Sponsoring women’s cycling leads to direct sales!

Yesterday I wrote about 10 ways we can all help grow women’s cycling, and in it, I talked about buying or using products that support riders, teams and races.  I said that I was sad that I couldn’t use Boels Rental products – but then my friend Nic replied to a tweet about the company:

It inspired me to ask my twitter followers to share things that they’ve bought, or used, because of the women’s cycling connection, and especially because companies have sponsored riders, teams and races.  The replies made me so happy, I wanted to share some them with you.

They include a lot of people who’ve bought bikes and related products, but they also cover everything from people making decisions about buying a pair of socks, or choosing  right up to a car, because companies sponsor the sport, and lots in between.  These are just a tiny snapshot, based on who saw my two tweets asking for examples, in around 24 hours, so it’s the tiniest tip of the iceberg of demonstrating how sponsoring cycling raises awareness and changes perceptions of a brand. What’s also interesting is how many people are still using products after the sponsors left the sport – in some cases, years later.

There were so many replies that I couldn’t include them all, or this post would go on for days – but thank you so much to everyone who shared these with me.  If you want to talk about this, or to share things to be included in Part 2, please leave me a comment below, or chat to me on twitter.   In no particular order…

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Sarah interviews… Stefan Wyman answers your questions

Podcast interview logoStefan Wyman has been around women’s cycling for years, managing his road team, Matrix Procycling, and in his role as Helen Wyman’s mechanic, soigneur and more in her cyclocross career.

Stef always has lots of opinions, so we took to twitter to give everyone the chance to ask him some questions…  which resulted in some really fun, and some quite tricky questions – I had a great time asking them all, thank you to everyone who contributed.

It’s a long interview, covering things like the state of women’s racing in the UK, why the team’s no longer UCI-ranked, how British women can get into racing and develop bike skills, Laura Trott, how we as fans can help the sport, and a lot more.

Listen to it here, or download it directly from Soundcloud.

 

You can get automated free updates for all my women’s cycling podcasts and interviews via the iTunes store (leave us a review too!) or via our RSS feed.

Follow Stefan on his twitter, and make sure you’re following Matrix Procycling on their website, twitter, facebook and instagram.  Stef, Steven Fry of M2 Sports Management recently took part in a Velocast round-table on the UCI Women’s World Tour, and you can listen to that here.

The British Cycling calendar starts here, and you need to filter it for road, women etc, and the British Cycling’s Women’s Road Series page is here. Stef says that the best thing women’s cycling fans can do is go to races and cheer, if you’re in the UK, check out what’s happening near you.  Stef’s recommendations of great races to go to include:

I’m funded to do these interviews, and most of my women’s cycling work, by my wonderful Patreon supporters.  If you’d like to join them, from as little as £1.50 a month, there’s more information here.

Podcast 2015 Episode 24 – How to Spell Cynical

Podcast logoG’day team! After our [insert choice of adjectives here] attempts at commentating live on Sunday we thought it was high time to catch you up on the rest of the wonderful world of women’s cycling. It’s been a huge week of racing and so we try to cover it all. There were 4 different world cups on over the past week. Vårgårda hosted the road disciplines while there was also MTB and 4Cross. Junior track worlds and more! (1:17:38 MIN / 74.54 MB)

 

You can also get automated updates via iTunes here or via our RSS feed here.

Things we talked about this week

We covered a LOT of racing – and you can see all the videos from the (deep breath) Crescent Vårgårda Team Time Trial and Road Race World Cups, the Val di Sole cross country and downhill MTB World Cups, 4 Cross and Junior Track World Championships, the Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley and the USA Pro Challenge in this lovingly curated post Sarah put together, along with results, photos, links and more.

We also talked about Amy Pieters leaving Liv-Plantur, and Stefan Wyman revealing how much it will cost to run Matrix Procycling next year, including implications of the new Women’s World Tour (if you missed that, we talked about it in last week’s podcast, with links in the post).   Want more Matrix?  Here’s a rider Q&A video by VoxWomen.

We didn’t talk about the Women’s Tour of New Zealand stopping again, but it’s over here.

Upcoming Racing

The Trophée d’Or is on right now until 26th August – here’s their website.

2015 GP de Plouay World Cup, France, 29th August – this will be streamed live, here on the UCI Youtube.  The race starts at 13:40 Euro CEST (12:40pm UK BST; 7:30am N American EST; 9:40pm Aussie AEDT) and the stream & TV coverage on France 3 and Eurosport at 15:30 CEST (2:30pm BST; 9:30am EST; 11:30pm AEDT) – here’s my full guide to following the race.

2015 MTB and Trials World Championships, Andorra, 1st-6th September – these will be streamed live, as always, on Red Bull tv – watch the women’s & men’s Downhill finals on 5th, and the women’s Cross Country on the 6th, via these links, and we’ll tell you about the other races and content nearer the time.

Boels Rental Ladies Tour, Netherlands, 1st-6th September – follow their twitter!

