MondayBriefing

Your Monday Briefing

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Get your week started with the latest news from the world of women’s cycling.

  • The Tour de Yorkshire took place last week, with the event also covering parts of the 2019 UCI Road World Championships course. So we asked the pros for their exclusive insights into what they thought:
  • Christine Majerus, Boels-Dolmans: “It was good to have a quick ride on the lap, in a real bunch, and at race speed. It is a really technical lap, so that is probably going to be a major aspect of the race. Positioning will be crucial to avoid crashes and putting in useless efforts after the corners, especially if the weather turns out to be typical Yorkshire weather. It is also a hard lap with almost no flat parts, so combined with many corners, it is going to be hard to recover. But we “only” do three of the laps. One big question mark still surrounds the route going into the lap, which seems to include one big climb and several smaller once which could already split the peloton apart. Some nations and teams stayed longer after this race, and some even arrived a bit earlier beforehand, to recon the whole race. I didn’t… I love surprises!”
  • Elizabeth Banks, Bigla: “It was great to preview the circuit on closed roads and at race pace. I already knew the circuit was technical but it really is a bit of a crazy roller-coaster that is perfect for aggressive racing and breakaways.”
  • Audrey Cordon-Ragot, Trek-Segafredo: “I had the chance to do a recon of the TT and final lap of the road race. The TT is pretty rolling at the beginning but never flat, of course! Then the final lap is the “juge de paix” of this TT so it’s a really hard finish with steep climbs and technical descents. You’ll have to be in osmosis with your bike! About the road race, I really like it, and it’s quite a punchy lap. The weather will be a big factor. I did with dry and wet conditions and it changes everything with this technical finish. Again having mastery over your bike will be a big advantage if it’s raining, and in any weather, positioning is super important.”
  • Elinor Barker, Drops: “The course was really difficult already, with phrases like “hardest ever” and “most ever climbing” being mentioned a lot. As well as that, a lot of the world’s top riders had wanted to race to get a feel for the World Championships course later in the year, so the field was strong. In any conditions it would have been a brutal race but the wind, rain and hail made it super difficult and really factored in the race splitting up.”
  • Lisa Brennauer, WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling: “It was great to be able to race on the final laps of the World Championships during stage one of the Tour de Yorkshire. I got a very good impression about how it feels to go over the climbs and through the city centre part with a peloton. I’m happy to have had the opportunity to race on these roads.”
  • Anna van der Breggen, Boels-Dolmans: “The second stage was a bit similar to the World Championships course. Nowhere flat, and hard up and down, left and right all the time. I think it is a really nice course for a World Championships race. The TT course also has some climbing and downhills as well. Yorkshire was also a hard race because of the weather. We had plenty of rain and wind. My early attack was not really an attack but I got a bit of a gap in the downhill and continued until the second QOM of the day, hoping for some girls to bridge, and they did. The only thing which was difficult for us in the chasing group was that there was no information about any time gaps. As for the rest, it’s a really beautiful and well organised race with an unbelievable amount of (waterproof!) people on the side of the road. So i’m looking forward for the World Championships!”
  • The Colorado Classic recently held a panel discussion at the Annual Wright Awards. The organisers of the race, which will feature solely a women’s event this year, discussed their push to share the stories of individual female riders as a means of promoting the sport. The aim of the race, according to the Colorado Classic Chief Operating Officer Lucy Diaz, is to serve not only as an Olympic qualifying event, but also as an example of equality in women’s cycling. The prize money has been tripled since last year, and two-hour broadcasts of all four stages will be aired both nationally and internationally. It is hoped that this exposure will also provide an opportunity for teams to come to the attention of potential sponsors. You can read more about the Colorado Classic here.
  • With the Classics season now finished, it’s time to reflect on the races we’ve seen. Interestingly, statistics complied by Professor Daam Van Reeth indicate that Amstel Gold Race was the highest-watched women’s event in 2019, with 1.2 million viewers in the Netherlands, France, Flanders and Denmark alone. Particularly interesting is that live coverage of Gent-Wevelgem attracted a quarter more television viewers in Flanders than in 2018, and now equals almost 75% of the men’s audience (a jump from last year’s 60%).

Recent results

  • At the Tour de Yorkshire, Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg) won Stage 1, while Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) took the second stage, as well as the general classification.
  • Brodie Chapman (Team Tibco – Silicon Valley Bank) took out the first stage of the Tour of the Gila, while Heidi Franz (Rally UHC Cycling) won Stage 2. The third and fourth stages were won by Chloe Dygert (Sho-Air Twenty20).
  • At Gracia-Orlová, Marta Bastianelli (Team Virtu Cycling) won Stage 1, Mieke Kröger (Team Virtu Cycling) triumphed on Stage 2a, and Rachel Neylan (Team Virtu Cycling) took out Stage 2b. Stage 3 went to Bastianelli, while the final stage was won by Kröger. Bastianelli also took the general classification, after a race that was dominated by Team Virtu Cycling.
  • Ariadna Gutierrez (Swapit Agolico) won the road race at the Pan-American Championships, with Teniel Campbell (WCC Team) winning the U23 category.Leah Thomas (Bigla) took out the ITT while Campbell again prevailed in the U23 race.

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This week in cycling history…

30 April is the birthday of Marta Bastianelli, who currently rides for Team Virtu Cycling. The Italian rider won the road race at the UCI World Championships in Stuttgart all the way back in 2007, and so far this year has won the Ronde van Drenthe, Tour of Flanders and Omloop van het Hageland. Last year, she won Gent-Wevelgem, the European Championships road race, Brabantse Pijl and a stage of the BeNe Ladies Tour, and the year prior, stages of the Giro d’Italia Femminile and Emakumeen XXX. Bira

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