Podcast 2017 Episode 4 – Why Make It Harder?

cropped-podcast-logo.jpgThis week we talk through the last few cyclocross races of the season. We also take a quick look at all the track racing that’s coming up soon, including the Paracycling Track World Championships. We take some time to kick off the great team kit voting challenge for 2017, so make sure to visit the post to see the pictures, videos and (of course) to vote! We do talk about some of the tougher stories to have come out recently regarding the types of abuse that have been uncovered in the sport. It’s tough reading and listening, but it is good for the sport to bring these problems to light. (58:23 MIN / 53.47 MB)

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Things we talked about this week

Sarah has pulled together the kits for the top 20 women’s teams into one big post, with links to where you can buy them, and most importantly, the 2017 Best Kit poll.  Head over here, check them all out, and VOTE!

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Four sobering pieces on bullying, harassment, sexual abuse and other unacceptable practices within women’s cycling:

One of the things that’s being done about these issues is the Dutch Cycling Federation’s project to find out the scope of bullying and harassment in Dutch Cycling – listen to Sarah’s podcast with KNWU’s Anne Loes Kokhuis to find out more.

Recent racing

IJsboerke Ladies Trophy #8, 2017 Krawatencross Lille

Such an exciting way to round of the series – and it finished with Sarah’s absolute number 1 favourite cycling move!  Full race replay, and highlights:

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Vote for (and buy!) your favourite 2017 Women’s Cycling kits – the WorldTour edition

It’s that time of year again, when we’re waiting for the Spring Classics to start – and as is now traditional, I’m here to show you who’s wearing what kit, so it’s easier for you to work out who’s who when you’re watching all the live racing this year, and to give you the chance to vote for your favourites.  I’ll also include links to any team shops, so you can buy jerseys, caps and much more.

I’m starting with kits from the teams that get automatic invitations to the 2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour stage races – but if you want to nominate other women’s road team kits, tell me in the comments or on twitter, and I’ll put up a “best of the rest” vote next week.

Once you’ve had a look at the kits, don’t forget to VOTE FOR YOUR FAVOURITE at the bottom of the page!  The voting will close on Monday 20th February 2017.

The previous year’s kit posts are on Podium Café for 2014 and 2015, and here for last year’s votes for the WorldTour and the ‘Best of the Rest‘ – and you can buy the 2016 kits through the links for the WorldTour teams, and for the USA domestic squads.

All photos are from the team websites, unless otherwise stated – click through them for the sources and credits.

Alé Cipollinichloe-hosking

The kit has kept the same #YellowFlourance colour scheme that make them the easiest squad to pick out of the peloton, but the bubbles on the jersey have been swapped for squares, and the shorts are now black.

There are photos of the 2017 team presentation on the Alé Cipollini website, and on Cyclingnews, if you want to see more – and of course, you can watch Chloe Hosking win stage 3 of the 2017 Santos Women’s Tour, although she’s wearing the Sprint jersey, not the Alé kit, because she was doing so well.

Usually a variation of the kit, without all the sponsors etc, is for sale on the Alé Cycling site – it’s not up on the website yet, but if you like it, check back later in the year.   Last year’s jersey was based on Alé’s ‘bubbles’ design, which is still for sale in the women’s winter jersey and jacket, and men’s winter jersey and jacket.

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Astana

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Three women’s cycling crowdfunders

One of the things that’s both frustrating and inspiring is pro athletes having to crowdfund to compete in their sport.  Frustrating, for obvious reasons, but inspiring because the fan community really helps them.  There are three very different ones running fro British women cyclists right now – Para-cycling, MTB and road racing, and here’s how you can help.

Hannah Dines’ Crowdfunder for a new racing trike

Hannah Dines is a Scottish Para-cyclist, who competed in the 2016 Paralympics in the tricycle road races.  She’s having a hard time right now – she recently lost her UK Sport funding, and on top of that, has had her racing trike destroyed, when her car was stolen and set on fire, with the trike inside it. As you can imagine, these both put a large dent in her goal of medaling at the 2010 Paralympics.

Her insurance won’t cover the cost of a new trike, so she’s raising the money herself – and anything she raises over her goal of £7,454 will be donated to the Neil’s Wheels bike shop, so that other disabled people can get their own specialised sports equipment.  The

Read more about her crowdfunder, and please do donate, if you can.  Follow Hannah on twitter, find out more about her in this articles by the Herald, read her blog about why ride a trike, and in this video about Rio, which also was crowd-funded, by handcyclist Karen Darke:

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Bex Baraona’s raffle to fund her racing the 2017 Enduro World Series

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Sarah interviews…. Ellen Noble on her amazing cyclocross season

Podcast interview logoThe 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.

