Sarah interviews…. Wiggle High5 DS Egon van Kessel

Podcast interview logoEgon van Kessel is one of the great Directeurs Sportifs in the women’s peloton.  After his own cycling career, he moved to directing, and among his achievements are many years coaching and managing the women’s and men’s Dutch National Team, through Olympics, World Championships and more, and DSing for some of the biggest names in the women’s peloton, including USA Saturn, in the 1990s, and the much-missed Cervélo Test Team in the 2000s.  In 2014 he demonstrated why he has such a great reputation, taking over a Wiggle Honda team that was stuffed full of big personalities, and ending the season at the top of the UCI rankings with an amazing four Road World Cup wins.  I talked to him about how he did it, what his biggest achievements have been, his thoughts about British cyclists and cycling, his plans for Wiggle High5’s 2016 season, and more.

Listen here, or click through to Soundcloud to download the podcast – or read the transcript below.  Follow Wiggle High5 through the season with their website, twitter, facebook and Youtube, and Egon through his twitter too.

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ProWomensCycling: How are you?

Egon van Kessel:  I’m fine.  I’m waiting for the start of the season, although my team is already racing in Australia, and I’m following their results, but my first race will be the Ladies Tour of Qatar, and I’m looking forward to it.

PWC:  What are you busy with at this time of year, as a Directeur Sportif?

EvK:  Mainly with the programme.  I’m contacting the riders and team management, discussing the programme, which races we want to do, talking with the riders about where they’d like to race.  I always have to explain to them that I cannot fulfill all their wishes, but I always try.  And enjoying the days I’m still at home, because in the season I’m away from home for many, many days, so I’m enjoying staying with family and friends.

PWC:  You’ve got quite an interesting task this year, because last year, I have to admit, when I saw Wiggle Honda‘s roster, I just didn’t believe it was going to work – too many big stars, who was going to carry the water, how are they going to race together.  But you had some incredible results!  How do you feel about 2015?

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Videos & more from the 2015 Team Time Trial World Championships

We thought the women’s 2015 Team Time Trial at the 2015 Road Cycling World Championships would be the most unpredictable TTT Worlds yet, and wow, it was even better – excitement all the way to the end.  So if you missed it, you might be kicking yourself….  but that’s OK, I’m here to help with videos, results, photos, rider reactions and more!

First, the UCI highlights

And the full race replay, commentated by Rochelle Gilmore and Ant McCrossan.

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Podcast 2015 Episode 24 – How to Spell Cynical

Podcast logoG’day team! After our [insert choice of adjectives here] attempts at commentating live on Sunday we thought it was high time to catch you up on the rest of the wonderful world of women’s cycling. It’s been a huge week of racing and so we try to cover it all. There were 4 different world cups on over the past week. Vårgårda hosted the road disciplines while there was also MTB and 4Cross. Junior track worlds and more! (1:17:38 MIN / 74.54 MB)

 

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Things we talked about this week

We covered a LOT of racing – and you can see all the videos from the (deep breath) Crescent Vårgårda Team Time Trial and Road Race World Cups, the Val di Sole cross country and downhill MTB World Cups, 4 Cross and Junior Track World Championships, the Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley and the USA Pro Challenge in this lovingly curated post Sarah put together, along with results, photos, links and more.

We also talked about Amy Pieters leaving Liv-Plantur, and Stefan Wyman revealing how much it will cost to run Matrix Procycling next year, including implications of the new Women’s World Tour (if you missed that, we talked about it in last week’s podcast, with links in the post).   Want more Matrix?  Here’s a rider Q&A video by VoxWomen.

We didn’t talk about the Women’s Tour of New Zealand stopping again, but it’s over here.

Upcoming Racing

The Trophée d’Or is on right now until 26th August – here’s their website.

2015 GP de Plouay World Cup, France, 29th August – this will be streamed live, here on the UCI Youtube.  The race starts at 13:40 Euro CEST (12:40pm UK BST; 7:30am N American EST; 9:40pm Aussie AEDT) and the stream & TV coverage on France 3 and Eurosport at 15:30 CEST (2:30pm BST; 9:30am EST; 11:30pm AEDT) – here’s my full guide to following the race.

2015 MTB and Trials World Championships, Andorra, 1st-6th September – these will be streamed live, as always, on Red Bull tv – watch the women’s & men’s Downhill finals on 5th, and the women’s Cross Country on the 6th, via these links, and we’ll tell you about the other races and content nearer the time.

Boels Rental Ladies Tour, Netherlands, 1st-6th September – follow their twitter!

