#WeWantRVVLive – telling the world how much we want to see the women’s Ronde van Vlaanderen

Update!  Since we all started tweeting #WeWantRVVlive, there’s been a development, and it’s good news!

Now, it’s not perfect – this stream is for subscribers to Belgian TV/telecoms/internet company Proximus only… so far!  But maybe that will change too, if eg a company like Eurosport buys the rights, and we can always ask them!

Is it because of the hashtag campaign?  Very hard to tell.  We know even a few weeks ago, the Ronde van Vlaanderen organisers and Sporza were telling journalists and fans that no, there wouldn’t be a stream, because of budget issues.  So it could have been a coincidence, and they’d found the cash and this just brought the announcement forward, or it could have been a response to the campaign.

But you know what?  It doesn’t matter!  There is literally no downside to women’s cycling fans coming together and showing that hell yes, we want to see the women’s Ronde van Vlaanderen live, and that there is a ton of demand for all women’s cycling races.

It sometimes doesn’t feel like much, to write a tweet, or a facebook message, or send an email – but together, our efforts combine, and we can change the sport!

So, please do tweet to the Ronde van Vlaanderen organisers, Sporza and Proximus, and thank them for putting on the stream, or contact them on facebook, instagram, or through whatever channels you prefer (find the links on their websites: the RvV, Sporza and Proximus – you may need to scroll right down) – and please do ask your local TV broadcaster if they’ll consider buying it too.  Use the #WeWantRVVLive hashtag, and #RvVwomen while you do it, and share and like other people’s social media, and who knows, maybe we’ll have more good news!

Now, for the original story…

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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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Take 5 minutes to help women’s cycling in 2017

It’s 2017, and a lot of us are really looking for positives, and one of the best ones I’m finding is doing something to help women’s cycling.  We can all do this – just set aside 5 minutes a week, get online, and you can make a difference, to your favourite riders, teams and races.  You can do this at lunchtime at work, on the bus or train – I do it in ad breaks, when I’m watching TV!

But the key is, even five minutes can definitely help the sport.  Whenever I talk to anyone involved in cycling, these are the actions they recommend, and they’re super-simple.  None of this is new – we’ve talked about a lot of this for years on the site, for example,  a few years ago, when Amber Pierce started her #ClickThruThurs initiative – but with the internet moving so fast, it’s always worth re-visiting.

Basically, the key is to take a little bit of time a week (or more!) to engage with riders and races, their sponsors and team media and thank them for what they do, and to share media that covers women’s cycling.  It’s so simple, that it almost seems too easy, but it really, really makes a difference.  I’ve got ten suggestions that I try to make time for whenever I can.

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The 2016 Women’s World Tour – media scorecard 1

This is going to be part of an ongoing series, looking at the media about the Women’s Road Cycling World Tour.  I’ll talk about the actual racing in other posts, and especially in the weekly women’s cycling podcasts, but I want to spend some time looking at how the series lives up to the promises the UCI have made about it.  And now the dust has settled on the first round of the series, the Strade Bianche, I want to look at how the World Tour compares to the Road World Cup.

Let’s start with what was promised.  The World Tour is a brand new initiative for 2016, an evolution of the women’s Road World Cup, going from 10 day races in 2015, to 17 races with 35 racing days this year.  It’s been much hyped this year, for example, in last week’s press release about the series, we had quotes from UCI President Brian Cookson:  “It will provide the perfect platform not just to grow women’s cycling around the world, but also to boost the profile of women’s cycling“, and Vice-President Tracey Gaudry: “Teams, riders and event organisers are all on-board, and fans will now be able to see the best female cyclists all around the world.”  It promises:

“All 17 events of the 2016 UCI Women’s WorldTour will benefit from TV coverage, either from live broadcast, live streaming or same day highlights packages.

In addition, the UCI will partner exclusively with IMG to ensure extra-exposure for the UCI Women’s WorldTour through the InCycle magazine show, which has generated a global audience of 18.68 million from 1,358 hours of broadcast coverage in 2015. Throughout the season, 12 shows of 26 minutes will each feature a sequence dedicated to the UCI Women’s WorldTour. This exclusive content will be accessible via http://www.incycle.tv and http://tv.uci.ch (without geo restrictions) and through the +35 broadcasters the magazine is distributed to on all continents.”

The trouble is, what we’ve seen from the first round, and what seems to be coming up for future races doesn’t match these promises.

Less coverage from the World Tour than for the World Cups

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2016 Social Media Jersey – March nominations thread

Welcome to the first month in the 2016 Unofficial, Unsanctioned Women’s UCI Social Media Jersey competition!  This is where we can share, thanks and reward the amazing riders and teams in the women’s pelotons whose fantastic social media makes being a cycling fan even better!

The rules of the competition are over here, but basically, if you’ve seen any social media (including blogs, twitter, instagram, videos etc etc) on riders and teams’ sites and accounts that you’ve enjoyed from 27th February to 3rd April, nominate them, and I’ll add them to the post.  At the end of the month, we’ll then vote for the winners in 3 categories – riders from the Top 20 (UCI World Tour) road teams; best team media’ and best non-World Tour pro riders (inc track, BMX, cyclocross, MTB etc.

You can nominate by sending a specific example of their social media into the comments, to me on twitter, or by emailing me at prowomenscycling [at] gmail [dot] com.  You can ask me any questions too that way, and it all can be as anonymous, or not, as you like – and if you want some places to start looking for rider media, I have a twitter list of women cyclists and teams, and Chloe Hosking has a list of road riders who blog.  Get nominating!

The 2016 Social Media Jersey – how it will work

We’re about to start the 2016 Road Season, so it’s time to re-launch the Unofficial Unsanctioned Women’s UCI Social Media Jersey!

Back in 2012, Dan and I ran the Social Media Jersey competition, to celebrate riders from the women’s peloton who helped us enjoyment of the sport.  Thanks to our amazing readers, we raised over US $3,500, which was sent as prizes to 11 riders who were voted the winners by so many fantastic readers.  We had a lot of fun, and ever since then we’ve been talking about doing it again, in a different form.

The Social Media Jersey does what the name suggests, giving us the chance to share content from professional women cyclists that we’ve loved, and to reward riders and teams for making following the sport so much more fun.

How it will work

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Podcast 2016 Episode 4 – Let’s Play a Game

Podcast logoIt’s a little over a week before the spring classics which means it’s the perfect time for us to catch up on some of the cool things we’ve seen this week. Sarah challenges Dan to a game of “Is this sexist?” and we also have a surprise announcement about an exciting comeback! There’s a whole bunch of laughs and some great stuff. Sit back with your favourite whisky and have a listen! (56:28 MIN / 51.7 MB)

You can also manually download this episode from our Soundcloud, OR get automated updates via our RSS here (PLEASE NOTE: Our RSS feed location has changed and if you’ve subscribed using our previous link you will possibly/probably need to update with the new link) OR from the iTunes store here.

Things we talked about this week

We’ll put up the rules for the 2016 Unofficial Unsanctioned Social Media Jersey later in the week – but here are the posts about the 2012 version.

We didn’t talk about this, but Sarah loved this:

https://vimeo.com/155497525

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