This week has been frustrating for women’s cycling. There have been three big stories that demonstrate the difficulties the sport is in – but you’d never know that, from looking at the cycling media
Last Sunday was the Tour of ChongMing Island World Cup, where the result was decided not by great racing, but by a human error, when the last corner wasn’t marked, taking the peloton off course in the last kilometres and allowing an opportunistic attacker, Tetyana Riabchenko, to win solo. Reports differ as to exactly what happened (here’s the ORICA-AIS report) everyone describes it as an unfortunate mistake by an otherwise excellent race organiser, and of course the peloton may not have caught Riabchenko – but it’s incredibly frustrating that one of the rounds of the World Cup, one of the most prestigious competitions of the year, ends this way.
What a week! It’s the 1 year anniversary since we started saying dumb stuff on the internet! We talk social media jersey, Tour of California, harrassment, racing and all sorts of stuff. Not to be missed!
Well sort of. As it turned out, Sarah and I recorded this week’s podcast literally about an hour before the news about the Tour of Languedoc. Anyway, that’s all turned to 147 different shades of shit, so make sure to check out Sarah’s post to try and help us work out what the fuck’s going on over there. It’s a longer episode this week but that’s only because we’ve got a lot of ground to cover. Pour yourselves a strong whisky (or whiskey!) and settle in. (1:15:32 MIN / 72.16 MB)
You can also load it up via your Tunes of the i over here.
Happy podcast birthday! We’re one year old today!
Things we talked about this week
The Tour of ChongMing Island World Cup
Today was meant to be the start of the 6-stage Tour of Languedoc-Roussillon. This should be a UCI 2.2 race, and was billed at the beginning of the return of the Tour de l’Aude, which when it as cancelled in 2011, was one of only three women’s races allowed over a week by the UCI.
The race has a dodgy history. Last year it was cancelled just two weeks before it was due to start, but the organisers have been telling everyone it was due to go ahead this year…. until yesterday, when riders had arrived, or were in the air/on the road, when they were told it was cancelled. Then they were told to stick around because it *might* go ahead, or might be a shortened race…. it’s completely ridiculous. Yes, of course it’s hard to organise races, but it shows no respect at all to the riders and teams not to give them some warning, before they book travel, let alone before they arrive.
This is very important because the women’s teams don’t have enough cash to be wasting money on getting to the bottom of France, only to have to pay to go home again. And it’s key preparation for the only Grand Tour left, the Giro Rosa, and there aren’t other races to swap to. But it’s also important because of what it says about women’s cycling – and how the UCI and cycling media sees it. If you looked on the UCI’s website, or on Cyclingnews,
Velonation or Velonews right now, you’d find nothing about this – it’s not news. This is crazy! There are so many questions raised – like, what are the UCI going to do about the women’s calendar? Why do they give UCI rankings to races like this and the Exergy Tour, that are cancelled after the season starts, when there have been very clear signs that the organisations are in trouble? And yes, why will the news outlets go crazy about Wiggins talking about “riding like a girl” but won’t even mention that women are being prevented from riding?