the highlights and tragedies of the Omloop. We also ambitiously try to (kinda) follow Le Samyn semi-live while we record. We talk about the Track World Championships, including stellar performances from Kelly Druyts, Amy Cure, Sarah Hammer and more. We talk about Richmond worlds and a whole bunch of awards of the film type and other types as well! We get into a weird conversation about US state capitals and Sarah baselessly accuses Dan of lying, so of course Dan responds by accusing Sarah of lying about lying. See if you can spot who is telling the truth. Oh, and for those wondering, the Capital of Delaware is Dover, although Dan claims partial credit because there is actually a Wilmington in Delaware.(1:12:32 MIN / 69.64 MB)

Stream the trackiest edition of Le Samyn podcastery ever by clicking here.

 

 

Click here to sign up for ever (and free) in the iTunes store.

Things we talked about included…

The 2014 Omloop het Nieuwsblad

Some videos from the women’s Omloop:  two and half minutes each from Belgian news channel AVS which includes Lizzie Armitstead talking in English and Emma Johansson in Dutch – and from Focus WTV – and a minute on Sporza.  All of them feature interviews with Amy Pieters.  Please click through to show them all we love women’s racing!

and here’s a video featuring small team Isorex ladies, including Basque rider Irene San Sebastian, who came 11th.

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