Ella Explained

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The website was nameless. We had been referring to it for well over a month as the ‘sister site’ and despite tossing around lots of ideas as to what we would call our women’s cycling website, we had yet to land on a winner.

We crowd-sourced the site name in the comments section of my first letter from the editor. Some of the responses were fantastic. While we loved the intention behind the suggestions, they still didn’t meet all our needs. It needed to be distinctive and appropriate but also short, catchy, and easy to pronounce and remember. It should sound feminine and have some sort of connection to cycling.

As we had repeatedly discussed the naming issue since my arrival in Australia, I was unsurprised when Wade introduced the topic yet again on a train ride back to the office following the final day of racing at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic. He had his nose in his phone and was looking up the word for ‘women’ in a bunch of different languages.

Without much thought, I said: “What about ella?” I pronounced it the way you would say it in Spanish, where ‘ella’ (rhymes with ‘straya’) means ‘she’ or ‘her’ depending on the context in which it’s used. I explained its meaning.

Wade liked it, but…

“Australians pronounce the ‘l’ in ‘quesadilla’ and ‘tortilla’ and ‘paella’,” Wade explained. “No one will call it ‘ay-ya’. They’re going to call it ‘el-la’. Like the girls’ name.”

“Ella,” I said, mulling it over. “Well, that works, too.”

When we shared the name suggestion with the whole CyclingTips team, Shane Stokes quipped: “Can we change the men’s site name to ‘Fella’?” and that’s when I knew we had a winner.

So – Ella it is. Her CyclingTips.

Worth noting: We have Ella merchandise in the works, including “Ella Fella” tees for the male supporters of the site. No way were we going to let that gem slip through the cracks.