Women’s Cycling Weekly: Issue 23

The 23rd issue of the WCW is live, with all the news, articles, podcasts, and videos to catch up on this week.

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Hello! Welcome to Women’s Cycling Weekly issue 23 🚴‍♀️

I was so smug with myself yesterday because I’d written half of this newsletter and had plenty of time — or so I thought — to finish it off this afternoon. That was before my car broke down on the way home 😑.

As a result, here I sit, at 5 pm, with half of this thing to write. Is it too late in the day for a coffee? Anyway, at least there’s women’s racing on this weekend and lots of content to read/watch/listen to!

CyclingTips can’t help you when your car breaks down (to my knowledge 🤷‍♀️) but they can (and do) help spread the word of women’s cycling content! Thanks, as always, to them for the support. Remember, if you’re reading it on CyclingTips.com you can also subscribe to get this very content directly into your inbox, guaranteed no breaking down en route.

News 📰

  • Funding for the inaugural women’s Tour de Suisse is still not guaranteed, but the organisers are ploughing on regardless. The race was announced on Tuesday and it will be a grand total of two stages long, taking place in Frauenfeld between the 6th and 7th June. 
  • After having to sit out Liege-Bastogne-Liege due to close contact with someone who tested positive for Covid, Ruth Winder has now tested negative and will return to racing today at Festival Elsy Jacobs.
  • In other rider Covid news, Winder’s teammate, Chloe Hosking, is recovering from the virus after testing positive at the beginning of the month. She said in an Instagram post, “I’m in for a long slow slog back to fitness but I’ve done it before and I will do it again.”
  • In another instance of Insta as news, GB track cyclist Elinor Barker, revealed in a post yesterday that she had been driven into by someone on a roundabout last week — who didn’t even stop to check if she was okay — but “I’m so lucky it wasn’t worse, minor damage was done and I had less than a week out of training.” 
  • Christine Majerus is calling for common sense with regards to the new UCI safety regulations, saying that organisers need to do their part, too. 
  • Organisers of the Lotto Thüringhen Ladies Tour — one of the oldest and most popular races on the calendar — have started a crowdfund to recoup some of the extra costs due to Covid, the first 500 people to donate €15 or more will have their name on the stage winner’s jersey. More information here.
  • Evolve Cycling, the cycling network for Muslim women, are hosting an Eid cyclethon on Saturday 22nd May at the Hillingdon circuit in London. The cyclethon will feature events of varying levels and kids are welcome. For more information see here.
  • Racing in Australia re-starts this weekend with the oldest race in the country, the 267km Melbourne to Warrnambool, tomorrow and then Grafton to Inverell the following weekend.
  • Is this news? It is now. Anna van der Breggen wants help choosing the design for her new kit collab, go on.

Results 🏆

  • Well, the Ardennes are Ardone (yes) for another year and it was another SD Worx victory at Liege-Bastogne-Liege, this time for Demi Vollering. A 10km leadout by the world champion herself, are you kidding me?! The team rode the race to perfection and it was wonderful to see how much it meant to both Demi and Anna van der Breggen. Honourable mentions for a great ride go to the rest of SD Worx, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, the whole Trek-Segafredo team and Elisa Longo Borghini’s out of nowhere sprinting skills for third. And, of course, second-placed Annemiek van Vleuten, too.  ICYMI you can find highlights here.

Upcoming Races 📅

  • Festival Elsy Jacobs 2.Pro is happening right now! It kicked off this evening at 17:30pm CET. There will be live coverage of every stage via a stream on the official race website and GCN+. Today’s stage is a 2.2km prologue including a short but steep-looking climb.The second stage, on Saturday, 1st May, is a 125.1km road race featuring a 44.7km circuit followed by four laps of a 20.1km circuit. The stage begins at 14:30 CET.On Sunday, the final stage is 105km long featuring a 61.3km loop followed by 5 laps of an 8.8km circuit. The stage begins at 14:00 CET. You can find the technical guide here, and a startlist here. Read a preview of the race here.
  • Also coming up next week, another stage race marks the start of a series of Spanish races: Setmana Ciclista Valenciana 2.1 — kicking off on Thursday 6th May until Sunday 9th May.

Read 🗞️

Watch 📺

The Bunnyhop is back for another episode! This time featuring multiple SophiesJoanna Rowsell just casually mentioning her pivot to studying medicine like that isn’t amazing?? and the ever-brilliant Teniel Campbellalongside regular host Rebecca Charlton. Great content. Get it near to your eyeballs asap.

Listen 🎧

Look, I’ve put the ‘other’ podcast on top so I don’t seem too biased towards the one I’m on! A new one to me this week — and maybe to you, too. Ride 2 Unite by We Love Cycling featuring The Cyclists’ Alliance founder Iris Slappendel whom this newsletter very much stans. Plug in here.

And then, of course, it’s Freewheeling ft.an LBL recap, Festival Elsy Jacobs, and — to entice you further — more rider diaries in Tayler Wiles’s sultry tones.

Names You Should Know 💡

A name from more recent history this week and thus one you might already know, but whose story you might not. In the last 24h you may have seen this piece — another by the wonderful Isabel Best — featuring the story of Rebecca Twigg, one of America’s most accomplished female riders who was active in the 1980s and 1990s. Twigg had precocious talent when she was younger, a high-achiever both academically and athletically. She won a silver medal in the first-ever women’s Olympic road race in LA in 1984, six world championship medals in the 3,000m pursuit on the track, and broke myriad records. After taking a career break after a burnout she then retired, and fell off the radar. What people didn’t know, until 2019, was that she had been homeless. 

Twigg’s story is extraordinary but the circumstances that led her to her situation are still a risk for riders today. In the piece, Isabel Best speaks to figures in the sport, including riders, about the financial hardship that many female so-called ‘pro’ riders face and how that can lead to difficulties both while racing but also once they retire.

Any number of factors can exact a heavy mental toll on elite sports people as they transition to ‘civilian’ life. But female cyclists retire with an additional burden compared to their male counterparts, since the vast majority of women leave the sport with no savings, no pension scheme, and a lot of debt.

If you haven’t already, you can read the article now on Cycling News.

Feel Good Friday ✌️

This riposte is just *chef’s kiss*:

Love to see it:

Finally, 99.9% of bovines agree:

That’s All 👋

Thanks for reading Women’s Cycling Weekly!

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Have a great weekend!

Until next time,

Amy x

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