If last week was the treble, with three big races, this week it was octuplets!
Dan has been in Tokyo for the last week, and missed out on all the racing, so I catch him up on the action from the USA Crits Speed Week, the Festival Elsy Jacobs in Luxembourg, the Tour de Yorkshire in the UK, and over in France, the first round of the 2017 Downhill MTB World Cup in Lourdes. Along the way we talk mindgames in racing, the implications of having eight different women’s cycling livestreams over three days, and a lot more. And I told him about my adventures on BBC Woman’s Hour, and recording with the Wheel Suckers Podcast.
We didn’t get around to talking about everything from last week, so the post below is packed with links, videos, and other things I’ve seen around the internet in the last week. Of course I recommend it!
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This week’s women’s cycling news, videos and links
I was really honoured to be a part of the BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour that was dedicated to women’s cycling. Usually the show features multiple topics, but because it’s such a big subject, they had a whole programme dedicated to it, recorded as-live in the London Bike Kitchen. It includes MTB with Tracey Moseley, road racing with Rochelle Gilmore and Grace Garner, the history of women and cycling with Dr Astrid Swenson, saddle sores with vulval health expert Dr Jane Sterling, and Jenni Gwiadowski, the Director of the LBK, talks everyday cycling, and teaches presenter Jane Garvey to mend a puncture (which you can also watch as a video). It should be archived here for all time, so please do listen!
This week’s racing
Videos, media and more from:
The Festival Elsy Jacobs
Short highlights, and full video from Stage 1 and Stage 2:
It has to be said, that the coverage we got from the Ardennes Week wasn’t the greatest, with such exciting racing that was effectively invisible. But this weekend, all that changes – there are SEVEN separate races streamed live, and we can watch them all. Strap in, and I’ll tell you how to watch the Festival Elsy Jacobs in Luxembourg, the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire, and three separate rounds of Speed Week, the opening salvo of the USA Crits series. UPDATE! And I can’t believe I forgot, but there’s also the first round of the 2017 Downhill MTB World Cup, in Lourdes, which will be incredible, as well as live!
Before I start, however, this may be the best piece of race social media this year, if not ever… I love it!
It’s lovely, this time of year, with so much live women’s cycling, and this weekend we have FOUR live women’s races – a crit, a road race, and a cross country MTB World Cup. And this is how we can watch them….
The cycling scene in the USA is well known for innovative live streaming, and one of the conditions of joining the USA Crits series is broadcasting the race on the internet. The women start at 4:15pm N American CDT (5:15pm EST, 10:15pm UK BST, 23:15 Euro CEST, 7:15 am Monday Aus AEST), but there are tons more races featured on the livestream, including men’s Cat 2/3 and elite, AND women’s CAT 3/4 – the stream’s over here, there’s more information, including the schedule, on the race website, and here’s how to watch the rest of the USA Crits.
You wait for one USA live race, and two come along at the same time… In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, it’s a weekend of racing festivities, and for the women, a crit on Saturday and the UCI-ranked road race on Sunday – and both will be streamed live on Cyclingnews AND on livestream!
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)
This year I started to watch the USA Criterium series, which was made so easy by USA Cycling mandating that if races want to be included in the series, they have to get the races streamed live on the USA Crits youtube (superb move! I’d love to see other Federations follow that!). It’s high octane racing, with PREEEEEEEEEEM laps for tons of cash every 5 laps or so, and it intrigued me. So I had to take the chance to talk to Sarah Fader and Amber Pierce, to find out more.
Sarah Fader is a star of the USA Crit circuit, who’s also the co-founder and manager of the Pepper Palace team. For 2015 she’s hoping to take the team to UCI level, and expand into the USA National Racing Calendar and North American UCI-ranked races, and Amber’s one of the riders joining the team. They told me about the differences between the series, how Sarah deals with both managing and riding on the team, and the plans for stepping up, the exciting developments on the USA cycling circuit for 2015 and much more. (41:32 MIN / 39.88 MB)
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If you want to follow Sarah Fader and Pepper Palace, there’s a team website, instagram, facebook page, and twitter. Amber is on twitter, and you can follow her latest project, the Network for Advancing Athletes, on their website and twitter – if you want to know more about that, check out my recent interview with her about the project.
The USA Crits series has a website, great twitter, and of course the YouTube account, and if you’d like to get a taste of the action, try the Chris Thater Memorial race, which Sarah won – full race, and highlights video – and Sarah also recommends watching the Athens Twilight Crit – full race coverage and highlights:
and the Novant Health (Presbyterian) Invitational (those links will take you to Youtube videos, which include the women’s, elite men and various other races that happen on the same day).
The National Racing Calendar information is on USA Cycling’s site. And all the information about the Richmond 2015 Road Cycling World Championships is on their website, and follow their twitter too.
I was asked this question earlier today, and it really got me thinking. I’m still riding the high of hanging out at the British National Road Championships, and talking to inspiring riders like Emma Pooley (read my post-ITT, pre-Giro interview with her on Podium Café) – and of course last month I was working on the Friends Life Women’s Tour (you can listen to me talk about that here and here, and see all the videos I collected from the race on Podium Café), but I genuinely think we’re on an upwards wave at the moment. The question is always “how do we keep moving in the right direction?” but it’s important to take a moment to be happy about what’s going well.
This week we’re not podcasting, but we’ve had all kinds of news and videos from women’s cycling in the last week or so – so here’s a random round-up, with videos, blogs, articles and all kinds of things I’ve liked in the last week in women’s cycling – road, crits, MTB, BMX, breakfast tacos, how to cool down a laptop and more!
This week’s racing
No video yet, but Emma Johansson won, for the second year in a row. She was racing with the Swedish National Team, but still has a race report on the ORICA-AIS website, and there’s a race report from Hitec too. Full results on the race website.
GP Comune di Cornaredo
UPDATE! Another video, from Wiggle Honda
Race report on Tiffany Cromwell’s website – Results on CyclingFever
Delray Beach Twilight
The first round of the USA Crits, the Delray Beach Twilight, was livestreamed, and you can watch the full race video – the women start around 2:30:00 – or just the women’s highlights