Stefan Wyman has been around women’s cycling for years, managing his road team, Matrix Procycling, and in his role as Helen Wyman’s mechanic, soigneur and more in her cyclocross career.
Stef always has lots of opinions, so we took to twitter to give everyone the chance to ask him some questions… which resulted in some really fun, and some quite tricky questions – I had a great time asking them all, thank you to everyone who contributed.
It’s a long interview, covering things like the state of women’s racing in the UK, why the team’s no longer UCI-ranked, how British women can get into racing and develop bike skills, Laura Trott, how we as fans can help the sport, and a lot more.
Listen to it here, or download it directly from Soundcloud.
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Follow Stefan on his twitter, and make sure you’re following Matrix Procycling on their website, twitter, facebook and instagram. Stef, Steven Fry of M2 Sports Management recently took part in a Velocast round-table on the UCI Women’s World Tour, and you can listen to that here.
The British Cycling calendar starts here, and you need to filter it for road, women etc, and the British Cycling’s Women’s Road Series page is here. Stef says that the best thing women’s cycling fans can do is go to races and cheer, if you’re in the UK, check out what’s happening near you. Stef’s recommendations of great races to go to include:
I’m funded to do these interviews, and most of my women’s cycling work, by my wonderful Patreon supporters. If you’d like to join them, from as little as £1.50 a month, there’s more information here.
There’s been a lot of talk this week about the various races that have gained UCI status at short notice, and with it the chance to win valuable UCI and Olympic qualification points. Various “surprise” races have appeared on the UCI women’s calendar since the 2015 season has started, and while it’s a better problem to have than the days when races would vanish with only a few week’s notice, it still brings problems. I was interested to know more about the impact this has on teams, so I asked Stefan Wyman, the manager of British-based UCI team Matrix Procycling about decisions he makes about races, how these surprise impacts affect that, and more.
How do you make the decision for which races to target? I imagine there are issues of sponsors and so on, but what makes a difference?
Stef: Personally it starts with the selection process of riders. I get the right riders in for my team. A balance of ability, costs, attitudes, ages, ambitions etc. Once I have the riders, I then speak with them about what races they’d like to do. I add to that the races I “need” to do for sponsor needs, and between us all we come up with an overall planner. Obviously, all of that needs to be done within the working budget.
How much do UCI points matter in the equation?
Stef: UCI points matter. A lot. Even more now given what we are working to over the coming two season. So next year we will have “World Tour Events”, and to get into one you’ll need to be top 20 in the team ranking at the beginning of the year unless you want to gamble on a wildcard invite. So we need to score 200 points, let’s say. If we don’t, and we have to sign riders who have points…. and therefore maybe drop riders to balance the squad/opportunity/costs. If we don’t score “WTE” points next year, we’d not be in consideration for entry to the World Tour in 2017 as far as I understand it. Points are essential. So are opportunities to score points. Continue reading
Hi team! This week Sarah goes totally meta as we talk Giro Trentino, mountain biking in Valloire, a bunch of rule changes for track and cyclocross and more blogs, videos and rap battles than you can poke a stick at. (The rap battles might be a lie). We also talk a bit about the recent types of innovative footage we’ve seen generated and how we think that can benefit the sport over time. Sarah also comes up with a guaranteed money-making scheme which involves cycling related BDSM… Dan sincerely wishes she hadn’t. It’s a cracking episode and you’re sure to enjoy (or be punished by Mistress Sarah)! As always, don’t forget to check the links, videos and stories below for even more women’s cycling goodness, including trackstands and sly grins! (1:11:29 MIN / 68.63 MB)
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Links to all the things we talked about this week, and lots we didn’t get around to….
We loved this video of Tiffany Cromwell talking trackstands while demonstrating one
Last week’s racing
ORICA-AIS report and photos of the lovely Valentina Scandolara’s win. Follow her on twitter – and smile at this podium shot!
Hi everyone! This week we race the clock to try and cover all the racing we saw during the week. After a couple of slow weeks, it’s back to full tilt with the Boels Rentals Hills Classic, Gooik, Philadelphia, the Marianne Vos Classic, Edinburgh’s round of the Tour Series, Grand Prix de Plumelec and lots more. There’s also a bunch of great blogs, videos, podcasts and stuff too. Even with all of that going on there’s time for Sarah to prove that she knows US geography like (literally) nobody else! Somehow we manage to keep it under an hour without skimping on the laughs, the bickering or the swearing so strap on your headphones and enjoy! (57:09 MIN / 54.87 MB) Don’t forget to tip your waitstaff!
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Nice little Specialized-lululemon video – Evie Stevens gives top tips on the post-race interviews, and how to podium kiss, and Tiffany Cromwell demonstrates the proper use of podium bubbly
This week’s racing
Sarah’s photos on her flickr.
The tv coverage of the Edinburgh round of the Tour Series, and all the tv coverage of the other races so far – an hour for each programme, each available for 30 days after the race (geo-restricted to the UK – but you can see them from elsewhere with Hola or Tunnelbear set to the UK). MASSIVE THANKS to Matrix-Vulpine for letting Sarah hang out with them!
It’s Monday, so time for some racing videos and links from the world of women’s cycling, including road, cyclocross, track, a bit of MTB and some random stuff I’ve liked.
The first UCI race of the season has already happened, with daily streams and great coverage across social media. The results are all here, and there are photos on facebook – Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, Stage 4 and Stage 5
This week Sarah and I talk our way through the Vårgårda races, TTT and road (they were excellent!). We also discuss some interesting details on funding women’s cycling that came from Stef Wyman and why it’s a good thing to shift the nature of conversation around funding teams to how much can be achieved (and quite cheaply!). We also talk about cool things we’ve seen around the web, like the Wheel Women and the Mastering the Road projects. (1:11:52 MIN / 68.99 MB)
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Things we talked about this week
I’ve always wondered how much we’ve talking about, when women’s cycling teams talk about sponsorship etc. I’ve heard that an top-level women’s team cost about €300k, or the very top level teams are €400k, so I was very interested to read this article on Cycling Weekly, where Matrix Fitness Racing Academy DS/owner/manger Stefan Wyman talks about how much it cost to run a women’s team. I’m going to interview Stef over the weekend, but in the meantime, check out these figures, and if you know any companies pass them on!