Let’s play a cycling game! Three for 2017

February is an important month for the cycling fan, with the end of the cylocross season, the start of the Classics… and the launch of all the Virtual Directeur Sportif games.  I’ve written about my love for DS games before, so before I tell you about the 2017 versions of the Podium Café FSA DS game, and ChicaBike, this is why I love them so much:

If you’ve followed the sport for a long time, they’re the perfect opportunity to show off your skills.  We’ve all been armchair tacticians, and have views on who’d be the best rider for which race, and this gives you a chance to prove it!  Or not, and then sob all season as your favourite rider makes mistake after mistake…

But if you’re not already a die-hard women’s cycling fan, they’re a fantastic way to get to know the sport.  You don’t have to have a team you can spend hours over – some people pick their FSA VDS team purely on nationality, all the Aussies, or all the Canadians, eg, and one team that did especially well one year was all riders whose names began with E (with Emma Johansson and Evie Stevens, that was fantastic!).  There’s always a huge helping of luck involved, too.  Years ago I played a Tour de France game, and as well as my own lovingly-picked team, ran a “Team Random” that was auto-generated by the site, and it was depressing how well that did – and the person who picked the “wrong Feillu” by accident ended up winning a TdF game stage!

DS Games are such an excellent way to get to know more about riders’ skills – even if you don’t know that much when you choose your team, you’ll definitely learn.  And with so much live women’s racing being shown and streamed in 2017, you can cheer them on in real time.  And most importantly… there will always, always be someone who does worse than you in the game, and hundreds of players, so you don’t need to worry about people laughing and pointing.

So, how do you play?

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Watch the last cyclocross race of the 2016/7 season – Middelkerke NoordZeeCross

Saturday 11th February

It’s been a fantastic cyclocross season, not least because every major women’s race has been shown live, as well as a ton of minor ones – but all good things must come to an end, and this weekend it’s the last big race of the season, and the final round of the 2016/7 Hansgrohe SuperPrestige – the NoordZeeCross at Middelkerke.

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Which women’s road races will be live in 2017?

I am genuinely so excited about how much more professional women’s cycling we can see these days, and how relatively fast the changes have been.  We’ve been able to watch the full women’s BMX World Cups, from qualifying up to finals, on BMX Live TV for a while now. And the full Cross Country MTB and the top Downhill finals in the Shimano MTB World Cups have been streamed on Red Bull TV for years too.  Tissot Track World Cups in the UK are shown live on TV, with a version for people who might know less about the sport on the main TV and fan-version on the Red Button, and the UCI have shown a mix of the final World Cup session live and replays of previous sessions on the UCI YouTube for a long time.  And this season, cyclocross stepped up to become easily the most visible of all the women’s cycling disciplines.

Apart from the occasional Dutch race, the UCI really started the ball rolling in CX, showing all the women’s Telenet Cyclocross World Cups on their YouTube for a few years, now – and last year Sporza showed all the IJsboerke Ladies Trophy races from the DVV Trophee, the Soudal Classics and more races, and licensed them to TV in the UK and USA, while some smaller series and USA races streamed theirs live.  Finally, for the 2016/7 season, the SuperPrestige series was shown on Belgian TV too, meaning that every major, and a whole swathe of minor races were all live.  It’s glorious!

Of course, road cycling is the hardest discipline to broadcast, logistically speaking, so it’s not surprising we get to see less of the women’s racing.  And this year it’s an unfortunate coincidence that three of the races that have been streamed live have been cancelled – the Tour Femenino de San Luis, Ladies Tour of Qatar, and the WorldTour race, the Philadelphia Classic.

But on the other hand, last year we saw a significant amount more of the racing live than ever before, and it’s got to the stage where over the summer, I can count on having being able to watch live women’s road racing on 6 consecutive weekends.  This year we’ve already had three women’s races broadcast completely live for the first time – the Mitchelton Bay Crits (videos in here), and the women’s races at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, the Race Melbourne crit and the Deakin Women’s Race (videos in here), and I’m confident that we’ll continue to see more and more women’s races shown over the next few years.

So here’s my guide to which women’s road races I think we’ll be able to see live in 2017.

Of course, I’ll start with a caveat:  these are guesses, based on what we’ve seen in previous years, so please don’t take it as set in stone, as I can’t promise they’ll all be shown. And of course, more might be added, and if they are, I’ll edit them in throughout the year. I’m focusing on road races, but I’ll put a guide to Crits in the USA and UK below – and you can find my tried-and-tested ways of staying in touch with races that aren’t being shown over here.

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