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Sun, sand and sweat: Photo highlights from the Doha Road World Championships

Photography by Cor Vos

  • Dirk Demol

    Hassan Aljumah of Saudi Arabia should’ve been disqualified for his ITT. The ‘superman’ position has been outlawed.

    Peter Sagan’s 13-person cheer squad made up a large percentage of spectators. I don’t doubt that for a minute.

    Fabulous shots.

    • velocite

      That was indeed the perfect mid-fall shot – I could feel pain on my palms.

    • dubious

      Hey, I was the spectator for the u23 race – pretty much everyone else seemed to be supporters.

  • Nitro

    (a) To everyone who’s ever said that the folks doing long rides with a Camelbak is “Not pro” – we all now stand corrected !

    (b) Great shot of the Belgian team drilling it hard – 4 riders on 4 different bike and wheel combinations – goes to show that its all about the legs / not about the bike ?!?

  • winkybiker

    No photos of the ladies?

    • Ronin

      No reading before commenting?

      • winkybiker

        Snap. You got me. But in my defence, the article is titled without the use of the qualifier “Men’s”.

      • Sean

        He probably thought he was on cyclingnews where the comments are much higher quality and offer far more insight than the cut+paste articles. I say give him the benefit of the doubt and hope he learns from this mistake.

        • winkybiker

          Much appreciated.

    • I know this post is mainly about the photos and the intro text is just setting the scene, but it was literally two paragraphs you had to read. ;) Here’s the info you’re after:

      “The gallery you see below documents each of the men’s events, from the team time trial, to the individual time trials, and on to the road races. For a gallery from the women’s events, stay posted to our sister site Ella CyclingTips in the coming days.”

      • winkybiker

        Fair cop, but seriously, it’s a photo article and it was not titled “Men’s”. But OK it’s clear I didn’t read those couple of prargraphs. Feel free to call me out for that if you must.

        I remain sceptical of the perceived need to differentiate by gender. For example, why not split the photos by TT/Road or Senior/Junior instead? Makes just as much sense as Men’s/Women’s. Why are cooking articles in Ella? Perpetuate stereotypes much?

        • The editorial staff at Ella wanted to do their own gallery for the women’s events, and that’s fine by us.

        • Cameron Harris

          Whilst I don’t dig your tone, l agree with your calling out some of the gender specific content.

          • winkybiker

            Fair enough. Tone and nuance is harder to convey than when speaking. I’ll look out for it. Thanks.

  • campirecord

    There is no thought in my mind that the best won in Doha, there is also absolutely no thought in my mind that someone at UCI has broken multiple governance and ethics rules to have them there.

    • Dave

      They were the only bidder.

      It therefore seems logical to point the finger at Brian C(r)ookson, who was the head of the UCI Road Commission at the time, for accepting the bid rather than declaring it non-compliant and reopening applications.

  • Jon_NC

    Great photos… but no pictures of the great crowds? Oh there weren’t any crowds!

    • Struan

      There were actually. Not thousands but certainly hundreds, particularly for the Women and Men’s road races. They didn’t show up on tv because they were in the last 500m of the circuit. Cameras at that point are focused on the riders, not the fans – rightly so.

      To be sure, not anywhere near the same quantity of fans as you would see in traditional cycling countries, but very hard core and enthusiastic.

  • winkybiker

    On Ella – “Photo gallery: the women’s world championship events in Doha”


    Why would a pair of sites, who purport to be concerned with gender equality in cycling, continue to consider that “men’s” is implied while “women’s” is a required qualifier?

    • @winkybiker:disqus: I appreciate the passion you bring to this subject however it’s not as simple as you suggest. SEO is a major consideration. When people are looking for female cycling content on google, they use keywords such as ‘women’s cycling’. This is how many people find this content. They don’t google ‘men’s cycling photos’. There are other factors in headline choice as well that I could bore you with, but just know that there is much more to this than gender equality. We put more effort and spend more money into women’s cycling than most media publications and we need to make this work for us commercially so that it can continue to run. Unfortunately the commercial realities is what drives many of these decisions and allows you to see this content.

      • winkybiker

        Adding the word “Men’s” to the article title would have reduced results on a Google search? I never realised that. Thanks.

        • No, but it was clunky. And to be honest, it gets tiring when we do absolutely everything we can for women’s cycling and we have people who keep complaining that we’re not doing enough, or not doing it right. And we’ve hired women to do this, but you still question it.

          • winkybiker

            OK, I’ll stop after this, then.

            Make a simple editorial rule that there should not be a default assumption that non-gender-denominated content is automatically assumed to be interpreted by readers as related to mens’ cycling. Just check for it. An article with “Peter Sagan” in the title doesn’t need qualification, just as one with “Marianne Vos” in the title doesn’t. But many do. It might come off as clunky, but is that not the future we all want? That men’s and women’s cycling achieves equal participation/coverage/significance/prizemoney etc. and that the qualifiers are therefore necessary for men’s as well as for women’s articles?

            • Chris

              “That men’s and women’s cycling achieves equal participation/coverage/significance/prizemoney etc.”

