Hey remember that time a few days ago when Sarah and Dan started talking about all the Best of the Year categories that VeloVoices are going to be holding voting on this week, and it took them an hour to get through the first category? Well they’re back! And this time they’re determined to get through all of the other categories (including the two extra ones that Sarah made up so that she could fit everyone in that she wanted to) no matter how long it takes!
Look, we’re not gonna lie, this podcast is EPIC (that’s a technical term). It’s huge. It’s long enough to be a Hollywood blockbuster, but it’s got more plot, more drama and more action than your standard Hollywood blockbuster, so there’s that! How could it not be when we’re discussing Best Race Finish of the Year, Best Breakthrough Rider of the Year, Unsung Heroines of the Peloton for the Year, Unsung Heroes/Heroines Behind the Scenes and Step-Up Rider of the Year?
So many great and worthy nominees, so much to argue about! Make sure you’re stocked up on time and refreshments, this one’s perfect for that long drive to see all your extended family for the holidays. Here goes… (1:59:50 MIN / 109.72MB)
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And listen to, and read, our nominations for 2016 women’s cycling Rider of the Year.
There were so, so many fantastic racing moments this season, and it was especially exciting as we got more live racing, and long highlights, than ever before. In chronological order…
Peter van der Veen is one of my favourite commentators on women’s cycling – you should all be following him on twitter, and be checking into Cycling Fever for excellent stats and information about women’s racing.
On Monday 3rd October the organisation behind the Amstel Gold Race (AGR) announced a women’s race on the same day as the men and most likely it will also be included in the Women’s World Tour. Raced on the same day as the men’s race, it will no doubt be a great addition to the WWT with its challenging hilly course. Big crowds and with many media already there, it can be expected to get a lot of attention including TV coverage. It sounds like a success story, but if one looks beyond the actual race, one might see a downside to the story.
But first an introduction to the race. The race is not completely new, not only has there been 3 editions in 2001, 2002, 2003. There is also a race in May called the Boels Rental Hills Classic which is in the same area although it has not the same parcours.
Over the past years, a lot of people have lobbied for a women AGR, reasoning was that while the Dutch riders dominated the women’s cycling, they did not have a real platform to show their skills. As the Amstel Gold Race is considered the 6th Monument and the pinnacle of Dutch cycling, it draws a lot of media attention. However race organiser Leo van Vliet always made excuses not to have the race.
The most used excuses were logistics: it is difficult to have the same on the same day as the course uses a lot of climbs the same time; and economically, not profitable.
When asked by cyclist Marijn de Vries why there was no women AGR in 2015 Van Vliet replied women could race the sportive on Saturday implying that female cyclist were all amateurs.
One of my very favourite of the online women’s cycling fans is Peter van der Veen, who I’m sure a lot of you know from his twitter, and from all the work he does over on Cycling Fever. Here he explains the qualification system for the women’s road cycling in Rio 2016.
You might have heard riders and media talking about 2015 being a pre-Olympic year and thus very important in preparation for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. But whereas it for some riders it is more a matter of having a good season and a forming a good basis for the Olympics most other riders are more concerned with getting there in the first place!
As you might know there will be a Individual Time Trial and a Road Race in Rio. Qualification goes by nation meaning a nation gets a spot and can select the rider they want. So Linda Villumsen who is the current world champ ITT can miss the Olympics if New Zealand selectors decide not to select her. This can be convenient in case of injuries so they can appoint a different rider or in a situation like Marianne Vos who currently does not contribute to The Netherlands spot on the ranking but can get a spot on the road team in favour of one of the riders who scored a lot of points, say Kirsten Wild.
The qualification rules for Rio are at times difficult to understand but even more difficult is see where a nation or rider is in the qualification process. First I will focus on the rules. Every ITT rider also needs to ride the RR or at least be on the startlist, and this can be problematic for certain nations, but more on that later.
Qualification for the road race can be done in several ways