Ella Picks: Are female cyclists safer, Beyoncé on a bike, The Oppy, Momentum 947 coverage and more

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In this week’s internet roundup, let’s discuss the continued sexualisation of women in cycling, the progress in cyclocross and a study that suggests that women are safer cyclists. We also want to introduce you to bad-ass endurance racer Rebecca Rush and para-cyclist Carol Cooke. And we have coverage from the Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge, the latest news on team signings, the winners of the Oppy Medal and more. So grab a cup of coffee and enjoy!

Let’s talk:

Internet chatter regarding sexualized images in the bike industry continues

Following the controversial Colnago social media post earlier this month and the Interbike sockgate before that, there’s plenty of internet chatter about sexism in the bike industry.

Global Cycling Network (GCN) took a jab at the Colnago tweet by posting this picture at the start of the weekend with the hashtag: #onefortheladies.

GCN post

The internet uproar continued this last week when Canada’s Momentum Magazine reposted the following instagram of Beyoncé ‘riding’a bike with a simple caption, “Guess who’s riding a city bike?


While Momentum may have thought it was an innocent post of another celeb taking to cycling, the internet thought otherwise and a backlash followed.
Gearjunkie has the story.

Best line:

“There needs to be room for women to be respected, period. For the myriad reasons anyone deserves respect – skill, intelligence, dedication, heart, compassion, and yes, sexuality. We have to recognize that there is a difference between what is offensive and what is powerful. It can be a fuzzy line, but we should know it when we see it.”

What progress means in cx

Kramon_CX_SP_Zonhoven2015_DSC7329 - Version 2
Nine-time British national cyclocross champion Helen Wyman has been on the forefront of women’s cycling advocacy and the fight for equal prize money for years. This past week she put the symbolic pen to paper to reflect on the changes that have or haven’t happened, how that’s impacted her as a bike racer, and what all the recent progress in women’s cross really means.

Best line:

“Of course a world of full equality in cross is still a few years off, not for want of trying I assure you. However huge progress has been made in the last few years that brings us ultimately back to my conversation in the gym. I promise further huge progress is already on its way and I will keep pushing for more as long as I have anything to do with it!”

Are female cyclists safer?

A new study by the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia has found that more than three quarters of cyclists hospitalized for bike-related injuries were men.

The study concluded that female cyclists have overall lower hospitalization rates because they take fewer risks.
CBC has the story.

What do you think, are women cyclists safer?


Rebecca Rusch

Rebecca Rush Pretty Damned Fast

We met endurance racer, multi-discipline world champion and fire fighter Rebecca “the Queen of Pain” Rusch at Rebecca’s Private Idaho in September of this year, and we’re big fans of her efforts to get more women on (dirt) bikes. Anna Maria Diaz-Balart at Pretty Damned Fast captures Rusch well in this profile.

Best line:

“Joy was at the heart of everything we discussed. For someone who’s life is dominated by first place victories, winning never came up. Stage races were “opportunities to travel and see the world.” Cycling is about seeing more, and enjoying the natural beauty of the world. “ It’s my tool of exploration’ she says, “It’s a way to get off the beaten path.” She finds motivation by getting friends involved in the sport, in fundraising for causes dear to her, in sharing her warm hospitality in Ketchum, Idaho.”

Carol “Caz” Cooke

Photo courtesy of Carol Cooke
Photo courtesy of Carol Cooke

Meet Carol Cooke. After 35 years of training, 2 countries, 3 sports and one devastating diagnosis, Carol Cooke’s dream of winning a gold medal came true at age 51. She tells her story in a recently published three-part series on her blog.


Cycling Australia’s year in review.


Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio wins Momentum 947

Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio takes the win at the first UCI 1.1 race in South Africa. duo Sabrina Stultiens and Floortje Mackaij who rounded out the podium. Photo: Cor Vos
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio takes the win at the first UCI 1.1 race in South Africa. duo Sabrina Stultiens and Floortje Mackaij who rounded out the podium. Photo: Cor Vos

South African rider Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Bigla) won the last women’s UCI road race of the year at the Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge in Johannesburg on Sunday. Upgraded in status, the Momentum 947 Cycle Challenge was the first-ever UCI sanctioned 1.1 race for women in South Africa.

It was no easy victory for Moolman-Pasio who encountered a mechanical problem at the start of the event and then crashed on a fast descent while part of a dangerous four-rider breakaway group that had a minute’s advantage.

When Moolman-Pasio rejoined the peloton after crashing out of the breakaway, her team got to work, chasing down the break.

“It was a bit of a challenge out there. I was quite shocked when I fell. It was a high speed crash. I checked everything was OK and I jumped back on the bike,” said Moolman-Pasio. “It was a bit of a blow but my team were absolutely fantastic. The Bigla girls gave everything to support and help me.”

Bigla teammate Sharon Laws attacked early on the final climb with two other riders. Moolman-Pasio bridged over before attacking over the top of the climb to solo to the finish ahead of Dutch riders Sabrina Stultiens and Floortje Mackaij (Liv-Plantur).

With the win, the South African national champion moved up in the UCI rankings, becoming the first South African cyclist to crack the Top 10.

“It was an incredible day for African cycling,” Moolman-Pasio said. “The first ever UCI 1.1 for women in South Africa and was a great showcase and we have to thank all the sponsors like Momentum for making it possible.”

Australia’s cycling elite gathered for the annual awards night over the weekend to see who won this year’s Sir Hubert Opperman “The Oppy” medal.

Annette Edmondson (SA) earned the title of Elite Track Cyclist of the Year after a dual world title winning year. In February, Edmondson teamed with Ashlee Ankudinoff, Amy Cure and Melissa Hoskins to claim the team pursuit world title in a world record time followed by a second gold in the omnium.Edmondson, who also claimed the award in 2013, edged Anna Meares (QLD) who claimed an eleventh world title and who claimed the individual pursuit world champion Rebecca Wiasak (ACT) for the award.

The Female Elite Para-Cyclist of the year award was awarded to Carol Cooke (VIC), for the second time having claimed the award in 2013. Carol won a third time trial world title in a row and silver in the road race plus four World Cup gold medals.

For the second year in a row Janine Jungfels (QLD) is the Elite Mountain Bike Cyclist of the Year. Janine became Australia’s first ever UCI Observed Trials World Champion in 2015, after taking Australia’s first medal a year earlier.

Elite Road Cyclist of the Year Female: Katrin Garfoot
Elite Track Cyclist of the Year Female: Annette Edmondson
Elite Para-Cyclist of the Year Female: Carol Cooke
Elite MTB Women: Janine Jungfels
Coach of the Year: Gary Sutton (Women’s High Performance Track Endurance)


+ Strong debut seasons Lizzie Williams and Sarah Roy return to Orica-AIS for 2016.

+ Why are there so many bicycles in the Netherlands? Mental Floss explains

+ UnitedHealthCare announced its 2016 roster including world champion time trialist Linda Villumsen, American sprinter Coryn Rivera and Dutch rider Iris Slappendel.

+ There will be a new team competing in the inaugural UCI Women’s World Tour with many familiar faces.

+ The National Geographic named the Afghan Women’s Cycling Team as its Adventurers of the Year 2016.

+ Can your period affect your performance? Is there a time during the menstrual cycle that an athlete would be physiologically primed for competition? Should an athlete take into account her menstrual cycle when setting a training plan? Dr. Stacy Sims has the answers.


This week’s feature image is brought to you by Jered Gruber, showing the endless roads in Wales, UK. 

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