Sarah interviews… Catherine Marsal, on her amazing career in cycling

Catherine Marsal is a legend of women’s cycling and French cycling in general. Racing her first Olympic Games at 17, becoming the first ever Junior Road World Champion, and then the first woman to ever be Junior and Elite Road World Champion; winning World Championships golds as a Junior on the track in the Individual Pursuit and in the Team Time Trial; winning the Giro d’Italia, and another of the (now lost) Grand Tours, the Tour de l’Aude twice; and becoming the World Hour Record champion… and much more.

After she finished racing, she was a Directeur Sportif for Team SATS, and then after a break from cycling to do a degree and work in business, three years ago she took the job of women’s coach/manager for the Danish National Team – which has, of course, included being team coach when Amalie Dideriksen became the 2016 Road World Champion.

We talked about her amazing life in cycling, the ups and downs, racing with/against Jeannie Longo, and of course, the incredible results of the Danish women, and a lot more.  Marsal is fantastic to talk to, and was super-patient despite technical issues in the call, and if you’re at all interested in how cycling’s change since the 1990s, the experience of young riders who become World Champions, or Danish cycling, please do listen!

Update!  If you prefer to read interviews, I’ve written up part of it, over here.

You can follow Marsal on her twitter, and on facebook.

If you want to see the videos of some of the races we talked about, links to the 2016 Road World Championships, the 2017 Ronde van Drenthe, and Marsal breaking that Hour Record:

Podcast 2016 Episode 6 – The Drama Llama

Podcast logoHi team! Even though Sarah’s been unwell this week she’s managed to return from the dead just to help catch you up on all the racing that’s been going on this week. We review the Omloops from last weekend, Le Samyn des Dames mid-week and the first two days of the Track World Championships (which have involved the presence of the Drama Llama). We also talk about a bunch of pro kits available for purchase and some really cool videos and articles from the week including several that focus on riders from ethnically diverse backgrounds, which is fantastic. As always there’s heaps to get through, so enjoy! (1:11:30 MIN / 65.4 MB)

You can sign up for free updates via the iTunes store here or via our RSS feed here.

Things we talked about

How World Bicycle Relief is helping bikes change people’s lives:

This week’s racing

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Videos & more! 2016 Omloop het Nieuwsblad, Evie’s Hour and Omloop van het Hageland

Such a huge opening weekend to the 2016 Road season – and we have videos, photos and more media from the races, and from Evelyn Stevens breaking the UCI Hour Record in Colorado.

Omloop het Nieuwsblad

As usual, there’s very little to see of the women’s Omloop het Nieuwsblad, which is a huge shame as it sounds like a great race. What we do have is a short highlights video from Sporza, with interview with winner Lizzie Armitstead at the end.  And here’s another interview with Armitstead from Felix Mattis:

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The start of the season – Watch & follow the 2016 Het Nieuwsblad, Evie’s Hour and Hageland LIVE

The women’s cycling road season starts with a bang this weekend, and we have three big races on – the Omloop van Nieuwsblad, Evelyn Steven’s Hour Record attempt and the Omloop van het Hageland (aka Tielt-Winge) – and starting the 2016 season the way we mean to go on, two of them are live!

Omloop het Nieuwsblad, 27th February, 123.8km, 1.1

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Bridie O’Donnell’s post-Hour interview – in writing!

Podcast interview logoLast week, Bridie O’Donnell became the first rider in 2016 to break the UCI’s Hour Record, and the first woman to break the record at sea-level since the rules changed.  I talked to her about it on the Monday, just before she headed back to work, and you can listen to that here – but because I know not all of you listen to podcasts, I’ve also written part of it up.  We talked for over an hour, so this is NOT a word-for-word transcript, and misses out a lot of really interesting things Bridie talked about, including her sauna protocol and a lot more – but if you want that, it’s all in the podcast!

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ProWomensCycling:  Congratulations!  Has it sunk in yet?

Bridie O’Donnell:  Yeah, for sure.  I think being on the back page of L’Equipe as the image de jour on Saturday, that was a highlight, and that probably helped make it sink in, that was incredible.

PWC:  When I spoke to you about the Hour, when you announced it in November, I was very anti-Hour, but you converted me.  I was super-impressed with the way they showed it – especially how they balanced it, and not trying to keep the crowd up for the whole time – did you plan that?

BO’D:  No, I think that was a combination of good commentary by Rick Fulcher, who’s very experienced, and obviously Anna Meares, who knows how to get a crowd involved.  It started a bit low key for me, when I got to the track, the sprinters were just about to start. By the time we started, the crowd was excited, but there was a bit of a history of the last time this happened in Australia it was a trainwreck, and even the organisers kept reminding me of that:  “Don’t do what Bobridge did”, no disrespect to him as an athlete, but that didn’t work from their perspective!

But I was feeling so relaxed, I made a joke in the startgate to the crowd “Please don’t judge me on my really bad start, I am not a track cyclist!” and they all laughed, and probably thought “This is alright, she seems quite relaxed, let’s just see what happens.”

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Live cycling! Bridie’s Hour Record & the 2016 Hoogerheide Cyclocross World Cup

Isn’t January amazing?  The racing never stops!  And this week we’ve got some big name events – Bridie O’Donnell taking on the Hour Record on the Adelaide track, and the final round of the 2015/6 Cyclocross World Cup, in Hoogerheide.  And yes, we CAN watch them live!

Bridie O’Donnell’s Hour Record

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Bridie O’Donnell helps Sarah fall in love with The Hour

Podcast interview logoI have to admit, I’ve never really been a fan of The Hour Record, but when I read that Bridie O’Donnell is going to be making her attempt at it on 22nd January 2016, in Adelaide, I had to find out more, as I am a fan of Dr O’Donnell.  So she told me all about it, including why it’s the perfect cycling challenge for a scientist, how much it will cost, and some diversions around other things she’s been up to.  It’s a longer interview, but I could have listened to Bridie talk for hours about this.

Listen to Bridie talk here (1:03:31 mins/61 MB)

 

 

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Bridie’s being supported in her Hour Record attempt by a lot of people, but especially Rod and Barbara Dux of Dux Dreams Foundation, Ben Young at Frank Green, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and Sport Scientists Dr Stephen Lane PhD and Ken Ballhause B.Sc at HPTek.  Check out everything they do!  If you want to cheer her on (in fancy dress!) then it’ll be at Adelaide SuperDrome on 22nd January 2016, and streamed live worldwide too.

Follow Bridie on her website, Instagram and twitter – and if you can think of a better hashtag for her Hour than #BridiesHour, please do let her know.  Her team is Total Rush Hyster, and Cycling Australia will be showing highlights of all the Subaru National Road Series races they’re competing in on their Youtube. And if you know an Irish piper who can play her in in Adelaide on 22nd January, please do let her know as well!

Bridie’s SISU Girls podcasts are available here, and if you’re in Australia, you can catch her as the resident doctor on Channel 10’s The Project tv news show.  You can also listen to my previous podcast interview with Bridie from September 2014, and Part 1 and Part 2 of her appearance on Osher Günberg’s properly pro podcast from December 2014.

I’m funded to do these interviews by my wonderful Patreon supporters – thank you so much!  I’ll keep you all up-to-date with Bridie’s progress here on the site.