It’s a huge podcast this week as there’s so much racing to cover and to look forward to! We first take a look at the Lotto Belgium Tour, Giro Toscana, Chrono Champenois, the Madrid Challenge, para-cycling and look ahead to all of the excitement of the road world championships in the USA. There’s some rum, plenty of swearing and hilarity going on as well. Sadly Dan ‘accidentally’ stopped recording just before Sarah declared herself victorious and so the episode title acknowledges his loss. (1:23:59 MIN / 80.62 MB
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Things we talked about this week
This week’s racing
Videos, photos and results from the Lotto Belgium Tour, Para-cycling Road World Cup #4 (Pietermaritzburg), Giro della Toscana, Molly Shaffer Van Houweling’s Hour Record and the Madrid Challenge are all collected in this post.
There was also racing in Australia, the NRS Amy’s Otway Tour (Great Ocean Road, wow!)
Last week was jam packed with amazing women’s cycling, and in the Netherlands it was the last Dutch race of the year – four tough sprinty stages, and ITT and then the final stage all over the glorious Valkenburg hills… all with the Dutch weather making the racing hard, and the peloton making it even harder with 1000 attacks. I’ve got videos, photos, results and more, so read on…
First the whole-race highlights – but there’s LOTS more from each stage too
Videos! Stage 1 winner interview with Jolien D’hoore – and watch the finish sprint and podium with second-placed Lucy Garner.
You might have already listened to my podcast talking about my experiences working on the 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour, one of the biggest women’s cycling events of the year – and we’re still on the same theme, because I’ve also interviewed Guy Elliott, who works for SweetSpot as one of the race controllers. We talked about the highs and lows of this year’s race, how it compared to last year, and Guy answered questions sourced from twitter as well. I probably laugh too much, and we definitely get confused about which breakaway was on which stage (sorry Stage 1 escapees!) but in our defense, we’re still in that post-Tour giddy zone!
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If you want to follow Guy on twitter, he’s here – and you can find out more about SweetSpot, who run the race, on their website, youtube and instagram. Of course, make sure you follow the Aviva Women’s Tour on their website, twitter, and like them on facebook (can we get them to over 5,000 likes?). Want to show their sponsors that women’s cycling has an audience? Click on the Aviva Women’s Tour partner page, and click through to each of their sponsors (buy some Soreen malt loaf, Adnam’s beer, or even a Skoda car, you won’t regret it!).
And I’ll link you to all the videos etc very soon, but in the meantime, here are the race’s own highlights, and the hour-long programmes from ITV cycling (available for around 3 weeks)
Sarah’s been off at the Aviva Women’s Tour and had an amazing week at the race. She catches Dan up on all the shenanigans and goings on. We also talk quickly about a bunch of other races that were on including Buka Europeans Champs, Giro Del Trentino and the interesting story of Carmen Small racing with the men at the North Star GP in Minneapolis. (1:17:02 MIN / 73.97 MB) WARNING: If you’re new to our podcast, do note that it’s a sweary podcast about women’s cycling. 😉
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Stuff we talked about
One of the best images from the Aviva Women’s Tour:
Sarah in her office this week (photo by the wonderful Balint Hamvas)
And a nice intro video (Sarah’s preparing a whole post of videos, never fear!):
Have you missed our women’s cycling podcast this week? I’ve been living and breathing the Friends Life Women’s Tour – and you can see what I was up to on the live blog and the race twitter, but I’ve also been doing audio interviews, and posting the press conferences. Listen to them on my Soundcloud list or click through to these:
Sarah talked to the 2011 and 2012 Junior Road World Champion Lucy Garner, about the challenges of moving from the junior ranks to the elite, racing with Liv-Shimano, getting competitive with her little sister Grace – and especially about what she’s feeling about the Friends Life Women’s Tour next week. Stage 2 will go right past her house, so make sure you keep an eye out for all her friends and family! ( 20:46 MIN / 19.94 MB)
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There’ll be a transcript of the interview at some point – watch this space!
You can find out more about Lucy by following her twitter, and checking out her profile and interview at Liv-Shimano. Make sure you follow their twitter too, for updates on her progress. Here’s her profile video
and a lovely video profile of her from last year, talking about how she got into racing and what it means to her
Here’s the video of her winning Stage 1 of last year’s Tour of ChongMing Island stage race (if you click through, you’ll find the videos from the other stages, which include her, too)
And more videos of her in action – coming second in the Molecaten Drentse 8, and third in the Dwars door de Westhoek and in the GP Dottignies this year, an hour or so video of the 2011 Junior Road World Championships, and talking at the press conference after winning the 2012 Junior Worlds.
And to find out more about Grace’s Junior Omloop van Borsele stage race, where she won every stage, head to the race website, and their galleries of photos and videos (look for junior vrouwen!)
Today we had the first race of the three Drenthe races over four days – the Molecaten Drentse 8. This one is traditionally the most sprinty – and here’s the little video:
This was Chantal Blaak‘s first win for Specialized-lululemon – and for British fans, a happy day, with Lucy Garner second for Liv-Shimano and Lizzie Armitstead of Boels-Dolmans third. Here are the full results; race reports from Liv-Shimano, Boels-Dolmans, Rabo-Liv, and ORICA-AIS‘, which is full of photos as usual; and photos from the always-lovely Velofocus. I’ll put up a post with more Drenthe videos, information and photos after the weekend.
Don’t forget we can watch the Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe World Cup on a nice un-geo-restricted stream on Saturday 15th March, from 14:00 CET (1pm UK GMT; 9am USA EST; 6am PST; midnight Aus AEDT) – my guide to watching the race is here, and you can read my Podium Café interview with Annemiek van Vleuten, where she previews the race, tells us how she asked for extra cobbled sections to be added, and more!