Hello! Welcome to Women’s Cycling Weekly issue 35 🚴♀️
The Tokyo Olympic Games are upon us! They started today with the opening ceremony (or did they start on Wednesday with a football match?) the Japanese public hate them, the country is under a state of emergency, and they might yet be cancelled, but nevertheless: they are here.
Nobody asked, but my personal view is that whilst it would be heartbreaking for an athlete to watch their Olympic dream get wiped out, no city should be strong-armed into hosting an international sporting event fraught with public health concerns that is deeply unpopular amongst its inhabitants.
But, while The Discourse rumbles on, so, too, do the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games — and that means we have lots of cycling events coming up. Much has been made of the fact that this is the most gender-equal Games yet (48.8% of athletes are women) with some sports taking more women than men, but it will surprise nobody to learn that cycling ain’t one of them — with 299 men and 229 women competing across road, MTB, BMX, and track events. Next time, though, will be different.
Alright, so I got this far without mentioning the D-word. No, calm down, I mean the Dutch. Of course, in the build-up to the road race everyone has been asking the eternal question of who can beat them, or which one of the four of them will win. There are a few that might give the ‘Killer V’s’ (© Freewheeling) a run for their money but let’s be real: it’s hard to look past their formidable collective clout. (I’m not about to launch into predictions, that’s what the recommendations sections are for.) What we can be pretty certain of, though, is that it will (please) be an exciting showdown, no matter who claims gold on Sunday.
Let’s get into it…
- In 2022 Canyon//SRAM will become the first WWT team to launch a development squad. The initiative forms part of Canyon//SRAM’s drive towards greater Diversity and Inclusion and will focus on bringing talent into the sport from Asia, Africa and South America. More details can be found here.
- The stage routes for The Women’s Tour were revealed this week. The race will feature a time trial for the first time in its history this year on stage three in Atherstone. Full details here.
- In more route reveal news: details for the Simac Ladies Tour, due to take place from the 24th-29th August, have been revealed. The race will start with a 2.4km prologue before moving onto a road stage followed by a 22.2km time trial and three more road stages. The organisers also added that they are confident that the race can go ahead saying: “We assume that we can eventually arrive at a scenario in which all involved mayors of the eight start and finish municipalities can give their approval.”
- Yareli Acevedo and Victoria Velasco have been forced to withdraw from Mexico’s Olympic squad after the national cycling federation misinterpreted the qualification process. In general, their whole selection process looks like a bit of a mess, full story here.
- After winning the US national pro crit title in June, Kendall Ryan, who rides for L39ION of LA, has been chosen as a travelling reserve for the Tokyo Games.
- Montreal have put in a bid to host the 2026 World Championships. If accepted, it would be the first Worlds hosted in Canada since 2003.
- After their soigneur tested positive for Covid-19, the Spanish Olympic road team have been cleared to race this weekend. Athletes must present a negative PCR test six hours before their event.
- The teams for the Madrid Challenge by La Vueltahave been announced.
- If you’re in Europe and you hate lie-ins then catch the women’s road race on Sunday at 6am CEST! Race preview here. Startlist here.
- On Tuesday it’s the MTB cross country race at the slightly more civilised hour of 8am CEST (yes, I know not everyone is in this time zone). Startlist here.
- If you really hate sleep then the ITT kicks off at 4:30am on Wednesday the 28th!
- BMX fans are better off just pulling an all-nighter as the qualifying and finals are at 3am on the 29th and 30th with the Freestyle events at 3:10am on the 31st and 1st.
- Track events kick off the following week. Startlists here.All of this info has been distilled into a much clearer format with more time zone details by the ever-brilliant TCA right here:
- Elsewhere, the two-day Tour de Belle Isle en Terre – Kreiz Breizh Elites Dames 2.2 will take place between the 29th and 30th. Startlist here.
We delve into the Olympic road race on the latest Freewheeling episode alongside Gracie Elvin who knows a thing or two about racing at the Olympic Games!
Plus: an interview with Monica Garrison of Black Girls Do Bike.
Naturally, there’s LOADS of stuff on the Olympics this week:
A talk featuring Hannah Ross (off of the brilliant book, Revolutions) speaking to Robyn Davidson and Dr Josephine Perry and Dan Bigham on what it takes to win the Olympic time trial.
Virtual Velofete Tuesday 13th July 2021 – Women's Cycling and Time Trial Performance from John Walter on Vimeo.
A good point, well made
That’s all 👋
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Have a great weekend!
Until next time,