Ready to start your week right with Ella Picks? We’ve rounded up links to the best and most important content we’ve come across this week to share with you here. Find anything we miss? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comment section.
Lucy Martin speaks out against lost wages.
We spoke with Lucy Martin when we wrote about women’s wages in professional cycling two months ago. She shared part of her story with Ella at this time. We applaud Martin’s decision to reveal even more details in a blog post she wrote for the Matrix Pro Cycling website.
What had just happened? What was this, blackmail? This is my job, my career, my life. I want to race, that’s what I signed a UCI contract to do; it’s what my life is all about. I have just been told from my employer straight to my face that I am not allowed to race again, with no warning, no reasoning. There wasn’t room for discussion and I was in shock. That shock was compounded by the fact that I had been lucky enough to come through the British Cycling system, which is professional in every way, and I was simply shocked that this opposite level of professionalism even existed.
Kristin Armstrong wins national time trial title to secure sport at 2015 World Championships
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Kristin Armstrong broke the course record at the USA Cycling Time Trial Championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee on Saturday to win her first race since the 2012 London Olympics. While the stars and stripes jersey is a point of pride for Armstrong, it represents far more than a national title. Armstrong’s win in Chattanooga qualifies her for the third and final spot for the American women to compete in the time trial at the world championships in Richmond, Virginia in September.
Armstrong has twice won Olympic gold. Twice retired. Twice returned to racing. Last month, Armstrong announced she had her sights set on the 2016 Olympics in Rio di Janerio, Brazil when USA Cycling announced that Armstrong would represent American at the Pan Am Championships in Morelia, Mexico in May. The selection, or perhaps more accurately the selection criteria, was challenged, and Armstrong lost her spot.
Carmen Small went on to win the gold medal at the Pan Am Championships. The result would earn Small the second spot in the time trial at the world championships. Evelyn Stevens earned the first spot last September when she won the bronze medal in the time trial at the 2015 World Championships.
VeloNews details all the drama in two articles that, read together, begin to paint a complete picture of the fierce fight for points and spots and selection that will occur across nations in the build-up to the 2016 Olympics.
At Saturday’s press conference, an emotional Armstrong made her unhappiness with the selection process clear.
“I saw an opportunity to participate at Pan Am through the criteria that were published by USA Cycling. And when I saw that I qualified under those criteria I decided to put my name in to be selected. [After my selection] the criteria changed. They reposted the old criteria and I was not qualified any longer.”
For Armstrong the issue was one of fairness.
“The last thing I wanted was anything handed to me. I didn’t want any favors. But I’m going to tell you that I know the process to get into important races. I can recite the criteria. So I’m really happy that I was able to come to Chattanooga and show — on my own, on the road, and with my team and husband fully behind me — that I could do it without being selected as a discretionary [choice].”
This VeloNews story explains what was at stake for Armstrong at the USPRO time trial.
This VeloNews story details Armstrong’s national championship winning ride and her reaction to securing an automatic selection for the World Championships in Richmond.
On-Board Cameras Take You Into the Women’s Peloton at ATOC
Take a look at the action from inside the women’s peloton during the inaugural Amgen Tour of California empowered by SRAM women’s race. This short clip includes footage from the start, up climbs and on descents.
Emma Johansson celebrates Norwegian National Day
Emma Johansson has been posting more regularly on her personal website – much to the delight of her fans and followers. Her latest post details the traditions associated with Norwegian National Day.
While it’s not uncommon for riders to give glimpses of their personal lives, it’s something Johansson tends to shy away from – which makes this post even more of a treat.
I’m lucky that I can visit a lot of countries through my cycling, training and racing. I live in two of them (Norway and Belgium) and was born and raised in Sweden. This gives me the opportunity to see different cultures and meet a lot of people. I think this adds a lot of color to my life.
I recently returned to Norway from Belgium (although I’m currently writing this from training camp in Italy – such is the life of a professional cyclist!), and I had the opportunity to spend a very special rest day celebrating Norwegian National Day on May 17th.
Host Families and Pet Pigs
Lindsay Bayer recently wrote a blog post about staying with a host family in California that owns a pet pig. Well, it was less writing and more of a photo essay. With a video. Of a piglet getting a bath.
It’s pretty much as cute as it sounds.
