Women’s Cycling Weekly: Issue 16

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Hello! Welcome to Women’s Cycling Weekly issue 16 🚴‍♀️ 

Monday was International Women’s Day aka the day of watching brands who don’t normally give a toss about equality falling over themselves to pretend to care about equality! In the cycling world, one particularly galling entry was none other than the UCI who posted a nice little graphic on their Instagram page spanning a whole row of their grid, the only good to come out of which was the fact that they got blasted in the comments for their disingenuousness. 

To pause my cynicism for a second, though, (a rare occasion) it feels like there’s been lots of forward momentum in women’s cycling lately; with last week’s prize money debate and GoFundMe and lots of publications stepping up their women’s content. It’s great to see, but — to don the cynic hat again — let’s hope it all continues beyond IWD and heralds some real-life changes! 

News 📰

  • Team BikeExchange are the latest WWT team to reveal that they have raised the minimum salaries for their female riders to be in line with the men’s squad. Click here to see what Teniel Campbell had to say about it.
  • A report in Cycling Weekly this week revealed that The Women’s Tour of Scotland will not be back for a second edition after Zeus Sports — the company that organised the race — went bankrupt leaving teams and other creditors out of pocket. 
  • The final total of the Strade Bianche prize money GoFundMe was a huge €26,973!
  • After her second place at Strade Bianche last weekend, Elisa Longo Borghini and her Trek Segafredo teammates have said that they will donate their share of the crowdfunded prize money “to support women’s cycling projects.”
  • Canyon//SRAM rider Tiffany Cromwell has announced that she will be taking on 10 gravel races this year in between a reduced road calendar. 
  • The Women’s Tour have been announcing some of the start and finish locations of the 2021 race. The race will begin in Bicester, the penultimate stage will traverse Colchester > Clacton and the final day will start in Haverhill and finish in Felixstowe. Follow their Twitter for updates.
  • In the wake of the prize money debate, The Cyclists’ Alliance riders’ union issued a statement from their Rider Council in which they also laid out ‘Four simple steps to help build a better future for professional women’s cycling from our Rider Council.’
  • Something about ‘people just aren’t interested in women’s sport’: 
  • Cyclocross and cross country MTB racer Ellen Noble has launched a new team and mentorship programme — Noble Racing — for her return to MTB and with a focus on mentoring young girls in the sport. 
  • New race alert: the organisers of the CIC – Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenges have confirmed that in 2022 they will hold a women’s edition of the race alongside the men’s.

Interested in a challenge for next year? The Tour 21 is a charity ride following all 21 stages of the Tour de France in order to raise money for Cure Leukemia. This year — out of the 25 riders — there is only ONE woman taking part, Sarah Hope, but she and the charity are hoping to get more female participation in 2022 and beyond. If this sounds up your street then a) visit the website at thetour21.co.uk and b) get training! 

Results 🏆

I’m still not over the excitement of having actual real-life road racing to report on!

  • The grand total of 40 minutes of racing that was broadcast of Saturday’s Strade Bianche proved every bit as thrilling to watch as we knew it would be. Once again it was SD Worx who dominated the race, sending riders attacking left, right, and centre until eventually Chantal Van den Broek-Blaak got away with Elisa Longo Borghini of Trek-Segafredo. Many would have had their money on Longo Borghini to take the win on the steep Santa Caterina climb but it was VDBB who powered to the line with Longo Borghini taking second and none other than Anna van der Breggen in third. How do you stop SD Worx in one-day races? Answers on a postcard. 
  • The Healthy Ageing Tour 2.1 stage race kicked off on Wednesday with stage one taking place on the the Assen TT motorsport circuit. Despite several attacks and a late solo break by impressive young rider Deniek Hengeveld of GT Krush Tunap, the bunch came to the line all together with Jolien d’Hoore of SD Worx taking the sprint with Alice Barnes of Canyon//SRAM in second and Karlijn Swinkels of Jumbo Visma in third. Lorena Wiebes of Team DSM suffered a nasty crash after touching wheels with Barnes but thankfully was able to finish the race.Thursday’s time trial stage — won by Ellen van Dijk of Trek-Segafredo who then went into the overall lead — was postponed and the use of time trial bikes banned after the Extreme Weather Protocol was implemented due to high winds. Amy Pieters of SD Worx took second at 26 seconds down with Lisa Brennauer of Ceratizit-WNT in third at 30 seconds. The race concluded today with soggy laps of a course featuring the short but punchy Col du Vam climb. An aggressive and tactical show of force from SD Worx ensued with Lonneke Uneken eventually taking a solo flier with around 20 km to go which she held to the line. Emma Norsgaard of Movistar took second place and Brennauer in third but Van Dijk — after being forced to chase for most of the race — held on to the GC lead. 
  • The African Continental championships concluded last Saturday with Carla Oberholzer of South Africa taking the road race. Her compatriot Hayley Preen took second place with Vera Looser of Namibia in third. 
  • Supaksorn Nuntana won the Thai national road race championships. 

Upcoming Races 📅

  • This Sunday, 14th March, GP Oetingen (1.2) — a new one-day race — will take place in Belgium. The 120km race starts at 13:30 CET. View start list.
  • The second — but technically third — edition of Danilith Nokere Koerse (1.Pro) will take place on Wednesday 17th March. The 124km race starts at 10:00 with live coverage from 12:00 CET. View start list.
  • The South African national time trail championships will take place next Friday, 19th March. Notably absent will be reigning title-holder Ashleigh Moolman Pasio of SD Worx. 

Read 🗞️

I’m sometimes left scraping the barrel for this section but thanks to Monday having been International Women’s Day there is a mountain of content out there from this week and it’s all too good not to share. 

Listen 🎧

Get the International Women’s Day special of the CyclingTips podcast featuring Abby Mickey into your ears. Abby speaks openly and articulately on the backlash she sometimes faces as a woman putting her work out there in a male-dominated industry reporting on a male-dominated sport. The podcast also features fascinating interviews with Elorie Slater of Pivot Bikes and Luisa Grappone of Hunt Wheels. 

Book Club 📚

I’ve recommended Where There’s a Will by Emily Chappell before: a fantastic memoir of Chappell’s experience of the Transcontinental race. ICYMI, though, CyclingNews published an extract from the book this week which is well worth checking out! 

Feel Good Friday 💕

A break in the ‘Names You Should Know’ section this week to save space (and research time). I promise it will return next week but in its absence FGF is back! 

If you’re sick of this section covering people riding bikes for charity then look away now because I couldn’t not share the story of 4 year-old Chelsea

Chelsea hasn’t let the fact that she only just learned to ride a bike without stabilisers stop her from taking on the challenge of cycling 100 miles to raise money for the mental health charity that helped her mum through some tough times. 

That’s All 👋

That concludes this edition of Women’s Cycling Weekly. Once again thank you for reading and supporting women’s cycling and if you like what you see you can support WCW on Ko-Fi:

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Have a great weekend everyone!

Until next time,

Amy x

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