Women’s Cycling Weekly: Issue 26

Issue 26 of the Women's Cycling Weekly has landed, with all the news, reading suggestions, and videos about women's cycling this week.

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Hello! Welcome to Women’s Cycling Weekly issue 26 🚴‍♀️

After almost a month away, Women’s WorldTour racing is back — and with a stage race! After last week’s musings on the concept of a women’s grand tour I’ve been somewhat satiated by the action at Vuelta a Burgos Féminas — which has been great, obvs. Read on for details on that race as well as LOADS of news and content (some weeks blow hot and some cold 🤷‍♀️). 

Enjoy!

News 📰

  • Yesterday, in a press release, the UCI reported that WWT riders’ salaries and budgets had increased in 2021. The press release showed the results of an audit by external firm EY Lausanne which found that the average salary for a WWT rider had increased by 25% between 2020 and 2021. This is great news for WWT riders who make up 160 riders, but not so great for the 771 riders on Continental teams. The press release failed to give credit to the initiative taken by WWT teams including BikeExchange and Trek-Segafredo to increase riders salaries beyond the minimum stipulated by the UCI. WWT riders still earn on average 44.21% less than their male ProTeam counterparts. With no mention of the situation for Continental riders, the press release also failed to address the ever-widening gap between the upper echelons of the women’s peloton and the rest of the bunch, which The Cyclists’ Alliance 2020 Rider Survey showed was growing. In short, there’s still work to do!
  • Cycling Australia have announced their Olympic road squad for TokyoGrace BrownSarah GiganteTiffany Cromwell, and Alexandra Manly will be heading to the Games for the first time to join Amanda Spratt for her third Olympics. Brown and Gigante will also race the ITT.
  • On the subject of Australian riders, Lucy Kennedy of BikeExchangeposted an update on Twitter on her condition after her crash in Liége-Bastogne-Liége. She is back on the trainer after having surgery on complicated fractures in her hand and clavicle and added that a fractured eye socket is healing on its own.
  • And in further Aussie news, FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscoperider Lauren Kitchen announced via Instagram that she will be retiring from the sport as of today. All the best for the future, Lauren. 
  • After her second place finish in Nové Město on Sunday, Haley Battenhas qualified from the US MTB team for the Tokyo Olympic Games alongside Kate Courtney.
  • The Cyclists’ Alliance have announced a new Mentorship Programme aimed at assisting riders before, during, and after their career. The union have joined forces with CannondaleLiv CyclingSpecializedSRAM and Trek to offer internships to retiring riders “with the ultimate goal of creating long-term change beyond the bike.” Read more on TCA’s website
  • Details of the new UCI Track Champions League have been revealed. The series — which will be organised by Flanders Classics — will kick off in November and be raced across Saturday evenings in November and December. More details here.
  • Coffee brand, Segafredo, have extended their title sponsorship with both the men’s and women’s Trek-Segafredo teams for a further two years.
  • The 2021 editions of the WWT Postnord Vårgårda WestSweden TTT and road race have both been cancelled. Organisers announced the cancellation — now for the second year in a row — due to Coronavirus concerns but said they are focusing on the 2022 event. 
  • Some very sad news as US Masters champion Gwen Inglis was hit and killed by a suspected drunk driver last Sunday. Tributes have been paid to Inglis, who was 46 and won her national title in 2019, and aride was held in her memory. 
  • The organisers of the UCI Track Cycling Nations Cup due to take place in Cali, Colombia between 3rd and 6th June have requested to postpone the event as a result of the ongoing tensions in the country. The organisers and the UCI are looking for alternative dates.

Results 🏆

  • Anna van der Breggen came back to racing and went straight back to winning at the Gran Premio Ciudad de Eibar 1.1 on Sunday. In yet another wet and wild race that included multiple attacks — as well as a few crashes — the World Champion went solo and nobody else could follow. The rest of the field trickled in, with Annemiek van Vleutencame in solo for second at 15 seconds and Elisa Longo Borghini — also alone— 42 seconds back to take third. You can watch a replay of the YouTube livestream here. The action starts at 44 minutes in after some footage of old guns (🤷‍♀️) although maybe you’re in to that sort of thing too. 
  • Two days later the heavens opened again and van der Breggen took her second win at Durango – Durango Emakumeen Saria 1.1. If you didn’t see the race then I recommend you watch it back, at least for the final 20km wherein Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig attacks solo and, after getting caught, makes an almighty effort to bridge up to van Vleuten and van der Breggen at the front to hang on for third. 
  • Over in Nové Město at the UCI MTB XCO world cup it was a dominant Loana Lecomte who took her second World Cup win in as many weeks on Sunday. Haley Batten, who won the short track race on Friday, took second place after overtaking Rebecca McConnell on the final lap. Lecomte now leads the overall competition by 145 points ahead of Batten. 
  • Thursday marked the first stage of Vuelta a Burgos Féminas 2.WWTwon by Grace Brown (Team BikeExchange) after the Australian rider took off on the final climb bringing Elise Chabbey (Canyon//SRAM) with her. Niamh Fisher Black of SD Worx bridged and the trio held on until the line with Chabbey out-sprinting Fisher Black to take second. Brown took the GC lead on the same time as Fisher Black and Chabbey with the rest of the favourites 5 seconds back. Race report here. Stage 1 highlights video here.Stage two was won solo by Anastasiia Chursina of Ale BTC Ljubljana while Alice Barnes of Canyon//SRAM won the bunch sprint for second ahead of Amalie Dideriksen of Trek-SegafredoElise Chabbey moved into the leader’s jersey on positioning with Niamh Fisher Black second and Grace Brown third, the rest of the favourites remain at 5 seconds. Race report here.

Upcoming Races 📅

  • Tomorrow and Sunday bring the final two stages of Vuelta a Burgos Féminas, Sunday’s HC finish is not to be missed! Tune in from 15:00CET. 
  • The Internationale LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour 2.Pro Starts on Tuesday 25th, running over six stages to finish on the Sunday 30th. View startlist here. Race details here.

Read 🗞️

Book Club 📚

Thanks to Isabel Best for drawing my attention to this book, Alfonsina: Cycling is my Life, which is a graphic novel depicting the adventuresome Italian’s life and her exploits as the only woman to ever have ridden the Giro d’Italia. The book features gorgeous concept photography as well as poetry, prose and snippets of history. More Alfonsina content, please! 🇮🇹

Watch 📺

I missed this last week so in case you did too:

And, if you’re a GCN+ subscriber this looks awesome:

Listen 🎧

On the CyclingTips Freewheeling Podcast we are doing DAILY Vuelta a Burgos Féminas pods for your listening (I hope) pleasure ft. rider diaries from Heidi FranzBrodie Chapman, and Niamh Fisher-Black. Find it wherever you get your podcasts and plug in for some post-race analysis and inevitably bad predictions from yours truly.

No photos 📷

Zoncolan pioneers ⛰️

Ahead of tomorrow’s highly-anticipated Monte Zoncolan Giro d’Italia stage I thought it fitting to point out the fact that women’s peloton were actually first to race up the climb. The stage was won by Italian rider Fabiana Luperiniand you can find an interview with her as well as details of that 1997 stage here.

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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