Women’s Cycling Weekly, Issue 13

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Hello! Welcome to Women’s Cycling Weekly issue thirteen 🚴‍♀️

If this issue was a race number I’d turn it upside down. 

Only one more week left in this liminal pre-season space before Omloop Het Nieuwsblad next Saturday — although whether or not it will be broadcast live seems to be hanging in the balance. There’s some interesting news as well as something new to WCW in this week’s newsletter, read on to see what’s cracking.

Reminder! Make sure you sign up for the newsletter at the bottom of this post so what Women’s Cycling Weekly will drop into your inbox every Friday.

News 📰

Racing news: 

  • This is one I really hoped I wouldn’t have to write but The Women’s Tour organisers, SweetSpot, announced that they have been forced to postpone the 2021 edition of the race — due to take place in June — because of Coronavirus fears. SweetSpot have said they are working with the UCI to find an alternative calendar slot in October this year and that the postponement will not impact the promised live coverage.
  • The UCI 2.1 Bretagne Ladies’ Tour by Ceratizit — due to take place in May —has been cancelled for 2021. Organisers say they are already working on the 2022 edition. 


  • Some exciting last-minute transfer news just in this week: the Liv Racing Women’s WorldTour team have announced that US-based rider Ayesha McGowan will join the squad from August as a trainee. McGowan has raced at elite level in the USA and also campaigns for greater diversity and inclusion in the sport. She will join the team at their training camp next month before making her race debut in August. 
  • As a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Belgian Classics are to happen without spectators. The ban will extend throughout, from Omloop het Neiuwsblad to the Tour of Flanders. Key areas will be cordoned off and spectators will be blocked from gathering at climbs and cobbled sectors along the route. 
  • A new initiative, Women in Cycling, is set to launch next week (February 24 at 3 p.m. CET). The aim of the project is to further equality and diversity in the cycling industry. You can find out more via the Cycling Industries Europe website.  
  • The Cyclists Alliance women’s union have been extending their support to British riders who are struggling to reach Europe for racing after Brexit. The TCA put out a tweet asking any riders struggling to reach out for help and called on British Cycling and riders’ teams to assist. British Cycling have since published a series of FAQs on the issue. 
  • Ashleigh Moolman Pasio of SD Worx told CyclingNews that no women were consulted on the new UCI safety regulations
  • If you have a Zwift account then join Shuhena Islam who is leading women’s rides on the platform, including a Muslim women’s ride on Sunday and a women’s ride on Wednesday (which next week will feature karaoke(!!)) Just add Shuhena on Zwift (Shuhena Islam (RCC)) to be invited. 
  • Australian broadcaster CyclingCentral have revealed that they have four hours of live coverage planned for the inaugural Women’s Paris Roubaix

Results 🏆

  • Georgia Williams took the New Zealand national road race title making her the national champion for both road and TT. Kate McCarthy came second with Sharlotte Lucas in third. Georgia Danford took the under 23 title. 
  • Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado took the win in Brussels for the third year in a row at the final round of the X²O Badkamers Trofee. Alvarado finished solo with Denise Betsema in 6 seconds behind and Manon Bakker in third. After overcoming problems with her pedals during the race, Lucinda Brand finished fifth to take the series overall.
  • Denise Betsema won Ethias Cross Eeklo ahead of Bakker and Brand

Upcoming Races 📅

This is the final weekend of cyclocross for the 2020-21 season! 

  • First up is Ethias Cross Sint-Niklaas on Saturday — and the women’s race will be broadcast from 13:45 CET.
  • On Sunday it’s Sluitingsprijs Oostmalle.
  • The Portuguese national Cyclocross championships will also take place on Sunday as well as the French junior national championships.
  • On the road there are two UCI 1.2 races taking place in Turkey this weekend; Grand Prix Velo Manavgat and Grand Prix Velo Alanya

Read 🗞️

Watch 📺

Not something that’s available to watch right now but one to bookmark for later. The charity Cycling UK are running a ‘Winter Watch Party’ series celebrating women’s cycling starting next Thursday (25th February). The first film will be about the one and only Beryl Burton. The online watch party also includes a panel discussion which next week will feature Denise Cole(Beryl Burton’s daughter), author Isabel Best and author and journalist (and Beryl Burton biographer) William Fotheringham. For more information and to register click here.

Listen 🎧

The latest episode of the CyclingTips Freewheeling podcast hosted by Abby Mickey dropped today featuring a 2021 season preview and with the return of Loren Rowney as co-presenter. There’s also a feature on the inner workings of the FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope Women’s WorldTour team. Get it wherever you usually get your pods! 

Names You Should Know 💡

No book club this week, instead, (taking the suggestion of a CT commenter) I thought I’d start to use a section of WCW to highlight some female figures from cycling times gone by. Disclaimer: I am not a historian and never claimed to be so please consider this to be an intro rather than an exhaustive resource!

You might remember a few issues ago when I recommended the book, The Greatest: The Times and Life of Beryl Burton by William Fotheringham and mentioned how — not only did I learn about one of the best cyclists of all time — I discovered many women cyclists’ names from the past I had never heard before. 

This week, then, if you’re not already familiar with Yvonne Reynders then here are some facts and further reading about this Belgian legend of women’s cycling:

  • Reynders competed during the 1960s in both road and track.
  • She began her sporting life in athletics before switching to discus.
  • She started out her cycling life by delivering coal bags weighing 10kg each after she left school aged 16.
  • She won 13 medals at world championships; three golds on the track and four on the road. 

That’s All 👋

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Either way, I’m hugely grateful for every WCW subscriber and stoked to see so much support for women’s cycling every week. 

Have a great weekend everyone!

Until next time,

Amy x

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