2017 Gent-Wevelgem – videos, media and more

After we had livestreaming of the first three round of the 2017 Women’s WorldTour, Strade Bianche, the Ronde van Drenthe and Trofeo Alfredo Binda, unfortunately we won’t get much for Round 4, Gent-Wevelgem.  But I’ve collected videos, photos and race reports from the WorldTour, and also some snippets from Round 2 of the Junior Nations Cup, and the U17 women’s races.

First, the WorldTour – please click on the Sporza highlights, to show that there is an audience for the sport.  And here are the UCI highlights:

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Sarah interviews… Isla Rowntree, on transforming cycling

Isla Rowntree is most well-known for starting IslaBikes, a company that transformed children’s bicycles, with all kinds of child-friendly innovations.  If you look up reviews, or ask online, they’re always the top recommendation and influencer, and right now there are kids everywhere loving cycling because of Rowntree’s work.

But she’s also helped transform women’s cycling before that, being a key figure in the fight to let women race cyclocross.  When Rowntree started, the GB National Championships were only for men, as were the World Cups and World Championships – and she was a major part of the fight to change that.

And she doesn’t stop taking risks and fighting for change.  Rowntree is currently working on the Imagine Project, to make children’s bikes sustainable, in a future where resources will become scarcer – through recycling, but also exciting new models of renting rather than buying bikes.  It’s a fascinating project – and as she says, a risky one personally and for her company.

We talk about all that, the challenges of effecting change – and you can listen to our conversation, or read the transcript below.

We didn’t get into the questions specifically about children’s bikes, because there are a lot of interviews with Rowntree about that out there.  A selection of interviews and articles:

And more about the Imagine ProjectBBC news item on the Circular Economy and on the project, and interviews on the Guardian and Cyclesprog – and watch the video:

Find out more about Islabikes on their website, twitter, facebook, instagram and YouTube – including their great articles on teaching a child to ride, cycling to school, and lots of ideas and tips including riding as a family, starting kids racing and more. And you can follow Isla Rowntree on her twitter too.

If you want your child to test-ride a bike, there are events all over the UK – including the Islabikes pop-up shop in Battersea, on 7-9th April 2017.

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ProWomensCycling:  Can you start by telling us a little bit about how you got into cycling?

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Let’s change women’s cycling – the 2017 Ardennes Week edition

The 2017 Women’s World Tour and season in general have already shown us an increase in live women’s racing – from streams from the Australian 2017 openers, the Mitchelton Bay Crits and Deakin Women’s Race at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, to the entirely live Omloop van het Hageland, and the live last parts of the WorldTour races Strade Bianche, Ronde van Drenthe and Trofeo Aldredo Binda, we’ve been able to watch some amazing racing.

But the season won’t continue like that.  There will be some fantastic live racing at the Healthy Ageing Tour and maybe at the Ronde van Vlaanderen, but what about at the Ardennes Week?

Just having an Ardennes Week is fantastic.  The three races, Amstel Gold on 16th April, Flèche Wallonne Femmes on 19th, and the first ever Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes on 23rd, will each have a women’s race that’s part of the Women’s WorldTour – but as yet, we’ve had no news about whether we’ll be able to see them live, or even a good length of highlights, beyond 10 minutes on the UCI YouTube.

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Shirt week! The wonderful merino world of Findra

This is a personal story, I’m warning you in advance!

When I’ve met the Adventure Syndicate folk at events, and watched Lee Craigie‘s video about riding the Caledonia Way, I’ve noticed their lovely merino tops, made by Scottish women’s cycling brand Findra.  I loved the style, of course, and the little details, like the thumb-holes, and the great textured elbows – it’s really nice clothing, and the website is full of gorgeous things.