Tour de l’Ardèche, France, 2nd-7th September

Lotto Belgium Tour, 8th-11th September – check out their launch video and follow their twitter!

Giro della Toscana, Italy, 11th-13th September

Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta, 13th September

Chrono Champenois ITT, France, 13th September

On UCI races and the women’s road calendar – an interview with Stefan Wyman

Podcast interview logoThere’s been a lot of talk this week about the various races that have gained UCI status at short notice, and with it the chance to win valuable UCI and Olympic qualification points.  Various “surprise” races have appeared on the UCI women’s calendar since the 2015 season has started, and while it’s a better problem to have than the days when races would vanish with only a few week’s notice, it still brings problems.  I was interested to know more about the impact this has on teams, so I asked Stefan Wyman, the manager of British-based UCI team Matrix Procycling about decisions he makes about races, how these surprise impacts affect that, and more.

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How do you make the decision for which races to target?  I imagine there are issues of sponsors and so on, but what makes a difference? 

Stef:  Personally it starts with the selection process of riders. I get the right riders in for my team. A balance of ability, costs, attitudes, ages, ambitions etc.   Once I have the riders, I then speak with them about what races they’d like to do.  I add to that the races I “need” to do for sponsor needs, and between us all we come up with an overall planner.  Obviously, all of that needs to be done within the working budget.

How much do UCI points matter in the equation?

Stef:  UCI points matter. A lot.  Even more now given what we are working to over the coming two season.  So next year we will have “World Tour Events”, and to get into one you’ll need to be top 20 in the team ranking at the beginning of the year unless you want to gamble on a wildcard invite.  So we need to score 200 points, let’s say.  If we don’t, and we have to sign riders who have points…. and therefore maybe drop riders to balance the squad/opportunity/costs. If we don’t score “WTE” points next year, we’d not be in consideration for entry to the World Tour in 2017 as far as I understand it.  Points are essential.  So are opportunities to score points. Continue reading

Shirt week! How to buy 2015 women’s team kits

I do love my traditions, and one of them is running an early season voting thread to see which of the women’s top-tier pro team kits people like best.  This is what people thought last year, and I’ve just launched the 2015 peloton version here on Podium Café – click through and vote!  UPDATE!  And by popular demand, the voting post for the “best of the rest”! The posts are full of photos and videos of team launches and the kits in action, and the comments section has more kits people love (or don’t!) – but what if you want to wear some of the top tier 2015 women’s cycling team kits?  Well, here’s the simple guide to what’s available and how to buy it. Obviously it’s not all the teams, but if more teams open shops, I’ll definitely let you know.

(Want to buy 2014 kits?  I have posts about the Euro pro peloton, USA teams and UK kits)

Liv-Plantur

No team shop yet, but if you want this kit, they say it’ll be available soon – maybe sign up to their newsletter so you’ll see as soon as it’s up.

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Matrix Procycling

They’re a UCI team for the the first time this year, and while their first batch of pre-order kits have already sold out, they’ll be re-opening the ordering in March.  If you want a closer look, check out the jersey and bibshorts on Milltag.

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Podcast 2014 Special Feature – Episode 54 – Sarah interviews Christina Siggaard

Christina Siggaard is a 20-year-old Danish cyclist, who came third in the 2011 Junior Road World Championships, and 7th in the Junior ITT Worlds the following year, and after two years on Scandinavian teams, has just signed to British-based UCI team Matrix Pro Cycling.  We talked about how 2014 was not a good year for her, with big team problems that ended up with both her parents working for the riders – but she’s not bitter about it, has learned all kinds of lessons from the experience, and is looking forward to moving forward.  Including how she got into bike riding, what the cycling scene in Denmark is like, her favourite kinds of racing, her first team camp with Matrix, and much more. (29:00 MIN / 27.84 MB)

To stream the most Danish interview on this site (so far!), click here.


 

Sign up for automated updates from the iTunes store here or via our RSS feed here.

Follow Christina through her twitter, website, facebook and instagram – and of course, through the Matrix website and twitter, too.

Here’s Christina coming third in Junior Worlds in Copenhagen (full race video, in Spanish) and I’ve got videos from more of the races we talked about – the Ladies Tour of Norway

More videos from Norway in this post, and the 2013 Rás na mBan highlights, where Christina won the final stage and came fourth overall

I’m funded to do these interviews by my wonderful Patreon supporters, who enable me to do so much.  If you want to find out how you can support me too, have a look at my Patreon page.

Links to make you smile

In England it’s cold and dreary, in Australia it’s apparently far too hot, so we need some women’s cycling links to cheer us up.  Luckily I have some for you!  I’ll start with lip-synching, but there’s all kinds of things that made me happy this last month in here…

It’s team camp season, and just like they did in the stage races this year, Rabo-Liv set a high bar for other teams to reach….

while over in the USA, Lindsay Bayer is shaking it…

 

Same song, different version…  CX rider Ellen Noble had one of those embarrassing premature celebration moments, and Dirtwire made this video, showing how she vindicated herself.  Lovely interview at the end.

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