Beyond the race coverage round-up, this week’s Ella Picks is a bit light on links. Either it was a quiet week in women’s cycling or I missed a lot of the good stuff published last week. If it was the latter, feel free to pipe up in the comments section, and I’ll make sure to earmark your finds for next week.
This week we have links to videos, photos and reports out of Lotto Belgium Tour, Giro della Toscana and Madrid Challenge – plus a bonus video from Molly Shaffer van Houweling’s hour record attempt. Teams continued to announce contract renewals and rider signings, and the final few nations have named their squads for the Road World Championships in Richmond. Bicycling is talking about Podium Girls (or rather #NoPodiumGirls) and Total Women’s Cycling introduces us to the inspiring story of Anna Buick – an off-road rider who was critically injured in a training accident and is learning to walk (and ride!) again.
LOTTO BELGIUM TOUR
Emma Johansson won the Lotto Belgium Tour while racing for the Swedish National Team. She accomplished the feat without winning a stage at the four-day race. Natalie van Gogh (Parkhotel Valkenburg) took out stage one. Amelie Dideriksen (Boels-Dolmans – but riding for the Danish National Team) took her first UCI win on stage two while Floortje Mackaij (Liv Plantur – but riding for the Dutch National Team) won stage three. Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv – but riding for the Dutch National Team) added one more win to her already dominant season in Geraardsbergen for stage four. Huge props to the Lotto Belgium Tour race organisers for excellent live race coverage on Twitter and speedy and comprehensive post-race updates.
You can find the official race reports from the race organisers at these links:
And here is video from each stage (starting with stage one):
Bonus Lotto Belgium Tour coverage comes from Velofocus. These are Sean Robinson’s final set of images from the 2015 season.
GIRO DELLA TOSCANA
The Giro della Toscana coverage was far less impressive (as is often the case with Italian racing, unfortunately). Most of the race updates we found came from riders and teams on social media throughout the three-day race. Annemiek van Vleuten (Bigla) continued her impressive return from injury by winning the prologue to pull on the race leader’s jersey. Marta Bastianelli (Aromitalia – Vaiano) won the stage two bunch sprint. And Malgorzta Jasinska (Alé Cipollini) soloed to victory on the final stage. Jasinska put enough time into her chasers to win the overall.
We’ve got this video from the prologue and stage one:
That’s (sadly) all we dug up out of Toscana.
LA MADRID CHALLENGE
Shelley Olds (Alé Cipollini) won the inaugural La Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta on Sunday. The one-day women’s race was held in Madrid on the final day of La Vuelta. Olds outsprinted two-time former world champion Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda) and Kirsten Wild (Hitec Products).
You can read about the race here:
Curious why we didn’t cover La Madrid Challenge in the same vein as La Course? Sarah Connolly’s disillusionment with the race perfectly sums up our sentiments.
La Madrid Challenge was broadcast live (YAY!) and the recently-retired Lucy Martin provided commentary for Europsort. Here are the final 20 kilometeres:
UCI HOUR RECORD – MOLLY SHAFFER VAN HOUWELING
Molly Shaffer van Houweling set a new standard in the UCI Hour Record in Aguascalientes, Mexico, over the weekend. We wrote about it here. And you can watch her record-breaking ride in the archived live stream above.
‘Tis the season. Here is the contract news that jumped out at us this week.
- Bigla signs Stephanie Pohl and re-ups with Clara Koppenburg and Lisa Stein
- Wiggle Honda signs Lucy Garner
- Boels-Dolmans re-signs Megan Guranier
RICHMOND ROAD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS
September 11 was the deadline for national federations to name their squads for the 2015 Road World Championships in Richmond, VA., so all teams have now officially been announced. The British team selection garnered quite a bit of chatter with Dani King (Wiggle Honda) and Shara Laws (Bigla) notably left off the team.
This piece in Business Insider is a good starting place to familiarise yourself with the Richmond courses and contenders. It also offers a bit of a historical perspective on the Road World Championships.
THE PROBLEM WITH PODIUM GIRLS
Bicycling owns up to a “careless error” on social media in which their followers thought they were calling a podium girl “a trophy” in a poorly crafted tweet. While the publication clearly regrets the error, they admit that the responses highlight the sensitivity around the subject of podium girls and has opened the door to further dialogue on the #NoPodiumGirls movement.
Best line: “What all of these responses really highlighted is the sensitive subject of podium girls—and how frustrated many of us are with images of women in cycling being often reduced to trophy holders. There’s a reason these photos draw such a reaction. In a sport where pro women are excluded from the biggest event of the year, a photo of Tour de France winner Chris Froome sharing the podium with models in tight dresses becomes a stark symbol of ongoing inequalities.”
ANNA BUICK’S JOURNEY
Anna Buick’s earliest childhood memories are on the bike and she began to take the sport seriously as a young teen. But her path was derailed by a very serious training accident in Cyprus last year, and she spoke to Total Women’s Cycling about her inspiring recovery.
Best line: “She describes the first rides – saying: ‘My muscles were playing Captain Clueless in comedy about drunken synapses. I vividly remember my first ride outside. I went off road with my Mum, about two miles around the village where we live. Those two miles were possibly the most tiring and exhilarating ever!’ “
HELEN WYMAN ON CROSSVEGAS, THE EARLY SEASON FEEDING DRAMA AND VELOCIO COLLABORATION
Sarah Connolly interviewed Helen Wyman last week about the first World Cup of the season (CrossVegas – this Wednesday!), the UCI feeding rules that have created all sorts of drama at the early season UCI races in the US and Wyman’s collaboration with Velocio (which we also covered here). Like many of Connolly’s interviews, this one is a podcast. You can click here to read about the podcast before you download or click here to simply download and start listening.
Ella Reads You Don’t Want to Miss
Catch up on content you may have missed on Ella this week:
- Gravel grinding gear and tips
- My first bike race with the Girona-based pros
- Digging into the Pain Cave – Part 1
- Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
- Bad days happen to the best of us