Guess what team?! It’s the Week of Worlds! (WoW!) That’s right we talk all things worlds (well, except for the road race because that’s going to be part two). Before we get into all the awesome things that are going to happen in Ponferrada we catch up on the Lotto-Belisol Belgium Tour, a race we’d rather not talk about (Giro Toscana), the Chrono Champenois with Time Trial interestingness, and THEN we start to talk about Worlds! It’s so exciting and there’s SO MUCH to talk about it’s amazing. Because we also cover some great blogs and articles we saw during the week, and of course we kind of have to talk about ~that~ kit and the kind of weirdness of a story being hyped beyond all recognition. I (Dan) mean, what else do you call a story about a nude kit that’s clearly not a nude kit even in the photo that’s allegedly nude-ish? And then on top of that, what do you say when the UCI has time to comment on that (even though according to their own rules they must have already been aware of the kit – and also, it’s gold so WTAF?) but still can’t comment on stories of riders not being paid by teams and other actual issues? Well, as it turns out, we have quite a bit to say. I know, you’re surprised. (1:19:41 MIN / 74.71 MB)
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This week’s women’s cycling links
Last week’s racing
Chloe Hosking’s blog on winning her stage – including what it’s like racing without a contract for next year – we hope she gets one soon. Lots more information, photos and results on the race website.
The season was so big and so epic and so filled with hyperbole and exaggeration that we needed a second episode to cover it, so here you go! (Also Dan swears a lot) Settle in and enjoy. (1:03:04 MIN / 60.54 MB)
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Oh dear reader, sometimes you just find yourself caught up in the moment and transported away as a host of women from around the world conspire and cooperate to give you really good race. I mean really, really good race.
You may recall that I was awash in the afterglow of really good racing following the Olympics road race, and I find myself similarly disposed following this year’s world champs. So for better or worse, here are my musings and observations on one of the best one-day races of the year.
- The biggest distraction from how the race was won was the biggest incident on the day – Yes, I’m talking about the huge and rather nasty crash that split the race and generally stole a lot of the attention from everyone on the day. But spending a lot of time trying to dissect that is a massive distraction from how the race was really won and is also pretty fucking unproductive. The road was narrow, there were barriers, someone went down in the bunch, then the bunch went down. It happens. I’d say ‘thankfully nobody was seriously hurt’ but by now we’ve heard about riders finishing the race only to find out they’ve got broken ankles and shit like that. So you know, ouch and holy fuck that’s impressive and so on. But mostly, the crash was significant and large and messy and it happened early enough that it impacted the race but didn’t define it. Let’s move on.
This week I’ve been playing my favourite game of giving people my guess at the women’s peloton equivalent of their favourite male riders, so if they’re new to women’s cycling, they have people to cheer for at the Worlds road race this afternoon. So far, Part 1 included equivalents for Jens Voigt, Cancellara, Boonen, Greipel and Contador, and Part 2 had Philippe Gilbert, Cav, Sagan and Phinney…. but you still have more! So, without further ado….
For his ITT and climbing ability, if you like Nibali, cheer for Tatiana Guderzo. Guderzo is an Italian climbing star, who you’ll always find in the GC of the mountainous stage races. She’s a former Road World Champion, too. I say this a lot, but look up the 2009 Worlds, for a masterclass in “how to beat Marianne Vos”, as Guderzo and Cantele took it in turns to attack poor Vos over and over again, until Guderzo escaped for the win, with Cantele frustrating any and every chase effort. Guderzo is supported by the Fiamme Azurre, the sporting arm of the Italian police and prison service, so you’ll see photos of her in her uniform, working for them in the off-season.
Yesterday I gave you part 1 of my Equivalents post – matching women cyclists to people’s favourite male riders. I love this game, because it’s a fun challenge – but it’s also a great way of giving people who want to get into women’s cycling riders to cheer for at the Worlds. Here’s part 2 – and if you have better equivalents, or you have riders you’d like me to match for you, let me know in the comments, or on twitter, at @_pigeons_.
A lot of people have asked for an equivalent of PhilGil, and I’ll go one better, with a rider who has a career Gilbert can only dream of… yes, I’m talking Marianne Vos!
Vos is the absolute genuis of women’s cycling, and just like Gilbert, she rampages through the Classics season, winning pretty much everything. The women have this great series of day races, the Road World Cup, half of which are Spring Classics. Two are familiar to fans of men’s cycling – the Flèche Wallonne and the Ronde van Vlaanderen (watch the David Harmon-narrated video of highlights of this year’s races) but I really love the women-only races – the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, in the hills around Varese, and the Ronde van Drenthe, a tough Dutch race through cobbled lanes and over a steep, sharp man-made hill (the Harmon video of those two is here). Vos has won all of these except Flanders, so watch out for her next year – but to be fair, there are very, very few races Vos hasn’t won!
Sarah reviews the TTT brilliantly, and then Dan screws up the review of the ITT by forgetting Ellen van Dijk’s name [ED: I’m SO, SO sorry!!!!!] and at one point accuses Evie Stevens of murder. We improve trans-Tasman relations and Dan explains how to get Australian citizenship. He also makes a rock-solid prediction for the road race on Saturday and gift cycling with a new name for the climbs on the course.
(37:33MIN / 36.07MB)
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