Bart Hazen is an ever present fixture at women’s racing throughout Europe. Working hard to build his reputation over the past few years, Bart’s hard work paid off with a role at the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling team. If you come to watch races, you’ll be sure to see Bart at The Women’s Tour in May.
What was the highlight of your 2013, and what are your hopes for 2014?
As content editor and photographer of the Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Team I actually had many highlights in 2013. Travelling all over Europe to go to the biggest races in the scene…. but if I have to pick one it will be definitely the Giro Rosa. The biggest stage race in the world, a world class field, tough stages. The race just has everything. But also races like the World Championships and Tour of Flanders are races which belong to that category.
My hopes for 2014 that the season will be as much as exciting as it was in 2013 but I am sure it will be even better as the sport is developing, more top teams, more top riders etc.
What do you love most about the sport?
About cycling in general or women’s cycling? What I love the most is the combination of being out in nature and doing what you love the most – riding a bike. The sport just has everything.
What does the future hold for women’s cycling? Are you optimistic or pessimistic?
I am quite optimistic. about the future. As I said before the sport is growing step by step. There are more top teams than before, more top riders, so better competition – I saw a lot of exciting races in 2013 and in the years before. Social media and media coverage is important too – the more websites or blogs, more riders and (especially) teams being active on social media will help to improve the sport. If more teams would be active on social media, like Matrix-Vulpine, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling or Orica-AIS to name a few, that would be an important first step. But also uploading videos, to Youtube, Vimeo for example, is a good thing. TV and written media will pick it up quicker and are may become interested in following the team or teams to make a programme. I can’t say that this approach has affected the teams as they all three had a very good season.
Let’s hope that The Women’s Tour will find or get enough funds to organise the race. That will be a big step in women’s cycling in Britain.
In 2013, a lot of fans have been getting more involved in women’s cycling. Any ideas what we can do to help even more?
Keep the initiatives coming. What the fans have started last year they need to continue. Come visit the races, raise awareness for women’s cycling and the need for equality with the men. Photos, videos, media coverage, PR – everything will help.
How can cycling – fans, race organisers and the UCI – encourage more women to start racing?
That’s a tough question. I would say the national federations need to encourage young people and kids to get on a bike and leave the car behind. Try clinics, go out to schools, organise fan rides..
Which is your favourite race? Why?
I don’t have one particular race that is my favourite, but Flanders, Fleche Wallonne, Giro Rosa, Thüringen Rundfahrt, World Championships are all beautiful races. Travelling around the world for races and doing what you like – isn’t that the best thing you can do?
What are you reading at the moment?
I am not a reader, so I don’t read books. If I read something it’s mostly magazines or newspapers to pass time.
What’s on your Ipod?
A wide variety of music. I have a bright taste so I like a lot of pop music, soul, R&B, dance etc.
Here’s a time machine which you can use to meet any rider from any point in history. Who will you be meeting?
I don’t know really. I have met a lot of people in the short period I’ve been active in the sport and all have their own charms.
Last question, and it’s the one that top psychologists agree reveals more about a person than any other: which is better – cats or dogs?
I don’t have pets but if it it was a dead or alive question I would say dogs. My cousin has a few Jack Russels and one bigger dog. They are lovely to play with once in a while but looking after them every single day wouldn’t be for me.