The 2016/17 cyclocross season has been an amazing one for Ellen Noble, the 21-year-old American rider who not only won the U23 Cyclocross World Cup series (and came 6th overall in the elite women’s series), but finished the season coming second in the U23 Cyclocross World Championships, with some incredible descending skills.
She tells me all about how it’s been, what’s helped her get here, and where she wants to go next, with a lot more – including how she felt when the USA cycling media said there was no chance of an American getting onto the podium at the U23 Worlds! Listen to our interview here:
You can find out more about Ellen on her website, and follow her adventures on her twitter, her instagram and her facebook. Ellen’s teams are Aspire Racing in cyclocross, and she’ll race the 2017 road season with Colavita Bianchi.
Watch the videos of the women’s races at the 2017 Cyclocross World Championships – both the U23 and elite races are some of the best you’ll ever see!
Big thanks to my wonderful Patreon supporters, who fund me to do this kind of thing.
A huge weekend of racing, with so much action – and we’ve got video – highlights from the Junior and U23 women, the full race replay from the elite women, and lots more photos, backstage and more media.
SO MUCH DRAMA! in this race – it was just crazy, especially that fight for third. The full race replay is here on Red Bull TV, and we’ve also got race highlights from the UCI – and I love this video from behind the finish-line, showing what happens after a win!
This weekend was very busy on the road, but off it, it was two huge competitions – the 2016 BMX World Championships, and Round 3 of the 2016 Cross Country MTB World Cup, La Bresse. And thanks to Red Bull TV, we got to see the finals live – and have a whole swathe of videos and other media to watch. Here’s what I loved…
Such a stunning course, and such exhilarating racing – drama right up to the end, and tons of media. We started with this Red Bull Bike video course preview, with legend Gunn-Rita Dahle Flesjå‘s point of view, and had this PinkBike gallery from the practice, and then went on to the finals. Here’s the full race replay on Red Bull TV, and the highlights from the UCI:
Obviously, one of the biggest stories from the 2016 Cyclocross World Championships was Femke van den Driessche being caught with a motorised bike. Of course she’s denying it (along the lines of “I sold the bike to a friend, who motorised it, and it weirdly got added to my bikes in the pits but it was nothing to do with me” – click the link, or if you understand Dutch, this video, or this video in English), and there’s a great couple of summaries about the case so far on Ella Cycling Tips and inrng, who sets out the rules and possible next steps. I am gutted for all the u23 riders who rode their hearts out in a wonderful, historic race, the first time there’s been more than one category for the women riders. But I’m also gutted, because when teenagers are done for doping or cheating, it always makes me really worry about them.
I should stress, I’m not saying teenagers aren’t culpable for their own actions, but I think about when I was 19, and passionate about achieving things, and made some of those mistakes that are part of growing up. And I’m glad I was brought up to think for myself, and have an education in critical thinking – but I know that’s luck, too. I can totally understand how kids fall under the sway of a charismatic coach or an overbearing parent – and I also can’t help remembering the stories of Genèvieve Jeanson and other riders, whose coaches doping them was just the tip of an awful iceberg. I’m not saying that’s happening here at all, but that’s an extreme example of how sometimes riders who dope can also be victims.
I was going to make a mega-post, but really, there’s so much content coming out of the 2015 Mountain bike and Trials World Championships, in Vallnord, Andorra, that I’m going to have to split my post into (at least!) two. So this post covers Days 1 to 4, including the Cross Country MTB Eliminator and Relay finals, the Trials quarter- and semi-finals, and the Junior and u23 Cross Country finals. It’s been fantastic racing, and it’s not going to stop – here’s a reminder of how to watch the elite women’s and men’s Cross Country and Downhill Finals on 5th and 6th September, with the rest of the race schedule and how to follow everything else…
Here’s Claudio Caluori’s helmetcam preview of the course. They had an unfortunate power cut, so the full race replay video has a LONG period of nothing in it – the races start again after the gap at 1:37:15:
The finals start from 3:30:41 (watch here) or you can just watch the UCI women’s highlights & Vallnord’s Day 1 highlights, with some (men’s) Trials and the XCE
Oh August! Three live women’s cycling races to watch this week – in the USA, the Tour of Utah stage race and the Windham MTB World Cup, and in Tartu, Estonia, the European Junior & u23 Road Championships. And we can watch ALL of them live! I’ll tell you all about how, but first, if you have a couple of few pounds/dollars/Euros, can you think about sending them here?
British cyclist Hannah Walker (you might remember her from this Adidas #MyGirls tv campaign) and her Team WNT rode the Ride London 100 on Sunday to raise money for the Anthony Nolan Trust. Hannah put her cycling career to one side this spring to donate her bone marrow to her brother, Tom, who has Aplastic Anaemia. It didn’t work, and Tom’s still having treatment, and Hannah and her team are raising money to support the charity, who work to promote donations. You can read more about Hannah and Tom here, how you can help the Anthony Nolan Trust, and if you can, please do give to Hannah’s Just Giving Campaign.
On with the racing.
It’s a tough, hilly race for men and women, and there are 3 ways to watch. It’s on the Tour Tracker, all over the world, and they’re juggling the women’s and men’s races together, which is great. If you’re in the USA you can watch on Fox Sports live or on highlights – the tv timings are here. And of course there’s twitter – the hashtag for the women’s race is #TOUWE, and Giro Jenny is giving great live updates. The race is taking place in North American MDT, and Stage 2, on Tuesday 4th August, starts at 11:30am MDT (1:30pm N American EDT; 6:30pm UK BST; 3:30am Aussie AEST) and runs until 12:45. There’s lots of information on the race website. The men’s race runs to 9th August.
In 2014, Sabrina Stultiens came back from a knee injury to win both the European u23 Road and Cyclocross Championships, and she’s gone on the get her first CX World Cup podium place, coming second in the exhilarating Koksijde race, one of the Monuments of cyclocross, and winning her first big race, the Zilvermeercross in Mol. But her season’s not over yet –
on Sunday next week she races the Netherlands National Championships, before going all out for Worlds. I talked to her about all of this, her tactics for trying to beat Marianne Vos, moving from Rabobank to Liv-Plantur on the road for 2015, and the differences between racing the disciplines. (29:28 MIN / 28.28 MB)
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Edit: I got confused abut dates and thought Nationals was this weekend rather than 11th January – sorry Sabrina!
You can find out more about Sabrina on her website and facebook athlete page, and follow her on her twitter and instagram. The new website for Liv-Plantur will be up next week, which will have more information about her too.
If you want to watch the races we talked about, here’s a short clip of Sabrina winning the Zilvermeercross in Mol. and an interview with her there. There are photos of her winning the 2014 European u23 Cyclocross Championships here. – and a photo of her winning the 2014 European u23 Road Championships after Elena Cecchini celebrated too soon.
UPDATE! Since I interviewed her, Sabrina won her first race of 2015 – the Soudal Classics Leuven – here are the video highlights.
We’re lucky enough to have the full World Cups streamed – thank you so much, UCI! Here’s the highlights of Koksijde – and all the other Koksijde videos and photos are here.
Videos from last weekend’s Heusden-Zolder World Cup are here, and from Namur here.
Thank you so much to all my Patreon supporters who fund me to do these interviews – I couldn’t do it without you, and appreciate you endlessly!