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  • winkybiker

    I think there is long way to go for the professional teams to “connect with the general public and inspire women to get into the sport”. With the exception of perhaps (in the hopefully soon-to-be forgotten-past) a texan cheat, I don’t think even the men’s pro riders really inspire many people to take up cycling. My non-cycling friends would struggle to name one pro cyclist, and even if they could it doesn’t mean they want to take up cycling. Probably the opposite. It’s seen a strange and dirty sport at the top end. Nice scenery, though. No, I think the pro side of the sport exists almost soley due to the support of people who are already cycling enthusiasts. Most people become interested in in it only after they take up cycling. Not the other way ’round.

    Let’s be honest here. People usually want to be pro athletes for their own selfish reasons. Same as most us do anything. To pretend there is some greater good to pro sports is simply a way of feeling a bit better about being paid to play a game instead of having a real job. Cycling participation is bolstered by general promotion, through advocay groups, by the provision of good facilities and by word of mouth amongst/from enthusiasts. If the whole pro scene vanished in a puff of its own self-importance, cycling participation rates would barely change. And there would still be races and there would be champions. Don’t get me started on why the hell even sportifs/fondos have prizemoney. Just make the entries cheaper. We won’t miss the few people who turn up for a chance at the cash. We really won’t. Someone will still “win”.

    • Eliza Kwan

      Hey Winkybiker, I don’t entirely agree and I can’t speak for every girl out there, but as a female, relatively new to the sport of cycling, I’m incredibly inspired by the path Rochelle is blazing with the Wiggle Honda team and domestically with the High 5 dream team. Pro teams bring exposure of the sport to the general public and having an Australian attempting to make a cultural shift away from cycling as a ‘strange and dirty sport’ to something more positive, including a pathway for a female who might enjoy racing is great to me. More power to her!! Not everybody wants to be a #pro, likewise not everybody wants to just ‘participate’ I love seeing something for everybody in cycling and Rochelle looks to be providing that ‘something’ for anybody aspiring to race at the highest level.

      • winkybiker

        Thanks for the comment. I’d consider you to already be an enthusiast, although admittedly fairly new to the sport. I’d still be skeptical that many non-cyclists are inspired by pro cyclists or pro cycling to take up the sport.

        I don’t think there is any greater good associated with professional sports generally. It is entertainment at best, and a corrupt cesspool of self-interest at worst. Good luck to those that can craft out a profession in sport, but I just can’t get on board with arguments that “something should be done” to make it possible for there to be more professional athletes.

    • puma.will.pounce

      I think this fella winkybiker just posted the closest thing on this planet to what appears to be Aristotle’s treatise on pro cycling. Pretty sure.

      • winkybiker

        i don’t know what to say…..

  • Derek Maher

    Rochelle has obviously got her act together when it comes to running and marketing her Team and fair dues to her.
    As most of the money for pro teams and semi pro comes from sponsorship marketing is essential and Teams should not be afraid to exploit the huge female products market. Anything from hairspray to nail polish can bring in much needed cash with the right market handling. Teams should not be afraid to present themselves as female who are both athletic and glamorous.

    • Annie.

      As far as I can see, they aren’t. Female product producers don’t seem to see the connection though: They don’t realize it might do the trick to not only present women as female and attractive creatures, but also sportive, strong beings. In my opinion, that’s a shame and also, pairing up with a cycling team would probably do the trick of repositioning itself – be it nailppolish or hairspray – in a market overflooded by interchangeable beauty products.

      • Derek Maher

        Thanks for your thoughtful reply to my post Annie.
        I guess its up to the Team’s management to get their act together and persuade the Female products industry to get on board.
        Tell them about the increase in future media coverage of the sport and how it would benefit their marketing strategy.
        The London six day track race ended last night with full eurosport TV coverage and a packed stadium every night with both the women and men getting equal coverage for their events. The UCI and the media are going to be pushing women’s cycle racing to a far greater extent in 2016 onwards so the opportunity is going to be there for the smart managers of teams.

  • lefthandside

    Fantastic piece. Really really interesting – Gilmour must be an absolute force of nature

  • puma.will.pounce

    Rochelle left out all the nude posing she did, but that’s alright.


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