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
It’s a huge show this week with racing from four continents to cover, so we cover it quickly. There’s also some interesting news and articles that we manage to squeeze in, along with all the swearing and joking you’ve come to love. We travel from Britain to the USofA to Luxembourg to the Netherlands to Australia to South Africa and probably some other places too! (1:17:57 MIN / 74.83 MB)
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This week’s racing
(DEEP breath, there was SO MUCH!)
Video – results and photos on the Lotto Cycling Cup site, and Velofocus gallery (we love the photo of the Velocio-SRAM riders cheering for the podium). Race reports from Velocio-SRAM and Wiggle Honda.
Results and photos on the race website – and race reports from Boels-Dolmans, and on Lauren Kitchen’s site.
Kitchen’s great weekend continued in the crits…
You remember how in love with the Friends Life Women’s Tour I was, right? I podcasted all about what happened and what the atmosphere was like, and again in this ‘cast-interview with Clara Beard where we talked about our experiences working on races, from the “backstage” perspective – and I collated all the videos and STUFF I found from the race in this post on Podium Café. Well, today I’m nostalgic all over again, as the race organisers have released 3 videos that I love. Firstly, this feature from the ITV4 coverage, talking to Marianne Vos’ parents, Henk and Connie, and featuring their cat, Sjekkie
Hi everyone! After Sarah’s leave of absence to go be awesome with the Friend’s Life Women’s Tour she reunites with Dan to relive all the drama and triumph of an amazing race. We go over all of the events of every stage and discuss what this might mean for the future of women’s racing. In the face of crowds comparable to those last seen at the Olympic Games, and media coverage from the major news outlets, not just the cycling press, look how far women’s cycling has come in the two years since we started talking shit on the internet! (Not that we’re claiming credit, but two years ago we didn’t have this podcast and we didn’t have the Friends Life Women’s Tour either… draw your own conclusions). We also squeeze in some time to talk quickly about Chongming Island and the Tour of California and take a quick look ahead at the racing coming up. It’s a big episode but it’s well worth the investment. Don’t forget to check the links below because they’ll lead you to that rarest of all treats in women’s cycling… comprehensive video coverage! (1:20:28 MIN / 72.25 MB)
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For ALL the must-see videos of the Friends Life Women’s Tour check out Sarahs comprehensive post over at Podium Cafe (seriously there’s literally hours of video there).
And for the collection of Sarah’s audio interviews while she was on tour, check out this great post.
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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!
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:
If you’ve been following our women’s cycling podcast or my twitter, you’ll know that I am very excited about the Friends Life Women’s Tour, which happens this week, 7th-11th May. This is the first British UCI women’s race since the GP of Wales World Cup in 2009 – and the 2012 London Olympic Games showed us how exhilarating women’s racing can be on British soil!
And I’m also personally invested in this one, because I’ll be working at the race too – it’s very exciting, time for me to put my money where my mouth is. All the times I’ve complained about other races – it’s kind of scary, and I am very much hoping I’ll be able to be a success. So if you follow the in-race twitter and ticker, that’ll be me – please do feel free to send suggestions and criticisms my way….
UPDATE! I was excited anyway, but check out Chloe Hosking’s great blog about the buzz in the local communities – that’s superb, and makes me SO proud to be a part of this. Marianne Vos talks about the race in this BBC video (if it’s restricted for you, there’s a transcript too). Here’s an interview with Lizzie Armitstead that includes what it means to her – and another article in the Guardian about the race. And an article on Aussie sports site The Roar on the implications of this race….
Anyway! Here’s the race trailer – and how to follow the race below – both the daily tv highlights and as it unfolds in real time.