Giro Rosa Stage 7 Q&As – Lucinda Brand, Anna van der Breggen, Sharon Laws and Valentina Scandolara

Podcast interview logoAs we come to the end of the Giro Rosa 2015, everything gets more exciting, as riders’ chances for stage glory or GC improvements get fewer.  Stage 7 had both, with climbing and a LOT of descents.  I caught up with four riders who took time out of their recovery to answer questions about their day, and how the race is going for them: Lucinda Brand, who won the stage with an opportunistic attack and riding 60km solo with a descending masterclass – making that two wins, two podiums and a day in the maglia rosa this Giro; her Rabo-Liv team mate Anna van der Breggen, who’s fighting hard for GC; Bigla’s Sharon Laws, whose team had very bad luck yesterday, but will carry on fighting for Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio’s GC hopes; and fan favourite Vale Scandolara, who tells us about life in the grupetto, and riding with an injury…

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Lucinda Brand

Congratulations on your second win of the Giro!  How do you feel?

I’m very tired now 😉. But of course I’m very happy with this second win.

It seemed like perfect tactics – make other teams chase while Anna could relax and climb
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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)

Sarah interviews…. Sharon Laws

Podcast interview logoSharon Laws is a fascinating rider, one of those who gave up a good career to race bikes, and she’s had more than her share of adventures since then.  Last year she was racing in the USA with UnitedHealthcare, but she’s back in Europe for 2015 after signing for the reinvigorated super–team Bigla, although her season got off to a bad start when she broke her collarbone in the Tour of Qatar.

She told me about all that, and more, and previews Wednesday’s Flèche Wallonne World Cup, with a great take on what it’s like to ride the Mur de Huy. (25:06 mins, 39.1mb)

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.

You can follow Sharon on her twitter, and find out more about her on Bigla team rider profile – and of course, follow the Bigla twitter too.  And you can read my previous interviews with Sharon from 2011 and from 2013 on Podium Café, and an audio interview with her from the 2014 Friends Life Women’s Tour.

The women’s Flèche Wallonne Road World Cup won’t have a live stream, but there will be highlights videos on the UCI youtube and maybe some highlights on the men’s race coverage.  I’ll follow the race live with my twitter list, which is the nearest thing to a feed, and I have more ways to follow the race in my guide.  You can find out more about the course, startlist, history and more on the race website, and on Velofocus’ preview.

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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2014 Podcast Episode 44 – You Transferred My Battlebike!

The-Unofficial,-Unsanctioned-Women's-UCI-Cycling-ShowWe cover all the latest transfer news and what the hell it means for all these teams. (Who’s going to lead what now?) And more importantly what it means for us fans (MORE EXCITEMENT!) There’s racing to discuss, with the end of the MTB enduro series and the beginning of the European cyclocross season. This week it’s Sarah’s turn to go on a rant! (I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn that it’s about para-cycling.) Also, we preview the 2015 racing calendar and declare it an early victory with more race days on the cards AND some very exciting looking new races to look forward to. (1:09:48 MIN / 67.01 MB)

To stream the transferriest (should that be transfurriest?) podcast of the week click here.

Or get automated updates via the iTunes store here and via our RSS feed here.

Links and things we talked about this week

The UCI road calendar for 2015 is here (you might need to play with the drop-down menu to get to the women) and UPDATE!  here’s part one of Sarah’s posts about it on Podium Café – with diagrams and tables, and comparisons with 2014.

Sarah’s collecting all the transfer news in a Podium Café post, and there’s tons of gossip, speculation and conversation in the comments.  This week’s big news was Wiggle Honda’s announcement that they’re hiring two-time Giro champion Mara Abbott and young British champion Anna Christian for 2015.  And Sharon Laws is another rider moving to Bigla

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This week’s racing

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All the videos I’ve found from the 2014 Friends Life Women’s Tour

There is so much coverage of the first ever Friends Life Women’s Tour (of Britain!) so I’ve made a post over on Podium Café, with the daily videos, audio and video and written interviews, and other stuff I’ve liked.  There’s tons and tons of it, and people will add things they’ve seen to the comments.

Check it out – and if you want to see the 5 hour-long programmes from ITV4, they’ll be up on their ITV Player for another month – head here, and if they’re geo-restricted for you, try them with Hola or Tunnelbear set to the UK.    This was possibly my favourite moment, though – the riders and incredible crowds singing and dancing on the Bury St Edmunds final day.  I loved this Tour, I wish it could last forever!

Friends Life Women’s Tour audio interviews

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: