Starting with a gift for you. If you've ever seen Evie Stevens or Ellen van Dijk winning in their fabulous optical-illusion kit, or you know a woman who loves bikes who'd like their kit, there's a great excuse to buy it - 10% off! Head over to the Specialized-lululemon team shop, and use this code for the Summer Sale:
Summer sale starts today. Use "vs2013" as your coupon code to get 10% off team clothing.... http://t.co/uDx8yJRqgC— Specializedlululemon (@velociosports) August 12, 2013
Marijn de Vries on getting dope tested
Marijn de Vries always writes great blogs, and her latest is no exception. She's written about the experience of getting randomly picked to be dope-tested after a race, and the conflicting emotions - absolutely supporting dope tests 100%, and knowing she hasn't done anything wrong - but having that anxiety of 'what if there's something I took by accident?', and the feelings of humiliation about the process.
At home, I don’t even like it when my boyfriend is in the bathroom while I pee. Of course doping controls are for a higher cause, I think they are very important and that’s why I am happy to co-operate, but I still can’t get rid of the thought how big of an invasion of my privacy this is. Humiliating, in fact. You’re obliged to do something very intimate, something you never share with someone else, for the eyes of a total stranger. Deep down inside, to me even the standard-reply ‘you’ve chosen to be a cyclist, this is the consequence, so deal with it’ is not a valid reason to explain that invasion away.
It's a bit early, but we've had our first piece of 2014 Transfer news - Ashleigh Moolman will join Hitec Products UCK. This will be a fun move for the South African champion - good luck there, Ash, and good signing, Karl!
There has also been some stagiaire announcements - Dutch junior star, Floortje Mackay, will join Argos-Shimano for the Boels Ladies Tour. Mackay (sometimes also spelt Mackaij) is the Dutch Junior ITT Champion and came second in the European Junior ITT Championships, and won stage 3 and the Points competition, and was third on GC in the Junior Energiewacht Tour this year.
ORICA-AIS have also signed a September stagiaire - Amy Cure. Cure, who was 2nd in the Individual Pursuit in the 2013 Track World Championships, and 2010 Junior World Champion in the Individual Pursuit, Team Pursuit and Scratch race, had been focused on the track, but racing on the road with the Australian National Team, won Stages 2 and 4 and the overall General Classification of the Czech Tour de Feminin, and then had two 4th place finishes at Thüringen Rundafahrt. She'll be racing the Giro Toscana with ORICA.
Rochelle Gilmore week
There's been a lot of Rochelle Gilmore around this week. The Australian sprinter and Wiggle Honda team owner has a piece in the Guardian, as part of their Women in Leadership series, and I liked this quote especially:
Female cyclists are ultimately more proactive in attracting publicity for our sport – we have to be, because the media attention currently given to women's cycling is so much less than what the men receive. Women are very business-minded and we know that in the current situation we have to do more than just ride a bike in order to attract media attention, and consequently more public interest and sponsorship investment, which the sport needs in order to develop.
In comparison, men's cycling is at a stage where winning races is enough to attract publicity. Female athletes are assets to the sport because they bring with them not only their athletic performance, but their education as well – they see the sport as a business career.
It's true that in terms of professional racing men's cycling has a much longer history. But as our sport continues to develop and our racing calendar becomes more stable, our events will start to become as prestigious as the men's, and we'll create our own history.
Rochelle was also in the cycling news for some fun videos (thanks Bobby for the heads up!). Remember Hitec's Siri Minge's roller tricks in response to Sven Nys' tricks, and Siri cooking on the rollers? Here's Rochelle's pet trick:
If you're not quite at that level - or want to start on the rollers, but are nervous about it - here are Rochelle's tips for getting started and getting the most out of them:
This weekend, the MTB moved to Québec, in some beautiful surroundings.
Cross Country World Cup
The XCo races were up first, and in the women's it was all excitement. World and Olympic Champion Julie Bresset, was out solo early, attacking in the first lap. She's been injured this year, so it was great to see her there - but she was chased hard by Tanja Zakelj, Katerina Nash and Maja Wloszczowska - and was caught in the penultimate lap by World cup leader Zakelj.... then in the last lap, Nash and Wloszczowska caught them too, and it was explosive action on the climbs! Here's the highlights video:
and if you want to watch the full race, it's archived on Bed Bull tv - the last lap starts at 1:27:42.
