Hello! Welcome to Women’s Cycling Weekly issue 28 🚴♀️
When it rains, it pours! From new contracts, to race news, to a jam-packed UCI post-meeting press release yesterday — it’s been a pretty full-on week.
Plus, we have Giro Rosa news at last, and it’s looking promising. I won’t be holding my breath just yet but the ‘under new management’ sign is up and the renovation looks pretty nice through the window so far.
Elsewhere, Olympic selections are trickling through and there’s live women’s racing on again this weekend at the first ever Tour de Suisse women. Loads to get through so let’s have it…
- As mentioned, the new organisers of the Giro Rosa (now Giro d’Italia Donne), PMG/Starlight, held a presentation yesterday to outline their plans for the race and present the stages. They then released a media package complete with a provisional startlist (!!) and details of each stage. The promise of live coverage was reiterated, more details are set to come over the next few weeks. For now, you can check out a preview here.
- Buried within all of that Giro d’Italia Donne news was the revelation that Annemiek van Vleuten is “undecided” on whether to race in Italy or not. She had previously named the race as a goal this season but told Cycling News that she is now looking to focus on preparing for the Olympic Games.
- In other calendar/race news: as part of a wide-ranging press release following a Management Committee meeting, the UCI set out the calendar for 2022 which included the news that Ride London will now become a three day event, Ceratizit Challenge by La Vueltaincreases from three to four stages, the 6-day Battle of the North is on, and the Tour de France Femmes is official at eight days starting right after the men’s Tour. Lots to look forward to!
- It was a full-on meeting, as the UCI also announced that they will be giving sanctioning powers to theirs Ethics Commission (without having to wait for a decision by the Disciplinary Commission à la the case of Marc Bracke) to combat abuse in the sport. This came after a series of recommendations made by The Cyclists’ Alliance.
- Last one from the busy bees in Aigle: the 2022 team selection process for WWT races will include the 15 WWT teams (there are meant to be 15 next year) who gain automatic entry, as will the two best Continental teams. A move which the UCI hope will “stimulate the development of women’s teams.”
- Lucinda Brand has re-signed with both her road team, Trek-Segafredo and cyclocross team, Baloise Trek Lions, for two more years.
- In other contract news, Lotte Kopecky has signed a three-year contract with SD Worx until 2024.
- This week Drops-Le Col s/b Tempur officially confirmed that their rider Joss Lowden will attempt an hour record in Grenchen, Switzerland this September after unofficially breaking the record in training in February.
- The Transcontinental Race ultra-endurance even has been postponed due to Covid-19 once again, the race will now be pushed back to 2022.
- Marlen Reusser has been selected to represent Switzerland for road at the Tokyo Olympic Games. The 29-year-old came second at the World ITT champs last year so will be one to watch against the clock next month.
- Liv Racing announced this week that the team will part ways with ex-pro and performance manager Lars Boom with immediate effect after Boom signed a contract with a different, unnamed, squad for 2022.
- Barbados national champion Amber Joseph will guest ride for L39ION of Los Angeles. She will make her debut at the Armed Forces Cycling Classic in Virginia this weekend.
- Two for two in the Stripping Dictatorships of Track Events stakes. After the UEC championships were moved out of Minsk last week, the 2021 UCI Track Cycling World Championships — due to be held from the 13th-7th October — have been moved from Turkmenistan to Glasgow. Although this time the reason given was that: “at the request of their organisers, as the health constraints and restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic make it impossible to stage the event in the country”— which is odd coming from the home of a dictator that denies the existence of Covid.
- Stages five and six of the Internationale LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour were taken by Lucinda Brand and Lorena Wiebes respectively with Brand going on to retain the overall ahead of Lotte Kopecky(0:09) and Emma Norsgaard (0:18).
- Jolanda Neff took the Swiss national MTB XCO title on Sunday ahead of Alessandra Keller and Sina Frei. Jacqueline Schneebeliwon the U23 race while Monique Halter claimed the junior title.
- The Austrian MTB XCO title was won by Mona Mitterwaller ahead of Laura Stigger and Anna Spielmann. Clara Sommer took the junior title.
Upcoming Races 📅
Lots on this weekend!
Tomorrow, 5th June
- The new two-day Tour de Suisse Women 2.1 kicks off tomorrow with a 114km hilly stage. The race will be broadcast live from 13:30 CET. View preview here. View provisional startlist here.
- Elsewhere, Dwars door het Hageland 1.2 starts at 10:45am CET with 122.3km to race. No live broadcast, sadly. Provisional startlist here.
- Also tomorrow is the German MTB XCO championships, as well as the Peru and Ecuador ITT championships.
- Unbound Gravel is also being held tomorrow and will be broadcast live for the first time. More info via the race website.
Sunday, 6th June
- The second and final stage of the Tour de Suisse Women. A 97km flat race with live broadcast from 11:00 CET.
- Dwars door de Westhoek 1.1. No live but provisional startlist here.
- Honduras MTB XCO Nationals.
- Ecuador and Peru national road race championships.
It’s technically not this week, but I came across the link to this webinar. You might remember the book Revolutions by Hannah Ross from a few weeks ago. It’s a fascinating and inspiring account of some of the most awe-inspiring female figures in the world of cycling past and present. Now, as part of York Festival of Ideas, you can hear her talk about the book and the aforementioned women in a free live webinar.
So committed am I to recording Freewheeling that, in order to do this week’s podcast, I sat on a bed balancing my microphone on my chest in my friend’s spare room whilst poor Abby and Loren had to look at my double chin.
So if that doesn’t make you listen, I don’t know what will (other than the usual high-brow discussions and women’s cycling chat…)
Cycling-adjacent story of the week 👰🤵
This one even manages to tie in dogs as well as bikes…
If you didn’t know, (why should you?) singer Ariana Grande got marriedrecently and, as a wedding gift, animal charity PETA sent her… a ‘vegan tandem bike’. The charity didn’t explain what makes a bike vegan but they did say: “Grande has been outspoken about animal rights since she first rose to stardom, and late last year, she launched Orange Twins Rescue, an effort to spay, neuter, and find homes for dogs and cats in the Los Angeles area. PETA was delighted to see that while the happy couple’s ceremony only included a few close friends and family members, they, of course, made room for Grande’s own adopted dogs.”
Sadly, there were no images of the dogs or the bike.
That’s all 👋
Thanks for reading Women’s Cycling Weekly.
If you like what you see you can support WCW on Ko-Fi. And a huge thanks to everyone who has done so already!
Have a great weekend!
Until next time,