Hello! Welcome to Women’s Cycling Weekly issue 29 🚴♀️
I think I’m not alone in saying that the excitement of last week’s brilliant Tour de Suisse left me wanting more — more stages, and more races on the calendar overall. It was truly a nail-biting race that came down to just one second and a real showcase of how gripping women’s racing is when we get to watch it live.
By the time the 2.1 Lotto Belgium Tour comes around on the 22nd we’ll have gone more than two weeks without live racing. Sure, there are a million national championship races coming up (some of which will be broadcast live, but more on that next week) but it’s not quite the same, is it? Then, there’s everyone’s favourite sideshow in the form of the next WWT race, La Course,on the 26th which was — for reasons of sexism— moved a day forward due to local elections (while the men’s TdF stage on the same day in the same place stayed in tact.)
Anyway rather than end on that note, here’s a preview of this week’s news and content which includes; a game of Team Staff Musical Chairs, the USA Olympic team selection, an update to WWT team regulations, and further details on those promising ethics updates from everyone’s favourite governing body. Scroll down for more!
Last week we heard that Lars Boom would be leaving his role as Liv Racing’s Performance Manager immediately after he signed up to work for another team in 2022. That team is…SD Worx — where star ride Lotte Kopecky happens to be going next season, too. The team said in a press release that Boom would be coaching Hungarian cyclocross rider Kata Blanka Vas during the winter before moving into a technical staff role from the 1st January 2022 where he will work alongside Anna van der Breggen and Chantal van den Broek Blaakin their new behind-the-scenes roles.
USA Cycling have announced their Olympic squad for the Tokyo Games for road, track, and MTB. Ruth Winder, Coryn Rivera, Leah Thomas, and Chloe Dygert will race the road race while Dygert will contest the ITT alongside Amber Neben. Chloe Woodruff will join pre-selected riders Haley Batten and Kate Courtney for MTB. Dygert, Megan Jastrab,Lily Williams, and Emma White will make up the team pursuit squad on the track while Maddie Godby will contest the Keirin. Payton Ridenour, Felicia Stancil, Alise Willoughby will race BMX. Perris Benegas and Hannah Roberts will race BMX freestyle.
In other selection news Valerie Demey, Lotte Kopecky, and Julie Van de Velde will represent Belgium in the road race and Van de Velde will also race the time trial. Githa Michiels will race MTB and Elke Vanhoof BMX. The track selection will be announced on the 3rd of July.
After originally saying that she was ‘unsure’ as to whether she would race the Giro d’Itala Donne and La Course, Annemiek van Vleutenconfirmedvia her personal website that she would be sitting the two races out to focus on building form for Tokyo. Writing from an altitude camp in Andorra she did confirm, however, that she will be racing the Dutch national championships in both the time trial and the road race before she heads back for another block of altitude — this time in Italy.
Has everyone stopped holding their breath after stage two of the Tour de Suisse women last weekend? I’ve covered a full breakdown of what happened, so check that out if you want more detail but it was great to see such a tactical race that came down to bonus seconds.Elise Chabbey of Canyon//SRAM took the first stage, out-sprinting Lizzie Deignan of Trek-Segafredo after forcing her into going early when the two came to the line together, Marlen Reusser (Ale BTC Ljubljana) took third 24” back. Going into the second and final stage Chabbey’s advantage stood at four seconds and Deignan and her Trek team made it their mission to line up their rider to take bonus seconds at the intermediate sprints. After both Canyon//SRAM and Trek-Segafredo tried every tactic in the book against each other it was Deignan who managed to claw back five seconds to win the race by one solitary second. Marta Bastianelliof Ale BTC Ljubljana took the stage ahead of Tereza Neumanova of Burgos and Hannah Barnes of Canyon//SRAM.Stage one highlights here. Stage two highlights here.
It was yet another SD Worx double at Dwars door het Hageland 1.2 with Chantal van den Broek Blaak taking the win ahead of her teammate Christine Majerus. Lorena Wiebes of Team DSM took third.
Wiebes went on to take the victory the next day at Dwars door de Westhoek 1.1 ahead of Jolien d’Hoore of SD Worx and Barbara Guarischi of Movistar.
Loana Lecomte won her first short track race this afternoon in Leogang, Austria at the MTB World Cup. Rebecca Mcconnell took second and Jolanda Neff third. Jenny Rissveds, Haley Batten, Pauline Ferrand Prevot, Sina Frei, and Janika Liov also earned front-row starts for Sunday’s XCO race.
Leonie Daubermann won the German national XCO title while her sister Luisa took the U23 title.
Dame Sarah Storey won the 39th world title of her career in Portugal at the UCI Para-Cycling World Championships taking gold in the WC5 25.2km time trial, fellow GB rider Crystal Lane-Wright took second and Germany’s Kerstin Brachtendorf third. More results and details on the Para-Cycling World Championships can be found here.
Upcoming Races 📅
Sunday, 13th June, is the SPAR Flanders Diamond Tour 1.1. The race will cover 11x 12.4km laps totalling 136.4km. It starts at 14:00 but there is no live coverage unfortunately. Startlist here.
We’re in national champs season which means there are LOADS of races on. I’m sure you don’t want to read (and I certainly don’t want to write out) a full breakdown of every nation’s race schedule but there are races going on in pretty much every European, and many South American, countries next week. Most of those events are time trials with the road races happening next weekend.
Elsewhere, the MTB World Cup continues in Leogang, Austria. This is the third round of the XCO but the first world cup downhill event of the season. The women’s XCO race is on Sunday at 12:00 CEST. The downhill final is 12:30 CEST on Saturday and you can watch it all live on Red Bull TV.
There’s more MTB action over in Südtirol in the Dolomites for the UCI Marathon Series happening tomorrow with a 60km one-day event with 3,200m elevation. The race is available to watch live on Rai or the race website.
If you like crit racing (and staying up late if you live in Europe) then you can also catch the action at Tulsa Tough this weekend.
Another video about some cool women shredding together and doing completely terrifying things that I am in awe of.
The story behind my lack of a proper microphone, and the cold that has rendered my voice so nasal on this week’s Freewheeling is a whole newsletter in itself. Sadly, Abby has also fallen foul of an unseasonable (and NOT COVID!!) cold and sounds just as rough so Loren holds the audio fort as we talk about Tour de Suisse, the Giro d’Italia Donne, USA Olympicselection and more.
It’s the time of the month (no, not that one) where I get to plug another women’s cycling podcast that isn’t the one I’m on, which makes me feel less biased. So, when you’ve listened to Freewheeling (not entirely unbiased) tune into this month’s Cycling Podcast Féminin which features an interview with woman of the hour Elise Chabbey, plus Pauliena Rooijakkers, and Unbound winner Lauren De Crescenzo.
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Half the SD Worx team bumping into a rider from a rival team (Juliette Labous of DSM) on altitude camp, letting her join and show them a new route? Love to see it.