Ready. Set. Ella Picks. We’ve got race coverage for you from Boels Rental Ladies Tour and Tour de Ardèche. This week in news there are more teams announcing contracts and national federations naming selections for Worlds – most notably Amy Pieters moves from Liv-Plantur to Wiggle Honda and Australia named its seven-rider elite women’s team for Richmond. Bicycling Magazine features twice with stories about how to crush your first race and why you should embrace being DFL. Plus – Total Women’s Cycling piggy-backed off our letter to Oleg Tinkov with a statement of their own. Have at it!
There were two stage races competing for our attention this week with the Boels Rental Ladies Tour in Holland and The Tour de Ardèche in France but where the former race kept us well-informed with live tweets, written reports and video updates, we barely heard a peep from the Ardèche race organiser (as is way too often the case with French racing).
Beyond the official coverage provided by the Ladies Tour race organistion, we were treated to race reports, live tweets, and behind the scenes images from several teams on the ground, Sean Robinson (Velofocus) and Anton Vos were on hand shooting images daily and Felix Mattis provided videos every evening. We owe a big thank you to Nettie Edmondson (Wiggle Honda) for her daily check-ins for the rider diaries we produced here on Ella.
Sarah Connolly beat us to the punch and rounded up all the coverage out of Holland, which you can check out here.
As for Tour of Ardèche, the only reports we saw came from Cycling Australia or Velocio-SRAM. The former are written by sport director Martin Barras who was in France with the national team. Barras’ reports are always colourful and creative – and these are no exception.
- Kimberley Wells sprints to second on Tour Ardeche stage one
- Tayler Wiles wins stage three at Ardeche and takes leaders jersey
- Tiffany Cromwell sprints to second on stage four of Tour Ardeche
- Cromwell and Crooks well-positioned ahead of Ardeche final stage
BONUS RACE CONTENT:
Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabo Liv) took TWO world titles in Vallnord, Andorra last week to become the first women to wear the rainbow jersey on the road, in cyclocross and in cross-country mountain biking. Beyond the three individual titles, Ferrand-Prevot snagged a gold medal in the team relay. Highlights from both mountain bike races are below.
And the headline of this article in Cyclocross Magazine says it all:
If that’s not enough dirt for you, UCI cyclocross racing kicked off in the United States this past weekend with Full Moon Vista – Ellison Park Cyclocross Festival. Both the C1 on Saturday won by Kaitie Antonneau (Cannondale/Cyclocrossworld.com) and the C2 on Sunday won by Meredith Miller (Noosa CX) were live-streamed. Cyclocross Magazine has your day one replay here. We imagine day two will follow soon.
And one last video in case you missed it over the weekend. This 10-minute film follows the Subaru High5 Australian National Team at Trophée d’Or where Rachel Neylan won stage three en route to the overall win, Kimberley Wells sprinted to the top step of a European podium and Loren Rowney won a reduced bunch sprint on the final stage.
Our news stories again come largely from the world of professional women’s cycling as teams continue to announce new signings and contract renewals and national federations name their teams for the Richmond World Championships.
- Van Vleuten returns to racing following accident
- Amy Pieters to join Wiggle Honda in 2016
- Yara Kastelijn competes Rabo-Liv roster
- Australian team for 2015 UCI Road World Championships
- Moolman-Paiso extends with Bigla Pro Cycling Team
- US announces Richmond world championship rosters
- Finnish champion Lepistö commits to Bigla for 2016
- New Zealand names strong road cycling team for UCI Road Championships
- Clara Hughes reveals 1994 doping positive
- Velocio releases Helen Wyman signature collection
VAN DER BREGGEN ENJOYS BREAKTHROUGH SEASON IN WOMEN’S PELOTON
We weren’t the only ones keen to chat with Anna van der Breggen about her best season to date. Owen Rogers interviewed the 25-year-old in Plouay and talked to her about some of her biggest wins of the year.
Best line: “Media coverage of women’s cycling is so uneven that a win in a high-profile race like La Course can overshadow a rider’s other achievements. That is certainly the case with Dutchwoman Anna van der Breggen, 25, who said her victory at La Course, in front of the world press assembled for the final stage of this year’s Tour de France, garnered much more coverage than more impressive wins in her career.”
HOW TO CRUSH YOUR FIRST RACE
This piece is not new but it’s new to me, and it resonates with my personal experiences. Bicycling Magazine spoke to Jenn Lovo, cofounder of Let’s Race Bikes!, an organisation in Portland, Oregon, that works with women to help them gain the skills and confidence they need to compete. Bicycling asked Lovo and the women who participated in her program to share their tips for getting started.
Best tip: “Find your people. ‘We try to create a community in which women see friendly faces and don’t feel embarrassed to ask questions,’ says Levo. Feeling shy? Facebook groups and online forums are good places to start connecting with aspiring and seasoned racers.”
OLEG TINKOV THINKS WOMEN SHOULDN’T BE BIKE RACING AND FEMINISM IS ‘ABUSING’
Piggy-backing off our letter to Oleg Tinkov, Total Women’s Cycling take Tinkov to task for his tweets around the topic we discussed.
Best line: “We – and much of the cycling community – are appalled by all of Tinkov’s comments. As to his responses that the resulting anger restricts ‘free speech’, might we suggest that the women’s cycling community has a right to free speech, too – and our combined voices are a lot louder than his solitary squeak.”
THE BEST PART OF COMING IN DEAD F*CKNG LAST
Bicycling Magazine shares four stories that they say demonstrate DFL beats DNF (and especially DNS) every single time. This one isn’t a women’s cycling feature exactly, but of the four riders featured, two are women (which is a great mix from where we stand).
Best line: The first time I tried a sanctioned bike race, I only had one goal: Try not to finish last. That might sound like setting the bar pretty low—after all, with 50 people racing, how hard is it to beat just one person?—but something tells me a lot of people treat their first race like being chased by a bear. You don’t have to outride the bear. You just have to outride one other guy.
VICTORIA PENDLETON’S TOP CYCLING TIPS FOR BEGINNING CYCLISTS
Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton spoke with The Telegraph about the advice she has for beginner and intermediate cyclists.
Best tip: “Ride on open rides and in the countryside. ‘When you’re on the open road, play with gears and push yourself,’ says Pendleton. To keep things varied and enhance your skill set by “breaking things up into blocks: do 10 minutes in a higher gear [so it’s harder to pedal] while riding seated, then spend 10 minutes in an easier gear, increase the cadence and repeat a few times.”
Ella Reads You Don’t Want to Miss
Catch up on content you may have missed on Ella this week:
- Highlights from the 2015 UCI Women Road World Cup
- What you need to know about riding with “the boys”
- Five lessons learned at the US Pro Challenge by a first-time sports director
- Sea salt chocolate sticky bites from Skratch Labs
- The Power of the Bicycle: Afghanistan’s two-wheeled revolution