Gent - Wevelgem 2015
  • Marcus

    Enjoyed that, thank you Chloe. Having watched the trailer I can only stand in awe at the levels these girls are put themselves through. Just goes to show the commitment and dedication required. I know I couldn’t do it. Also, I like when Chloe says that simply because someone says “no”, it does not necessarily mean you aren’t good enough. A life lesson from cycling right there!

  • xponti

    Nice to hear another perspective. I hope that any young racers (Male or Female) who are looking to a career in cycling read this article and use the lessons learnt by Chloe.
    Well done on an excellent article, Chloe, and enjoy following your progress throughout the year and beyond.

  • Gavin Adkins

    Candid but measured, and very well written, this article is a vital contribution to this discussion and the mark of a true professional. Brilliant stuff Chloe. Compulsory reading for any aspiring professional bike rider in any discipline.

  • These three articles have been top-of-the-crop stuff. Thanks heaps.

    I keep wanting to hear that assessment is actually two-way. Certainly the AIS folk assess who will join their program. But I hope all potential team members get the message that they are free to assess the AIS/Barras/etc. If anyone concludes the demands are dangerous, wrong, poorly thought out, then she has every right to make that decision and act on it.

    If it turns out the riders under assessment are not free to think for themselves, that would be a worry to me.

  • Abeezles

    Just because your skin folds are over 50 and you don’t fit a GC phenotype doesn’t mean the show is over, where there is a will there’s a way! OK an engine may play a small part too ;) Great article.

  • Luke

    That was very refreshing, for years I have been very uncomfortable with the boot camp style selection process for the women’s AIS program. What is wrong with selecting people based on real results in real races! I Could make a very long list as to why the boot camp process is wrong but will stop here.

  • JP

    I enjoyed reading this very much. It rings to me that the selection criteria leans too much towards the interests of those leading the organisation (i.e. “the camp is so tough that we must be doing a great job”) rather than the riders and the sport itself. The trials which the contestants are put through at the AIS selection camp sound like contrived “make or break” scenarios and testing for life skills (such as getting in a taxi in a Italy) that could be simply taught.

    Of course I’m no expert, but the insider’s view is often the most distorted.

  • Herman Hanson

    Excellent article; all the best to Chloe. I do not fit the military mould either where essentially you are allowed initiative but only within limits. Obeying orders (and staying with the team) usually takes precedence. My thought is that the star performer in a bike racing team is usually a very strong individual person used to making his/her own decisions for him/herself, they have to be, but understands the need for a team. The selection aspects about dealing with adversity and the unexpected are good but I don’t believe, critical. Interesting comment somewhere that if they tried this type of selection with the men, most of the best would walk out.

  • 2 compliments: one for Chloe. What a level of determination! Very inspiring. And one compliment for Cyclingtips/Ella, this page really has the best articles about cycling compared to the other pages. :)

    • Jessi Braverman

      Thanks, Marilyn! We love hearing feedback like this.

    • Seconded! I have yet to find another site that comes anywhere near Ella, the UK is empty of this type of coverage and discussion. Everytime I come here I learn more about a sport I already thought I knew pretty well and leave inspired to ride wiser (and harder!)

  • jules

    great article Chloe. I see a lot of parallels with corporate life. there are 2 types of talented people – those who gain their energy from doing things their way, and those whose key strength lies in thriving in an organisational setting. neither is good or bad, but these days there is a lot of pressure to conform with organisational rules and norms. in practice, most of us are bound by those. but it’s not the only way. i love reading about people who’ve found their own path.

    • Disgruntledgoat

      As a man who’s spent the last 10 years in corporate misery bouncing from company to company with no promotion prospects due to an unfortunate habit of saying “no” and doing what I know I need to do rather than what others think I ought to do… I concur.

  • Derek Maher

    Great article Chloe.You have showed what can be achieved if you stick with it.
    This camp may get some good results?.I would suggest the prime motive of the participants is the all expenses paid racing season in Europe.
    Nice for those who get selected,However as Chloe has showed you can still get there.

  • Jane C

    Hi, would love to see a story behind the Holden girls. Team of the year last year and recently winner of Mersey Valley. Anyways, just an idea for you.

    Jane

    • Jessi Braverman

      Thanks for the idea, Jane! We’re always happy to hear from our readers about what they hope to see featured on Ella.

  • Amelia

    Thank you Chloe! Reading this I felt like I could have written it myself. I am at the crossroads of U19’s oblivion and really needed divine intervention. You are so right about the dropout rate from U17 to U19 and I have seen really good riders, arguably more talented than what remains, leave the sport. From my perspective, I am teetering on the edge, not due to lack of ability but more from lack of money. I do not come from a family with an unlimited bank account as the majority of the girls still riding and unfortunately this seems to be the number one prerequisite in my state which governs whether or not you make the cut for supposed greatness. Then there is the clickiness and fakeness which is what I find the hardest to deal with. I’m not considered as one of the “cool kids” because I don’t conform to the cattiness that goes on between and against each other. I just want to ride my bike. It’s the only outlet I get away from all that rubbish so because I refuse to be a part of it, I get ostracized for it. I may be slightly cracked but I am definitely not broken yet and I will endeavor to keep chipping away with a lot of thanks to you.
    There may be a story here too about how the talent that is lost to the sport can be retained. It’s such a waste of talent.

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