              Hey Winky,

              When is this going to happen and why hasn’t it happened already? And please don’t give us the “white male privilege line.” Why aren’t the same numbers of women attracted to cycling particularly given that women make up a greater percentage of the population? Why don’t women ride the same distances as men? Why do they ride slower than men? Please don’t jump on me with your response, give proper thought and consideration to your replies.

              Until these things happen do women deserve equal prize money and if you think yes, why? On the question of coverage, can you convince TV and the media to give the same amount of coverage while these inequalities in performance exist? The coverage is driven largely by sponsorship response which is driven largely (or totally) by numbers of viewers. Can you convince greater numbers of viewers to want to watch women’s cycling while these inequalities exist?

              • winkybiker

                Participation rates are catching up coming from a cultural norm of women not being as involved in physical activities. It’s definitely getting better. Can’t happen overnight, but the signs are encouraging. Best to ask non-cycling women why they don’t ride. As well as ask cycling women whether there is any negative incentive that we could address.

                Women ride the exactly same distances in many events (See Race to the Rock for a stunning example). The UCI placing limits on women’s race distances might be unequal, but it is perhaps a necessary compromise at all but the highest levels, Due to the low grassroots participation rates, the field “depth” may also be lacking. Economics play a part. Longer races are more expensive to hold.

                Women ride more slowly than men (on average – they’d kick my ass) because of physiology. The lack of field depth is also a factor.

                I indeed think prize-money should be “equal” for everybody. It should be zero for everyone. Invest the money into the events and/or reduce entry fees.

                Media coverage is a function of the economics. No, sponsors don’t get the same level of exposure from supporting womens’ events (yet – see tennis for a counter-example). We’re less interested in watching women or reading about them because they don’t have the same “resonance”. The events don’t have the history. This only changes with time.

                I don’t think people avoid watching women’s racing because of the unequal distances or prizemoney. That there are fewer women cyclists may be a reason that there are fewer women viewers. Because they’re not as familiar to us we don’t relate to them and we therefore don’t invest time into becoming familiar. It’s a chicken and egg thing. One reason people don’t watch is because it isn’t broadcast.

                I’ve been critical of some tactics that CT and Ella have used. I have found some of the women-specific content low-quality, banal and unhelpful in terms of establishing “credibility”. Of course, others presumably find it entertaining. I was most recently critical of an editorial policy that perpetuates the notion that “cycling” means “men’s cycling, and that only “women’s cycling” means “women’s cycling”. But their (CT and Ella) overall support for women’s cycling is great.

                • Chris

                  Hey Winky, a great response, thanks. I accept that there have been and are ‘cultural norms’ unfortunately cultural norms generally lead to a ‘politically correct’ discussion/argument – the bane of most of our lives. I’m happy and I’m all for encouraging more women to cycling and racing however as much as some of us may wish to, we cannot get around the immutable laws of nature – we must accept them. Men are (though with scientific ‘breakthroughs’ may not alway be) and I will generalise here bigger, stronger, faster. In contact sports men run faster, jump higher and crash into each other harder. I’m sure this doesn’t need to be pointed out.

                  Cycling, and training for cycling races is tough, very tough. If I can be politically incorrect here for a second less women than men are prepared to endure the early mornings, high hills, darkness, riding in the gutter and wind and rain etc, than men. If you want you can describe this as a ‘cultural norm’ that needs changing, but it is not that.

                  In sports, audiences are generally (again I use this word) more attracted to bigger, faster, and dare I say it, better action. They prefer to watch the A grade rather than the B grade or C grade and this is why. I understand some people do like women’s sport just as much for the difference, out of respect, novelty, and other reasons however unless political correctness completely usurps us (and it might) e.g. a govt mandates that TV stations must provide the same amount of coverage using the same star commentators, viewing numbers for most women’s sports will never reach the same as that for men’s sports.

                  It follows then that financials will not allow the same coverage of women’s sports anytime soon. Wade has attested to additional costs associated with pushing women’s racing separately. I’ve no doubt that we will see artificial attempts to equalise coverage but these attempts can’t and won’t last. Neither should they. Should we televise the Wagga mens’ B grade criterium in order to avoid discriminating against that class of riders?

                  Unless radical science and radical political correctness intervenes, women will never ride at the same level as men. This is an immutable fact based on natural physical advantages that men have. No one expects women to ride at the same level as men.

                  In terms of establishing the credibility of womens cycling it is, to me already credible, but it will never reach the same of level of credibility as men’s cycling until women ride the same distances at the same speed as men, ie race against men directly.

                  On a personal level I have more to do than worry about ending perceived sexism in each and every way in every corner of the world of sports, and the world.

  • Allez Rouleur

    What’s up with some of the chamois? Almost looks like they’re on the outside. I know many riders like/need more Grundel Grip in the TT, but can someone explain in more detail. Thanks. Is it a piece of material sewn on to add friction?

    • winkybiker

      I just hope inside-out bibshorts doesn’t become a “thing” in our club rides.


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