Sarah interviews… Guy Elliott, on the 2015 Aviva Women’s Tour

Podcast interview logoYou 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!

Listen to the podcast interview here (click through to download)

 

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

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)

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Sarah interviews… Chantal Blaak

Podcast interview logoThe 2015 cycling season has hardly started, but wow, Boels Dolmans are already the team to beat, with Ellen van Dijk and Lizzie Armitstead winning at the Ladies Tour of Qatar, Megan Guarnier winning Strade Bianche, and Chantal Blaak winning Le Samyn.  Blaak is such a huge talent – being part of the Team Time Trial squad that won the Open de Suède Vårgårda TTT World Cup last year, and then going on to win the Road Race, finishing the season with a gold in the TTT World Championships.  She’s one of those riders that epitomises Dutch-style Classics cycling, loving the rain, cobbles, wind, breakaways, and every time the race gets hard, so who better than to talk about the first Road World Cup of the season, the Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe World Cup?  She tells us what it’s like to race in Drenthe, how it was to win a World Cup and World Champs gold last year, how she got into cycling, and much more. (27:10 mins, 26.1 MB)

 

If you prefer to read your interviews, there’s a transcript of the first half of this interview over on Podium Café.

If you want to follow Chantal through the season, make sure you’re following her twitter and her instagram.  Check out her profile on the Boels Dolmans website, and follow their twitter too.

The Boels Rental World Cup on Saturday 14th March 2015 is one of three women’s races in Drenthe – starting with the Molecaten Drentse Acht on Thursday 12th, which Blaak won last year, and finishing on Sunday with the Novilon Eurocup on Sunday 15th.  Follow those links to find out more, and make sure you’re following the Ronde van Drenthe twitter.  There will be live streaming and tv of the World Cup on RTV Drenthe and on NOS.nl and I can give you all the details of following and watching live over here – and here’s the clip of Blaak at the 2014 Drentse 8:

Last week Chantal won Le Samyn des Dames, and you can see her beautiful long sprint in this Sporza video.  Her win at the Open de Suède Vårgårda World Cup was a gorgeous attacking moment, and all the videos are here.  And if you want to watch her as part of Specialized-lululemon’s gold medal winning team at the Vårgårda TTT World Cup and the 2014 TTT World Championships, click through those links.

I’m funded to do interviews like this by my wonderful Patreon supporters – thank you, so much, for everything you do

Five things that made me smile (including a podcast announcement)

It’s been a hard week, but cycling is still making me smile.  I started out with one thing, then two, and the list kept growing…

  • Big thanks to Bicycling.com for featuring my podcastery in their round-up of 10 podcasts to listen to on the trainer.  I’m super-flattered.
  • Related….  we’ve done a little bit of podcast-rebranding – the Unofficial Unsanctioned Women’s UCI Cycling Show will still be Dan and me talking (laughing, swearing) about everything we love about women’s pro cycling (Dan is taking a break until the road season starts again, because he deserves it) and my interviews with pro riders and people involved in the sport are now Sarah interviews… with a snazzy new logo that I adore – thankyou so much, Ben!  They have their own categories in the sidebar, but you can still get to them via the same iTunes and RSS as normal, and through the podcast section of the site.  If you want to catch up with previous interviews, here are all the ones from last year.
  • This is not flattering, but makes me laugh…
  • This is very flattering AND made me laugh

 

  • And this video is just gorgeous, and makes me wish I could do this too

OK, back to spreadsheets – thankyou, all my twitterfriends, and cycling social media types, for all being so awesome.

 

Happy New Year!

New Year’s Eve is that traditional time to look back at the year, and make plots and plans for the future – and in blogging terms, it’s always fun to remind myself what I’ve done.  So, some highlights from the blog, and things you may have missed from 2014.  I know it’s a bit self-indulgent, but hell, that’s what this time of year is for!

My most viewed posts of 2014

Unsurprisingly, the top 5 most-read posts were guides on how to watch live racing – in order, starting with the most views, how to watch La Course, the 2014 Cyclocross World Championships, the Friends Life Women’s Tour, the Commonwealth Games cycling and the Giro Rosa.  I put all my guides to watching racing in real life in my Live cycling section.  And if you, like me, are excited about the #WT2015, here’s their first video of the year:

The actual 4th place goes to a post I didn’t even write this year, but people keep finding (possibly through some of the more bizarre search terms):

How not to try to sell cycling clothing to women – and three companies who get it right

Number 6 on the list was another rant/rage-post: I am so sick of reading these stories, all about the frustration of reading  this article on La Bicicleta México, alleging Mexican riders on Estado de México-Faren weren’t paid, but to add insult to injury, also faced discrimination within the team and unacceptable treatment from team staff.  My heart-felt hope is that the UCI works out a process to support riders in 2015, so these stories become a thing of the past.

After that?  Shopping posts – lots of shopping posts!  Check out the Shopping section for gift guides, where you can buy team kit, cycling clothing for women who are XL and above, and a lot more – just check out the date they were written on, because some of the links are broken.

