Following on from last week’s episode we round out our review of the 2016 season and talk a little more about how we think things will shape up in 2017. There’s been a fair bit of movement among the teams, with some really interesting new line ups. Can Boels Dolmans dominate again? Will they achieve the same level of winning as their astonishing 2016? Will some other team step up to challenge their dominance? What will Marianne Vos’ new team look like? And how will other teams find their feet? We discuss all of this and more, including the important new investigation from the Dutch federation. There’s lots to cover, just in time to round out the year! (Also, Dan wants to note that yes, he’s given this Part 2 episode a different title from Part 1 because he’s a lovable rogue who enjoys breaking conventions so you’ll just have to deal with it). (1:07:55 MIN / 62.19 MB)
Things we talked about this week included
DVV Trofee Azencross Loenhout, 29th December 2016 – will be live! 13:45 European CET, 12:45 UK GMT, 7:45am USA EST, 11:45pm Australian AEDT.
Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic, (the Bay Crits!) 1st-3rd January 2017, Australia
DVV Trofee GP Sven Nys, Baal, 1st January 2017 – will be live! 13:45 European CET, 12:45 UK GMT, 7:45am USA EST, 11:45pm Australian AEDT.
How to watch the cyclocross
You’ll usually find Romy Kasper racing her hardest as a super-domestique for top women’s team Boels-Dolmans, so it was fantastic to see her taking the chance to get results for herself in the 2016 Ladies Tour of Qatar, where her clever riding took her to second on the General Classification. But while she was happy with that result, she’s really looking forward to tomorrow, when the Omloop het Nieuwsblad starts the Spring Classics. She told me about loving riding in the wind and rain, hoping to get to race for Germany at the Rio Olympics and more.
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ProWomensCycling: What is Omloop het Nieuwsblad like?
Romy Kasper: It’s the first important race for me in Europe, and it’s a bit like a little Tour of Flanders – cobbles and short, steep climbs, and it all depends on the weather. It could be really shitty this weekend, so let’s see. I really enjoy all the Spring Classics, so I’m praying for rain and shit weather, and all the cobbles.
It’s only been a week, but so much has happened! This week we catch up on the final stage and the overall results at the Ladies Tour of Qatar, all the cyclocross action and Aussie track nationals. There’s an impending hour record attempt, and some discussion of “fractal nerdery”. We also talk about some amazing media we’ve seen, including some really interesting pieces about mental health. We take a look ahead at the racing starting in late February and early March, and take a sneak peek at what may be an incredible year of live race viewing! (1:03:43 MIN / 58.3 MB)
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Things we talked about this week
Two things we saw recently about how cycling can help with mental health and overcoming traumas. Meg Valliant wrote a piece on Liv Cycling about how BMX helped her recover from Post-Partum Depression, and Traharn Chidley is featured in this SealSkinz‘s #IAmEndurance video, talking about how MTB and fell-running helped her overcome domestic abuse – read more of her story (and get support if you need it) here. We saw this via conversations with Adele Mitchell and Chris Garrison about women’s cycling, media and advertising.
This week’s racing
The Ladies Tour of Qatar is always a fantastic spectacle, and although it’s really a pre-season race, it’s still important, not just for the results and the racing, but also for the hints it gives us about the season to come. And this year, with Stage 1 taking in the circuit that’s going to be the 2016 Road World Championships, it’s more interesting than ever. It’s too early to make definitive calls about what the 2016 teams will be like, but still, there were lots of things the race showed me – and if you’ve got more you want to add, let me know in the comments. If you didn’t get to follow the race, Dan and I podcasted about the first three stages here, and I’ve got daily collections of the video, media, results and race reports:
It IS possible to beat Kirsten Wild in Qatar
Kirsten Wild is the acknowledged queen of Qatar, coming into the race with 9 stage wins and 3 General Classification gold jerseys – check out how she’s dominated the race in 2013 and 2014. This is your average Wild approach to Qatar (she’s the tall rider in white, the only rider from her team in the break – she did this for about 3 stages in a row in 2013):
Yesterday was the final stage of the Ladies Tour of Qatar, in what was the most open iteration of this race I can remember. I loved all the “Kirsten Wild stomps all over Qatar” years, of course, but this year, with a different winner every day, and 3 GC leaders in 3 days, made me very happy. Dan and I podcasted about how great the first three stages were, and Stage 4 was another great example of why this was so good. Gone were the desert winds, instead laps around the Doha Corniche, on the bay, a stage finish we’ve seen 4 times before. Each time it ended in a bunch sprint, and the only time Wild hasn’t won it, she wasn’t there. But it still felt like anything could happen, and it still was a super-exciting stage, with that battle between the bunch-sprint teams and the opportunists, with Canyon-SRAM defending the GC, teams like UnitedHealthcare, Cylance and Wiggle High5 determined to get some glory, and Boels Dolmans and ORICA-AIS happy with their stage wins, but definitely not stopping there. Let’s start with the last 30 mins of TV…
We’re back just in time to discuss all the racing and hour record attempts that have happened since last time we spoke. There’s cyclocross world championships (and controversies), there’s track action (tracktion? – bet nobody’s ever made that pun before) and there’s the beautiful windy deserts of Qatar!
This week it sounds a bit like the sands from Qatar were caught in Sarah’s mic, but we blame that squarely on something in the last skype update. Apologies for the sometimes dodgy audio quality, we did our best! (58:20 MIN / 54.32 MB)
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Things we talked about this week
Don’t miss Sarah’s great interview with Bridie O’Donnell about her Hour World Record. Also in text now!
Here’s the complete roundup of all the highlights from the U23 and Elite Women’s World Cyclocross Championships.
Sarah’s got some thoughts about the controversy surrounding Femke van den Dreissche and the doctored bike.
Don’t forget to vote in the poll for your favourite kit in the 2016 peloton!
Catch up on the Ladies Tour of Qatar with Stage 1 highlights; Stage 2 highlights; and Stage 3 highlights here.
Yesterday’s Stage 2 of the Ladies Tour of Qatar was a masterclass in why we love this race, but today’s Stage 3 showed us another, equally fabulous, way to race it, with the winds getting over 40 kph, and the first breakaway going at kilometre 3! Just so much excitement, and it’s even better because we get to see the race as it happens, and then get a ton of media to love after each stage. Here’s my collection of video, photos, reports and more – and if you see things I’ve missed, please do tell me in the comments or on twitter.
Tomorrow’s the final stage, and if you, like me, can’t wait to watch it, here’s my guide.
I have about 100 favourite riders, all equal, but one of my (100) favourite things about women’s cycling is watching Ellen van Dijk attack (like this!). She talks about how that went, and about winning