Women’s Cycling Weekly: Issue 22

La Flèche Wallonne Féminin 2021

by Amy Jones

photography by @rhode.photo


Welcome to Women’s Cycling Weekly issue 22 🚴‍♀️

Today is my birthday 🥳 and, before you think I’m a sad case who sat here on my birthday writing out this newsletter: I didn’t. I am very dedicated to WCW but let me assure you that this is coming to you from the past (Thursday, to be precise). With any luck, as you are reading this I’ll be at least a few slices of cake (and maybe even a beverage or two) deep.  

I hope you enjoyed the interview with the director of The Run Up Series that I sent out on Tuesday, don’t forget to watch tomorrow (Saturday 24th) on YouTube! 

What a week of racing it’s been, and what a week of news, too. Lots to get through so read on for more!

News 📰

  • ASO has announced that La Course will now take place a day earlier — on the 26th, rather than the 27th of June — due to regional elections taking place in the area it was due to be held in. Stage two of the Tour de France — which is due to take place in the same area — will not face any changes, natch. 
  • The race director of the 2022 cyclocross World Championships — and 2021 world cup — in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Brook Watts, has resigned over the hateful, anti-trans legislation recently passed by the state. Watts said in a statement: “The situation in Arkansas remains problematic and unfortunately, I don’t see any satisfactory resolution. I have sincerely, but unsuccessfully, attempted to work out my concerns and differences with constituents. However, regrettably, we were not successful.”
  • Unfortunately, young Australian talent Sarah Gigante of Team Tibco-SVB suffered a broken collarbone in a crash at La Flèche Wallonneon Wednesday — get well soon, Sarah! 
  • The UCI has announced that they are partnering with Zwift for the IOC’s new Olympic Virtual Series. Cycling will be featured alongside rowing, baseball-softball, sailing and motorsport in the new event which will take place between the 1st and 27th of June. More information will be communicated at the end of May. If you love convoluted press releases (who doesn’t?) you can read more here
  • Viewing figures for the women’s Amstel Gold Race once again surpassed the men’s (on certain networks in the Netherlands at least).
  • Meanwhile, the viewing figures are in for La Flèche Wallonne:

Results 🏆

Lots of results to get through this week after Sunday’s bonanza of three UCI races in one day — what is this, men’s racing or something?

  • It was victory for Marianne Vos in Amstel Gold WWT on Sunday after some questionable tactics from Elisa Longo Borghini who frittered away a gap she had with a frustrated Kasia Niewiadoma. Much has been made of this, I won’t go into it here. Demi Vollering took a second after coming in hot last-minute causing Vos to look a bit rattled there for a second. Annemiek van Vleuten took third. ICYMI you can watch highlights here
  • Also on Sunday was the Vuelta CV Feminas 1.1, won from an impressive sprint by young Italian Chiara Consonni of Valcar Travel and Service. Her compatriot Barbara Guarischi took second after some classic Movistar-esque racing from her team while Elodie le Bail of the catchily-named Stade Rochelais Charente-Maritime Women Cycling came third.
  • Then, it was Gladys Verhulst of France who took the win in GP Féminin de Chambéry with Giorgia Bariani second and Debora Silvestri third, both from Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
  • On Wednesday it was Ardennes time again, with La Flèche Wallonne WWT. The Queen of the Mur aka Anna van der Breggen only went and won a whopping seventh time in a row in her final race up the climb that really ought to be named after her. Following a valiant effort at giving vbd a run for her money, Kasia Niewiadoma took second with Elisa Longo Borghini pipping Annemiek van Vleuten to third. Marianne Vos started the day in the WWT leader’s jersey and — despite fading towards the end of the race and missing out on the select group — she maintains it going into Liège on Sunday. If you weren’t popping your head out of your window to watch it then you’ll want to check out the highlights.

Upcoming Races 📅

  • Sunday 25th is the last Ardennes Classic of the season — Liège-Bastogne-Liège. It looks like defending champion Lizzie Deignanwon’t be racing but, whatever happens, we’re in for an explosive and dynamic showdown. The 140km race kicks off at 8:40 CEST and will be broadcast live from 11:00 CEST on the usual channels. Provisional startlist here. Race preview here.
  • Next Thursday, 30th April, the second stage race of the season, Festival Elsy Jacobs 2.Pro kicks off. The race is three stages long, here’s more detail of the stages:

The race will be broadcast via a free livestream, the details of which are as yet unclear. For a provisional startlist click here.

Twatter of the Week 💩 

Read 🗞️

Listen 🎧

Oh yes, FreewheelingMore rider diaries from Tayler Wiles ft. a cameo from Ruth Winder, an interview with Oliver Grenaa who you might recognise from Tuesday’s bonus issue — I’m still waiting for my Coke Zero sponsorship to come through. 

This week’s BBC balance podcast is a new one, the TT Podcast featuring an interview with GB Olympic track cyclist Elinor Barker.

Watch 📺

Obviously, watch The Run Up tomorrow — did you get the message, yet? ICYMI here’s a trailer to get you excited:

Also, this video is so much fun. It makes me want to use words I never normally utter such as ‘rad’ and ‘stoke’. It also makes me want to go and ride MTB even though I’m rubbish at technical riding and my idea of off-road is a manicured gravel path. Have a watch:

That’s All 👋

Thanks for reading Women’s Cycling Weekly!

If you like what you see you can support WCW on Ko-Fi.

Have a great weekend!

Until next time,

Amy x

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