My own favourite thing I wrote in 2014

Continue reading

Support your local Sarah

Hi team, I just wanted to jot down a few quick notes about a project I’m pretty excited by. As you may (or may not) be aware, for a little while now we’ve been looking for ways to help Sarah get a little bit of steady income from all the work she does on women’s cycling. First off we added a few items that you could purchase in our Redbubble store. And now it’s come time for the next thing.

Now Sarah’s launched a Patreon account! If you’re not already familiar with the idea behind Patreon, it’s a site that seeks to help content creators (think artists, musicians, writers, etc.) connect with fans of their work and be supported directly by them in order to help them continue to create works.

Supporters (or Patrons) commit to supporting creators with a set amount per month (it can be as little as $2) and there are reward tiers and stretch goals and such. So please do take a few moments to visit Sarah’s page and look through the options. If you can afford to help support her, then THANK YOU SO MUCH from both of us (but especially from Sarah). And even if you can’t, if you’d help by sharing it with your cycling friends, rich relatives and so on, that would also be super, super cool of you.

As always, Sarah loves you anyway and wants you to win every single race you enter. Thanks! 🙂

Podcast Special Feature – Sarah discusses race social media with Clara Beard

Continuing her series of special one-on-one interviews, Sarah talks with Clara Beard of Tour Tracker fame about race coverage, the technology behind updates and the challenges of covering a race without live video to guide you. They talk about what it’s like to manage the social media for races and compare their experiences with Tour of the Gila, Tour of California, USA Nationals, the Friends Life Women’s Tour and the Edinburgh round of the Tour Series. There’s also (super mature, with NO snickering) talk of dongles… (1:14:21 MIN / 71.57 MB)

To stream the behind the scenes-iest podcast available right now, click here.

 

 

Subscribe for free in the iTunes store here OR via our RSS feed here.

Clara Beard is Ferncoyote on twitter – and Sarah is @_pigeons_ if you want to ask them any questions (or tell Clara she’s awesome!)

Clara was working on the Tour of the Gila, where she was doing live twitter updating amongst other things.  She also works for the Tour Tracker, most recently at the Tour of California and the USA National Championships, and you should install their apps, they’re great.  She’ll be with them at the Tour of Utah, so keep an eye out for that.

Sarah was working on the Friends Life Women’s Tour, running the live updates on the website and on twitter.  You can listen to her talk about the race on that week’s podcast, and see her photos from the Edinburgh round of the Tour Series on her flickr.

Discussing the way forward for women’s cycling

Dan and I have slowed down our Unofficial Unsanctioned Women’s Cycling podcast for the winter – but damn, there’s so much going on at the moment, I wanted to tell you about various discussions out there at the moment on how to take forward women’s cycling – starting with a podcast you can listen to if you’re missing the sound of my voice(!)

Velocast

The fantastic Velocast team have dedicated this week’s podcast to women’s cycling.  Here’s how they describe it:

The Velocast this week looks at women’s cycling by talking to Rochelle Gilmore, owner and manager of DTPC Honda, Matrix-Prendas director and the man behind the fans’ backed women’s cycling initiative, Stef Wyman, Heather Bamforth from the Biketreks women’s development squad and the sport’s uber-fan girl, Sarah Connolly.

Yep, that’s me!  It’s great, a women’s cycling podcast-documentary, and I’m flattered and honoured to have been included.  I love the interviews with Rochelle and Stef and Heather that explain how they developed their teams, and their hopes and dreams for the future.  Click through and have a listen – and check out everything else Velocast do on their website.

To find out more about things talked about on the Velocast:

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Emma Pooley

Emma Pooley’s one of the very best interviewees in the sport – and there is so much to love in her latest interviews, with Ben Atkins on VeloNation.  Check out Part 1, where she explains why she signed for Swiss team Bigla, and how finishing her PhD will affect next season, and her goal of the 2016 Olympics – and Part 2, where she talks about the Worlds, doping in the men’s peloton, running her first marathon, and how women’s cycling is full of passion and enthusiasm.  As always with Pooley, there is so much more than that – rants, calls for change, laughs, and so many great quotes.  So much to love in there.

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Amber Pierce – Continuing the Dialogue

Yeah, I know I keep talking about Amber Pierce, but she’s so passionate about the sport, and she’s always working on taking the sport forward.  She’s got a great new blog out at the moment on Triple Crankset, called ‘Continuing the Dialogue: women’s cycling’, where she lays out her ideas on how women’s cycling is different from men’s, and how she thinks women’s cycling could be marketed better, taking advantage of all the things that make the racing so exciting, and the personalities of all the fabulous riders.

This piece was written in response to ‘Women’s cycling moving ahead‘, an article on Australian cycling blog CyclingTipsclick through and read that too, because that’s really interesting too, from a different point of view.

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So many interesting ideas, and SO much passion and love for the sport.  And so many good ideas.  I really, truly believe that there’s a bright, bright future out there for the sport, and I think there are all kinds of things we, as fans, can do to help take things forward – starting with clicking through all the links, and showing people we’re listening!