Amanda Batty, Pink Bike, Gender Equality and Comment Sections
We weren’t the only ones writing about Amanda Batty and Pink Bike this week. In fact, we were one of many. Bicycling Magazine published a Q&A with Batty. The Outspoken Cyclist spoke with Batty in their podcast. Patrick Brady of Red Kite Prayer wrote a follow up piece to his first article on the subject.
As CyclingTips publisher Wade Wallace said in the comment section of our original article:
“If there’s any good that’s come out of this, it’s that this whole debacle has prompted our own internal discussions about our views towards this topic and our editorial policy. Hopefully it does the same with other media organisations, teams, clubs, etc. Fortunately Amanda is standing up for a lot of people who are understandably quiet on the topic.”
Read Wade’s original piece – Misogyny in cycling: How the Amanda Batty vs. Pinkbike discussion applies to you.
Mara Abbott and the Tour of the Gila
While we’d like to claim that Mara Abbott’s column space is limited to her monthly Ella column, Abbott spreads her words amongst several publications. In addition to writing for us, she also writes a regular column at the Daily Camera (Boulder’s local newspaper) and CyclingNews. In her latest CyclingNews column, Abbott shares the story of her sixth overall win at the Tour of the Gila – but her tale is far from a race report. It’s is about a friend lost, a passion found and a mantra repeated.
Passion is another thing in rich supply in crazy Silver City. I have a point to make about supposedly “crazy” people – scorn all you will, but they all care deeply about something. Perhaps some are consumed by art, others by extreme politics, maybe it is just a drive to collect the best seashells, or maybe, just maybe, some lunatic is simply all in about trying to ride a bike faster than all those other idiots. Make no mistake, if the “crazy” lady approaches you on the street, it is because she is going to tell you something that matters to her. She’s passionate. And I like passionate.
Beryl Burton: A Love Story on Two Wheels
BBC Radio 4 aired this story on cycling champion Beryl Burton. Burton’s husband Charlie and adult daughter Denise both contribute to this heartwarming story about a working class mother from Leeds who dominated women’s cycling globally in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.
Chloe Hosking reflects on the China World Cup
You can count on Chloe Hosking to tell it like it is. Following her teammate Giorgia Bronzini’s World Cup win in Chongming, Hosking writes about her sixth Chinese racing experience, admitting that she’s not a huge fan of either the three day tour or the one day race. Despite her personal preferences, Hosking argues that the races have a place on the women’s calendar and shares her suggestions for what could be done to liven up the racing and results in Chongming.
It should be a race I love, if not because it always finishes in bunch sprints then because it was one of my first international races as a senior in 2009, and I won it. Still, I’m filled with a lethargic feeling every time I think about it. Maybe it’s because sub-consciously I’m mourning the week and bit I’m forced to endure without red meat, but realistically I think it’s more likely because of the style of racing.
The long road to recovery
Neither of these stories is cycling specific (although one certainly has a cycling hook), but both are reads well worth your time.
A Life in Motion Stopped Cold tells the story of Laís Souza, one of Brazil’s best gymnasts turned aerial skier who was left paralyzed by a skiing accident just a few months before Brazil was meant to make their aerial debut in Sochi at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
You can see how frustration can flare up in a person who was always moving and now is always sitting still. “Sometimes I stop and ask myself why, why me?” she said at one point. Once, as she spoke, Souza became preoccupied by a stray piece of hair wisping across her forehead. She could not brush it away by herself. Such a simple thing. “The hardest part is that I’m always asking for a favor,” she said.
Double Recovery features Amber Halliday and Sally Callie – two Olympic rowers who both suffered brain trauma that required them to use the skills they honed in pursuit of Olympic gold to recover from devastating injuries.
For the women, a key message was that the more we practise something, the more we strengthen the neural pathway and the easier the skill becomes. This means that in the rehabilitation ward – as in the sports arena – hard work and persistence can pay off. In other words, says Halliday, “the mind-set that you need to become an Olympic athlete is pretty similar to the mind-set that you need to recover from serious injury or illness.”
Ella Reads You Don’t Want to Miss
Here are a few of my favourite stories published on Ella in the last week:
- Do be “This Cyclist”
- Cycling for Nepal: Everesting cyclists on a mission to raise US$1 million for earthquake recovery
- Must carry items for the daily commuter
- Weekly Wisdom: Mental fitness