This was a great win for Katerina Nash - her first ever MTB World Cup! Nash was born in the Czech Republic, but has been based in the USA for years, and started as a cross country skier, competing in two Winter Olympics before turning to cycling, where she rides for the Luna Pro Team, racing MTB in summer and cyclocross in winter. She's always a fierce competitor, and winning her first World cup at 36 is just going to spur her on to do more! Full results here.
Downhill World Cup
Before the race started, there were grumbles about the reconfigured track, but after thunderstorms and practice runs it was as gnarly as ever. I love the DH World Cups because you get a lot of information beforehand - videos and photos of the practice and qualifying runs, which has all this insight into the skills behind the racing. I like the photo galleries and videos on Dirt magazine and Pinkbike - and after a few days of practising in pea-soup fog and rain and sun (oh Canada!) it was time for the races. Here are the highlights:
and the full coverage of the men's and women's races are on Red Bull tv. There's Dirt's video from the race too, mostly the guys, but with clips of women racing and lovely post-race interview with Ragot.
In the women's race, it was a crazy-fast competition, but all eyes were on fastest qualifier Rachel Atherton, who has won all the World Cup so far rounds this season.... but this was the round that broke that run, after she crashed and landed on her head out of camera-shot at the top of the crash, and then crashed again on the rocky sections. You can hear her talk about her run on Dirt's post-race audio interview with her - but even without the crash, Emmeline Ragot had been incredibly fast, could Rachel have beaten her? Listen to Ragot's great post-race interview on Dirt. It'll be a lot of fun to see what happens at the World Championships at the end of August.
Update! And video from MSA from women's & junior men's women's team, Lapierre Gravity Republic, with a cute interview with Ragot, looking VERY happy after the race:
Want more MTB? Here are the highlights of the Enduro World Series round 5, at crankworx Whistler
In last week's video and news post, I put up videos from Day 1 and Day 2 of the 2013 Junior Track Champs. This was, as usual, a great competition. For the first-year juniors it might be the first time they've raced on the international stage, and you can see them still learning and developing, which can make for some spectacular racing. And when they win, there's so much emotion - these 16-18 year olds realising all their hard work has paid off, hearing their national anthems and glowing with achievements. I always love the Aussie lads and their tradition of dying their hair gold - and the fact they've got the speed and skills to back up that bravado! It's good to watch!
Day 3 had the women's sprint early rounds and women's Individual Pursuit, and the men's Points race, kilo and the omnium round 3 - the Elimination! Here's the highlights show:
And if you want to watch the full coverage, you can watch all the action from the morning qualifications session and evening finals session. There are photos on facebook and there's a great race report.
Saturday included the final races in the women's sprint and the first rounds of the men's, the final 3 rounds of the men's omnium and the first three rounds of the women's, including the elimination, and the women's points race, with really good tactical, brave racing from Italy's Arianna Fidanza.
The final day of the competition had the end of the men's sprint, the final 3 rounds of the women's omnium, all the women's keirin, and the men's madison. Highlights:
All the results are via the race website.
Helen will be heading over the the USA to race the early-season East Coast CX races - and as part of it is running some cyclocross workshops as part of the Midnight Ride of Cyclocross race, in Lancaster, Massachusetts. There's a beginners' workshop on 24th September and one for more advanced riders, on the actual Midnight Ride course on 25th - for more information, and to sign up, head to BikeReg.com. Helen is just as funny, entertaining and nice in real life as she appears online and in interviews, so if you, or anyone you know, is nearby, do go along to this!
As always, there'll be a ton of things I've missed, so add anything you see to the comments, and check back there for this week's news, and things other people have found. I'll be back later this week to post about the next round of the Road World Cup.... Vårgårda.
Some edited-in updates...
Remember British rider Ottilie Quince was crowd-sourcing for airfare to get to the World Transplant Games? Well, she made it, and won the ITT and Road Race, retaining her 2011 titles! Here are some words from her about it - and Ottilie appeared on last week’s episode of the UK magazine programme, The Cycle Show – you might be able to watch that on the ITV Player, it stays up for a month.
Evelyn Stevens interviewed on Cyclingnews - including
"My form is moving in the right direction. With having the crash this spring, it’s been a bit of an up and down year but I think that’s what sport is and you’ll never have it go exactly how you want it. I’ve found that this year I’ve had to be more attentive to what works and what doesn’t work. That’s what makes you better. I hope that makes me better. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway," she told Cyclingnews.
ORICA's video celebrating their 100th win, from the men's and women's teams:
Shamless self-promotion time... if you'd like to hear omnevelnihil and I talk about this week's women's cycling, swear a bit and bicker a lot, listen to our most recent women's cycling podcast on our website.