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Podcast 2017 Episode 9 – Spare a Moment To Do Some Good

This week we catch up on all the attacks (so many attacks!) from Trofeo Moreno and Trofeo Binda last weekend. You know racing is intense when top riders are gunning it on the front just to settle down the sheer number of attacks! The Dwars Door Vlaanderen started while we were recording, so we give that a moment’s consideration and also take a look ahead at Gent-Wevelgem on this weekend. There’s a heap of cool media and some epic races including the ABSA Cape Epic and the Indian-Pacific Wheel Race; and of course heaps more! (1:21:45 MIN / 74.85 MB)

You can sign up for automated and free downloads via the iTunes store here or via our RSS feed here.

This week’s women’s cycling news and links round-up

It’s Mothers’ Day this weekend in the UK, so if there’s a cycling-loving mum in your life, check out the Shopping section of the site for things we’ve seen and liked – how about a 2017 WorldTour team kit, or presents that help pro women cyclists, or everyday women’s cycling? Yes, I know, you might not have ordered in time, but you can always order something and give her a card saying something’s on the way!

This week’s racing

Videos and media from the 2017 Trofeo Alfredo Binda and Trofeo da Moreno.

With her great results in Binda and elsewhere, Elisa Longo Borghini moved to No. 1 in the UCI rankings. Read how she got there, on the Wiggle High5 website.

The Absa Cape Epic

There is a LOT of great media on the race website, and tons more videos on the race YouTube – and all the results can be found here.

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Follow the 2017 women’s Gent-Wevelgem and junior race

Sunday 26th March 2017

So far, the 2017 Women’s WorldTour has been fantastic for fans, with the first three rounds, Strade Bianche, the Ronde van Drenthe and Trofeo Alfredo Binda all being streamed live.   But all good things must come to an end, and the run of live racing stops here.  No stream for Gent-Wevelgem, I’m afraid.  But we can still follow the race live on twitter, and hopefully there will be highlights too.  I’ll tell you all about that, as well as how to follow the women’s Junior Nations Cup and U17 races as well.  But first, a little bit about the race.

Women’s WorldTour #4, Gent-Wevelgem

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Catherine Marsal’s amazing life in cycling – now in writing!

Catherine Marsal has had an amazing life in cycling.  The Frenchwoman was an Olympian at 17 in 1988, the first ever women’s Junior Road World Champion in 1987, and the Elite World Champion in her first year as an elite in 1990; struggling for a few years, then becoming World Champion in the Hour Record in 1995; winning the Giro and the Tour de l’Aude Grand Tours; working as a Directeur Sportif before retiring from cycling, and then coming back to the sport as women’s road coach for the Danish Cycling Federation.

She’s seen a lot, and I talked to her about all this, the difficulties of becoming World Champion at a young age, racing with (and against) Jeannie Longo, and of course, the amazing results of the young Danish women, especially in the last week, when 2016 Road World Champion Amalie Dideriksen won 2017 WorldTour #2, the Ronde van Drenthe, and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig won the GC at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, and then came third in WorldTour #3, the Trofeo Alfredo Binda.

Of course I think you should listen to my podcast with Marsal, but for those of you who prefer to read interviews, I’ve written part of it up below.

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ProWomensCycling:  It’s a little bit exciting for Danish cycling right now, isn’t it?

Catherine Marsal:  We are on a cloud!  Things have been going very well since the beginning of the season, the girls are improving so well, every race sees a new adventure, and I’m looking forward to every weekend, to see what’s going to happen next.

PWC: Did you expect that the Danes would do so well this year?

Marsal:  I was expecting – and hoping – that Amalie Dideriksen could express herself, and show her rainbow jersey.  Amalie is not World Champion by chance, she’s a rider who has being working so hard and getting results – maybe not always seen by the media, but she’s been progressing, and the World Champion’s title is something she had in the corner of her mind.  It was very important for her to win a WorldTour race in that jersey, and confirm to the world that she is the World Champion.

PWC:  She won Drenthe in such beautiful style – Boels-Dolmans rode the race so well, and she got into a break with some really clever riders, and just trusted herself.

Marsal:  She has such an instinct for racing, that is unbelievable for her age.  She knows how to handle a very tricky situation like that, and she has a very strong capacity to handle the pressure, and what we expect from her.  That will give her so much strength for the future. Continue reading