Dan’s sick this week, and could barely speak, let alone podcast, but there’s still been lots of racing, news and interesting *stuff* from the last week in the sport…. Here are all the links we would have talked about this week!
Last week’s racing
Videos: Pre-race, track preview, one-minute and longer highlights, and photo galleries on the EWS website and PinkBike, from practice and racing. Full results
16 year old Leah Maunsell won the u21 competition – here’s a video profile of her, from Kona:
We’ve had Stage 1, and here are the long highlights
I’ve got a lot of love for the Tour Series UK city centre crits. They’re always really fun, spectator-friendly courses, short enough to be able to walk round and get 100 different viewpoints, with racing that’s fast and furious. As you’d expect from SweetSpot, who run the Aviva Women’s Tour and the men’s Tour of Britain, they’re always organised so well, with tons to see and do alongside the racing – and if you can’t make them in person, they have hour-long highlights on ITV4 the day after the race, from 7pm/19:00 UK BST (20:00 Euro CEST; 2pm USA EDT; 4am Aussie AEST), which will stay up for a month on the ITV4 Hub.
While the men’s teams have 10 rounds in under a month, the women have 6, the Matrix Fitness GP series, at these venues:
One of the best ways to support women’s cycling is to turn up and cheer, showing the sponsors, tv companies and teams that oh yes, there IS an audience, and we want to see more! So if there’s one near you, head over, you won’t regret it!
The Aberystwyth round on 27th May might only have a men’s Tour Series, but it’s part of the Aberystwyth Cycle Festival, and there are tons of crits, including a women’s race that day (you can still enter!) so although it won’t be on the TV highlights, it’s still worth going for a fantastic weekend.
We were hoping to podcast this week because SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT!!! Good and bad and WOW DID YOU SEE THE USA NATIONAL CHAMPS’ FINISH??? but poor Dan has tonsils the size of golf balls, and can’t really speak properly, so he can’t do it. If you want to wish him lots of love and “get well soon” wishes, please do so on twitter – but in the meantime, here are the links from the last week in women’s cycling – we’ve got amazing MTB and road racing, and links that made me laugh and want to punch things, so pretty much something for everyone…..
Last week’s racing
Where better to start than with the first round of the 2015 XCo World Cup? I say this a lot, but Red Bull‘s sponsorship makes it really easy to fall in love with the racing, and there are tons of team and rider media and blogs that keep you there. You can watch the entire replay of the women’s race on Red Bull TV, and then we have highlights and team recaps…
It’s probably officially summer now in the Northern Hemisphere [looks out of the window, laughs] and that means CRITS! And crits mean racing we can watch, at least in the UK and the USA, so I’m here to tell you how to watch them. Welcome to the world of the Tour Series, the Milk Race and the USA Crits!
Firstly, if you’re not already a crit fan, why should you watch them? When I started getting into road cycling, with the Tour de France as the pinnacle, I was confused by crits. They’re only an hour long, they’re on the same course, surely they’re just bunch sprints following some heart-stopping crashes?
Well yes, kind of, but they’re so much more than that. There’s so much action in them, they’re all adrenaline all the time, and riders above all have to be clever and gutsy as well as fast. And they’re fantastic to watch in real life, so much to see, and with the Tour Series races I’ve been to, great road-side commentary to help newbies understand. It’s the same course for women and men, and there are usually a ton of support races, including for handcyclists, so if you turn out you can see a lot of cycling. Best of all, as I say, we can watch & follow them from all over the world, and at an hour long, that’s easier to fit into busy lives than watching the stage races.
(This is obviously UK/USA-centric, but if you know how to follow and/or watch women’s crits in other countries, please do let me know in the comments or on twitter, and I’ll write a follow-up)
Continuing with her special series of one-on-one interviews, this time around Sarah speaks with Guy Elliott from SweetSpot about the Friend’s Life Women’s Tour, what it was like to bring a major new women’s stage race to life and what the response has been like – including statistics about television coverage. With lots of detail about how the UCI rules effect race organising, and lots more backstage secrets. (1:22:26 MIN / 79.13 MB)
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This is a long one, so Sarah will be posting an article with the major points very soon – and if you’d like to know more about the Friends Life Women’s Tour, click through to their site, and check out the videos – and there’s lots of information about the Tour Series, and the Matrix Fitness GP women’s series on their site. Follow Guy on his twitter, and find out more about what SweetSpot do here.
The Pearl Izumi Tour Series is a set of City Centre crits, usually running in the evenings, in various locations around the UK. They’re a lot of fun to watch – as with all crits, short circuits, (relatively) short duration and fast’n’furious racing. 5 of the 10 rounds have women’s races alongside the men, making up the Matrix Fitness Grand Prix.
The women’s races are Stoke-on-Trent (13th May), Peterborough (20th May), Edinburgh (29th May), Redditch (3rd June) and Woking (10th June). I really recommend these races – click through the links for full information and timings – but if you can’t be there, you can follow the action as it happens on the Tour Series twitter, and with the Matrix-Vulpine team twitter, and watch the tv that’s shown the day after the races.
It’s on ITV4, and the Peterborough round will be shown at 8pm BST on Wednesday 21st May (21:00 CEST; 3pm USA EST; 12 noon USA PST and 5am the next day Aus AEST) or an hour later on ITV4+1, and I’m guessing that’s the same time for the other rounds. You can watch online as well – if you’re not in the UK, try with Hola or Tunnelbear set to the UK, or look for the channels via Filmon – and if you miss them, or want to catch any of the previous races, the tv programmes will be on the ITVPlayer for a month, via this page (again, non-UK folk can watch with Hola etc).
I’ll be in Edinburgh, cheering my head off with Matrix-Vulpine, so if you’re going too, gimme a shout, let’s cheer together! And if you want to follow me while I’m there, I’ll be tweeting, as ever, as @_pigeons_.
This week’s episode starts with Sarah claiming that she will beat me in an episode long bicker-fest. Cast your votes in the comments! (or don’t) Following that Sarah and I wrap up the Emakumeen Bira stage-by-stage and along the way Sarah makes a very bold prediction about who will win the Giro Rosa. She challenges me to come up with my prediction and then proceeds to pick it apart (in the nicest possible way). We also recap the Tulsa Tough racing in Oklahoma, the London Nocturne racing and the Woking race in the UK. Then Sarah goes on a massive love-fest for all things Downhill MTB which results in me begging her to promise that she will never, ever actually try downhill mountain biking, for her own safety and that of innocent bystanders and wildlife anywhere near the mountain at that time. I even go to the trouble of asking Swordpanda to illustrate why Sarah shouldn’t do it. (Spoiler alert: results below!) We also talk about Sarah’s new art project and how you can help to make beautiful art, and I briefly mention a great interview with Tracey Gaudry on the Australian cycling chat show, Cycling Central. Another jam-packed full of awesome episode waiting for you to press play. (1:19:09 MIN / MB)
UPDATE: We’ve also had confirmation from Twitter that Emma Johansson and Gracie Elvin will be on this week’s episode of Cycling Central, so Aussie fans make sure to watch it and we’ll point you towards the interviews when they’re available online.
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Things we talked about this week
This week’s racing
Sarah’s racing round-up on Total Women’s Cycling
The Emakumeen Bira
- Video from the start of Stage 1