On pitchforks, patience, demand, and the Tour Down Under

We’re at the first stage race of 2017, the Santos Women’s Tour, and it’s time for the first women’s cycling polemica of the season.  It’s a familiar cry, “why can’t we see more of the racing?”, with a lot of people going further, with “why can’t we watch live?”, and the familiar response that seems to chide fans for wanting more.  I have feelings about this, as you can imagine.

Let’s start with some background.  The Santos Women’s Tour (SWT) is a four-stage race alongside the men’s Tour Down Under – two crits, and two road races (one under 80km long).  It’s the first UCI road race of 2017, and has a great field that have been Down Under for winter sunshine, training camps, non-UCI races like the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic and the Aussie Road Nationals, as well as the UCI-ranked Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on 28th January.  It’s always exciting, seeing the teams in their new iterations (and new kits), and with the loss of the Tour de San Luís and the Ladies Tour of Qatar, the status has risen.

Now, although it’s nominally part of the Tour Down Under, they have different race organisers, though the sponsor, website and social media present them as two sides of the same coin – and the races are both owned by South Australian Government, which has used the Santos Women’s Tour as evidence of their commitment to promote women’s sport.  So it’s a surprise to see the men’s and women’s races treated differently.  The Pre-TDU People’s Choice Classic, the men’s crit that’s on the same course and day as the SWT Stage 2 Crit, for example, was streamed live, with two highlights videos on the Tour Down Under YouTube (one 4:21 long, and the 1:19 finish video), plus a “fan cam”, and 1:57 long winner’s interview, while at this point there’s only a 1:47 long video covering Stages 1 & 2 of the women’s race combined.  For context, compare that to the 1:34 video of the Undies Run at the race.

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2016 Vallnord MTB World cup – videos & photos, and thoughts about how the UCI shows MTB

The last MTB World Cups of 2016!  So sad to see the season end, but Vallnord was a gorgeous place to finish in – and of course, we can watch the full replay and catch tons of media and videos.  I’ll be editing more in as I see it, so leave me a comment or tell me on twitter if you find things I’ve missed.

All the results and standings from the 2016 MTB World Cup are on the UCI website – and I’ve also got some thoughts about the UCI highlights videos, and a bit of a rant about why they chose to promote DH as they do.

Downhill

The full race replay is here on Red Bull TV; and highlights, a few photos, full results and Atherton’s winning run on the Red Bull Bike report; Highlights from Trek Factory Racing:

Photo-essay on Pinkbike; lots of photos on the Vallnord website.

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On the 2014 Para-cycling Track World Championships

I really love track cycling, so I was super-excited that there was a Track Para-cycling World Championships this year, especially after I saw so many of the athletes competing at the Newport Para-Cycling Cup last year.  I’ve also been angry about this, because Newport was the first UCI-level track race for the para-cyclists since before the 2012 Paralympics, but sometimes you have to focus on the positives.  And it looked really good – two days before the Worlds started in Aguascalientes, in Mexico, on the UCI Worlds portal there was a u-stream link to live coverage from 2012, and an empty link to “live broadcast”.  It looked really hopeful, and I was delighted – if there’s one thing I want more of in my life, it’s tandem sprinting and track racing.

Then the competition started, and the “live broadcast” link disappeared, and I meditated on managing expectations, and took solace in the fact that the riders were saying there were cameras in the Aguascalientes velodrome, and that there were going to be daily highlights on the UCI youtube, as there have been for the able-bodied Track World Cups…  and then hope started to fade, as day after day, nothing was added, and today, three days after the competition is over, this is what’s on the UCI youtube (screenshot taken 9:15pm, 16th April 2014)

 

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Things I wish I didn’t have to write – live streaming of the women’s Road World Cup

This is one of those posts I wasn’t going to write, but I keep having this conversation over and over again, and a ton of people keep getting confused by this.

The UCI put out a press release last week about the women’s Road World Cup.  They’ve changed it online, but they originally said

In an unprecedented development for women’s cycling, all nine races in the UCI Women Road World Cup will be broadcast to cycling fans worldwide in 2014.

and along with their World Cup trailer on Youtube, which is all “Have you seen?”, “Can you see history?”, “You’ll see much more” and so on, I can see how this got translated by all sorts of people, including some of the top cycling bloggers and commentators, and publications like Cyclingnews into “live-streaming” of the races.  So as a result I’ve had a lot of conversations, and seen comments in fora everywhere where people have said “Isn’t it great?  We get to see the World Cups live!”.

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Podcast 2013 Episode 15 – All Riled Up

Podcast logoHoly fuck kittens/puppies/polar bear cubs, what a week in women’s cycling! It’s been totally fucking crazy. I mean really crazy, and it’s kind of got to Sarah and me this week. You can tell because we really do get all riled up. Languedoc Rousillon needs a good hard ranting, so we kick off with that. Then we rant California styles. Dan launches a new UCI ranked race for May 2014 and issues an open invite to anyone from the UCI to come on the podcast and tell him he’s wrong. After all that ranting we move into accentuating the positives and talk about a whole bunch of cool stuff. We especially want to mention Half The Road, the great documentary that Kathryn Bertine is putting together. Links down below, go donate now! We’ll wait for you to get back, promise. Now buckle yourselves in for some of the funniest ranting you’re likely to hear in the next hour and a bit. (1:15:21 MIN / 72.33 MB)

Click here to stream the world’s funniest podcast about women’s cycling

 

 

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Things we talked about this week

The Tour de Languedoc-Roussillon

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