Tour de l’Ardèche, France, 2nd-7th September

Lotto Belgium Tour, 8th-11th September – check out their launch video and follow their twitter!

Giro della Toscana, Italy, 11th-13th September

Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta, 13th September

Chrono Champenois ITT, France, 13th September

Podcast 2015 Episode 23 – Sweden Is Nice But It’s No Norway

Podcast logoHi everyone! Did you know that Sarah went to Norway? She survived the trolls, swam in a fjord and invaded Sweden; it was a busy weekend for her. Also there was a bike race there! In addition, we finish recapping the Route de France and then talk excitedly about some new developments from the UCI for 2016. And to top it all off we invent a new game called “But what does it mean for the Olympics?” – the first edition is all about Team USA. (1:20:03 MIN / 76.86 MB)

 

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Things we talked about this week

This week’s racing

La Route de France

Videos on the website, and photos on the race facebookFull results – and race reports on Wiggle Honda, Stage 5 and Stage 6.

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Ladies Tour of Norway

The 350 Crit highlights

Photos from the race and Velofocus, and full results.

The race

The full hour-long video from Saturday is here, and hour from Sunday here, and highlights from the two days of racing:

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Podcast 2015 Episode 21 – Everything Means Troll in Norwegian

Podcast logoG’day team! This week Sarah and Dan actually aren’t rushing around between different job things and have time to talk about the Prudential Ride London (where Sarah commentated!), Sparkassen Giro, the Para-cycling World Cup and MTB World Cup. There’s also discussion of wolves and trolls! Don’t forget to check further down the page for HEAPS of videos from the week. (50:41 MIN / 48.66 MB)

 

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Things we talked about

This week’s racing

2015 Para-cycling Road World Championships

Photos on the race website, and on British Cycling’s flickrFull results.  Lots of race reports from the UCICycling Australia, USA Paralympics, Dutch Federation, British Cycling, Sportswomen.ie, Cycling Ireland, Cycling Canada, Paralympics New Zealand facebook,  and German Para-cycling facebook,

Aussie tricyclist Carol Cook’s great blogs about her ITT win and her road race – and Cook’s video interview with H1 handcyclist Emilie Miller, on her first ever Para Worlds.  Video highlights about the New Zealand team, and from the UCI, including a profile of Megan Fisher (there’s another profile video here, of Alex Zenardi)

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Prudential Ride London GP

Video highlights from BBC Sport (may be geo-restricted) and EurosportBarbara Guarischi talks about winning with her team

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Podcast 2015 Episode 18 – Post Giro Blues

Podcast logoThe Giro Rosa 2015 is over (booooo!) but it was great (yayyyyy!) so Sarah and Dan have heaps to talk about this week. Mountains, time trials, climbs, breaks, chases, GC remixes and stories. They cover all ups and downs, their highlights and favourites, the best parts of the Giro Rosa 2015. Also, they crack wise and crack themselves up! (51:20 MIN / 49.29 MB)

Things we talked about this week

The Giro Rosa!!!!!

 

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Other racing last week….

Tour de Feminin – Bohemian Switzerland Prize (Cezch Republic)

Video clips from Stage 1, Stage 2 and Stage 3

All the results

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White Spot/Delta Road Race

The FULL race:

Results

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Upcoming racing

Tour Féminin de Bretagne, 16-19th July, France

Thüringen Rundfahrt, 17-23rd July, Germany – follow live with the ticker (if that doesn’t load automatically, check it out on RadSport-news.com)

BeNe Ladies Tour, 17-19th July, Belgium & the Netherlands – follow on facebook and twitter, and with the #BNLT15 hashtag

Podcast 2015 Episode 17 – Jaggedy Bumpy aka Giro Rosa 2

Podcast logoIt’s been an incredible week of racing at the Giro Rosa with so many riders from different teams and countries winning stages and tearing up the road. There have been world firsts and there have been all kinds of tactics deployed on the road. It’s everything you could want in a truly Grand Tour, it’s been so good that Sarah even invented a new description! Some riders have been flying, some have cool scars (seriously). And the best is yet to come as we still have several stages that could seriously shake up the GC and potentially change the outcome of the race. Join us as we talk about it all. (1:18:35 MIN / 75.45 MB)

 

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Things to read and watch:

Sarah’s been collating all the race video and cool social media, blog posts, etc that she can find. She’s also been doing interviews and QandAs with riders. Here’s the full list of all the news there is, stage by stage.

Also, here’s Sarah’s guide on how to follow the race (remember there’s some really exciting stages to come!).