Big thanks!

It was a crazy long weekend of women’s cycling – amazing racing on the road and MTB, all over the place.  I wrote about the action on Total Women’s Cycling, but I wanted to post a ‘thankyou’ post.  I’ve been struggling with my fan-motivation for the last few weeks – there was just so much bad news everywhere, and that really got me down.  But then, this weekend!  So much superb racing – and getting to enjoy it with an online community of fans, including watching riders on twitter having a great time and congratulating each other too – it reminded me exactly why I love the sport.

So, in no particular order….

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How to follow the 2013 ChongMing Island World Cup

On Saturday Sunday 12th May, it’s the fifth round of the UCI Road World Cup, the Tour of ChongMing Islandin China.  This is a race on the long, wide, flat roads of ChongMing Island in the Yangtze river, connected to Shanghai by the beautiful bridge and tunnel, and the race uses both.

It’s very definitely a race for the sprinters.  The “mountains” point comes when they ride up the ramp onto the bridge, and the roads have meant while riders have dropped off the back, and there can be echelon-ing, it ends up in a bunch sprint.  It is usually very rainy, though, and the wind can make it a very tough race indeed – certainly no easy ride, this one!

The website is mostly in Chinese, and google translate hates that, but there’s some information on the parcours in English in this report of the press conference (google translated into English) – but if you want some more on the race, Melissa Hoskins has a race preview on the ORICA-AIS website of the World Cup and and the Tour of ChongMing Island stage race, which ran 8th-12th May.  Because the Island isn’t a large one, the stage race runs on a lot of the same roads.  Here’s the video we’ve had of that so far, and much more info below the jump:

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Stories from the Flèche Wallonne Femmes

Team Hitec, before the Flèche Wallonne

Hitec before the Flèche Wallonne – Sarah Connolly

I was so incredibly lucky to spend the 2013 women’s Flèche Wallonne with the fantastic Hitec Products UCK.  I’ve got some stories and galleries of photos about my adventures on Podium Cafépart 1 is all about the race preparations, and part 2 is about seeing the race from the team car, and the post-race experience.  You can also see more of my photos on flickr, and listen to Dan and me talk about it on our podcast.

For other people’s views of the race, Jane Aubrey reported on it for Cyclingnews and CJ Farquharson has a race report and photos on her womenscycling.net, and more photos on CJFoto and on Cyclingnews.  There are team reports from ORICA-AIS, Argos-Shimano, a blog by Loren Rowney on the Specialized-lululemon site, a blog by Ashleigh Moolman on her first World Cup podium, and a blog about his first time at a women’s pro race from the head of Wiggle, Humphrey Cobbold.

And of course, there are videos – here are all the ones I’ve found so far.  I’ll be posting interviews with Hitec riders next week – keep an eye out on the Podium Café women’s section.  Massive, huge, enormous thanks to Karl Lima, Hitec’s manager, for organising such an amazing time – I loved every moment, and appreciate it totally!

Edit!  Here are the first interviews – with Hitec’s Elisa Longo Borghini and Lotto-Belisol‘s Ashleigh Moolman, after the podium results – on Podium Café here.  And here’s my interview with Rachel Neylan, on the race, and triumphing over adversity to win silver at Worlds.

Edit again! And my interview with Cecilie Gotaas Johnsen

How to watch the women’s Ronde van Vlaanderen 2013

The Ronde van Vlaanderen is such an important race on the women’s calendar – and it’s one of the races pretty much every woman in the peloton wants to win.  It’s iconic, historic, super-difficult, and very, very special.  It’s also the 10th edition of the women’s race and the third round of the Road World Cup – so teams and riders will be planning and preparing and dreaming of their Flanders ride, right now.

People have been asking me how they can watch this race, and I’ve got some bad news to start with – there’s no live tv, and if past years are anything to go by, it’ll be very, very limited video coverage.  Belgian tv station Sporza should show some short highlights of it after the men’s race (maybe before the men’s podium ceremony, maybe afterwards) – and this will be on their videozone after the race.  In some years, they’ve cut to the women’s finish-line live in the men’s coverage, but don’t get your hopes up too much.

There will be a 5-minute highlights video in English going up on the UCI’s youtube account on the night of the race, and a few weeks later, there will be a 25 minute World Cup film, that will have RvV and another race (this might turn up on tv channels like Europsport, too).  There may be short highlights on various European tv channels soon after the race – Dutch NOS, for example – and depending on how Marianne Vos does, there could be something about the race on the Rabosport youtube.

Yes, I know – there should be a lot more than this – so if you want to take 5 minutes and email or tweet the tv station who shows cycling, the race, the UCI, or anyone you want, and tell them you want more, I’m sure it can only do good.

So, how DO I follow the race?

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Podcast Episode 21 – 2012 Sic Transit Gloria

Well this week Sarah and I reveal our highlights (and some lowlights) of the 2012 season. We try not to get too down about the lowlights, or the fact that the season has ended. Instead we look ahead to transfers and the unique charms of the off-season (that’s code for ‘cross). Anyway, it’s a bloody good episode and well worth the listen, so go on, have a listen. (1:04:40MIN / 62.08MB)

To stream it, click here.

 

 

If you prefer your podcastery to come from the safe-haven of all things Apple, then visit the iTunes page here!

Things we talked about in this podcast:

  • Sarah’s favourite photo of one of her favourite moments – Sharon Laws on the British National Championships podium (photo by Sarah):

Champagne fun!

Celebrating social media – part 3 – twitter!

Twitter is a tool that has revolutionised how we follow women’s cycling.  It started with Liz Hatch, the early adopter, and (I think) the first to share race information with fans this way – and damn, we loved it! When HTC sponsored Highroad, and all the team got snazzy phones, we started to see the interactions between riders – and now it’s grown so much that twitter is the first place to go for information, and we can follow all the action as it happens on the road.  So part 3 of this little series is on some of the riders I love to follow on twitter – and some tips, at the bottom, for how to use twitter to follow races.  And as always, this is just a selection – I’ve already mentioned some of the best in my post on bloggers, and I’ve got plans for others later in this series – but if you think I’ve missed anyone out, be sure to tell me in the comments – or, of course, on twitter!

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