Women’s Cycling News Round-Up 21-28.05.2014

 Peterborough eager for more as Eileen Roe wins Round 2 of Matrix Tour Series; women’s race receives imporoved coverage – New Eileen Sheridan film for Yorks Cycle Festival – Laura Trott and Jason Kenny don’t want a women’s TdF – Links

Peterborough wants more Tour Series

The city of Peterborough is keen to host future rounds of the Pearl Izumi Tour Series and Matrix Fitness Women’s GP following the success of the races there on the 20th of May, says the Peterborough Telegraph.

Peterborough had hosted four rounds in the past, prior to Tuesday’s event, but declined to take part in 2013 when the city council was forced to make financial cutbacks.

“I am very excited the Tour Series returned to Peterborough,” head of council commercial operations Annette Joyce told the newspaper. “The race last visited the city in 2012, and since the 2012 Olympics cycling is the fastest take up sport. The race is a fantastic way to show off our city.”

Council leader Marco Cereste said: “It is fantastic, and one of the great events we have in the city.”

Peter Hodges, spokesperson for race organiser SweetSpot, was similarly enthusiastic. “We had lots of riders tweeting about how good the course was, and how they were enjoying being back in Peterborough. There were plenty of people in restaurants and cafes lining the streets, so I hope businesses did well,” he said, highlighting the benefits that city centre races bring to local companies.

Neutral Service’s Round 2 report with photo gallery. Highlights of the Peterborough round of the Series, including the women’s race (possibly as much as a couple of minutes, if we’re lucky) will be broadcast at 20:00 on the 21st of May by ITV4.

Better coverage for women’s race

The women’s race at Peterborough, Round 2 of the Matrix Fitness Series, received much-improved coverage produced by Century TV and broadcast by ITV4 with around a third of the hour-long highlights devoted to it compared to just a few minutes for the first round in Stoke-on-Trent.

While this is still short of the 50% the women deserve, fans welcomed the improvement. Many who had expressed their disapproval of last week’s limited coverage by complaining on Twitter and Facebook took the time to thank the producer and broadcaster and told them they hoped future rounds would also get more airtime.


New film tells story of Eileen Sheridan

Eileen Sheridan broke every official women's cycling record in Britain. A new film will tell her story

Eileen Sheridan broke every official women’s cycling record in Britain. A new film will tell her story

A new film based on the life and times of British cyclist Eileen Sheridan is being made by a BBC journalist who first heard about the rider – who broke every record kept by the Women’s Road Records Association during the 1940s and 1950s, in some cases many times over – during a visit to the Transport Museum in Coventry, Sheridan’s home town and where she still serves as president of the local cycling club.

Anthony Collins, a keen cyclist himself, interviewed Sheridan several times for the film and was impressed by the determination she still shows at the age of 90. The film will premiere at the Dare 2B Yorkshire Festival of Cycling taking place to coincide with the start of the Tour de France, between the 4th and the 6th of July.


Jason Kenny on a Women’s Tour de France: “There would be deaths”

In a slightly bizarre interview with the Daily Mail, Laura Trott and Jason Kenny have revealed they don’t support moves to introduce a women’s Tour de France.

“I’m not so swayed on the Tour de France idea. I don’t think it should run along the same course as the men’s because we would never complete 300km. You’d get two riders rolling in after 10 hours,” says Trott, apparently unaware that there hasn’t been a stage that long in the Tour for many years.

Track champion Jason Kenny’s comment on the matter is even more dismissive: “There would be deaths,” he says.


Laura Trott (image: Nicola CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Daily Mail has something of a reputation for bias, and many fans decided wisely to wait for an explanation from the riders before reacting. Trott provided one, referring to what she termed “recent inaccuracies written about myself and Jason in the papers”, via Facebook on Wednesday evening.

” I know its not how everyone sees it but it’s an opinion I have,” she wrote. “I know I am a track rider and I don’t/can’t ride as far as a lot of the top women road riders. I have huge admiration for them and what they can and do achieve. For me I would love to see a womens Tour. But I think it has to start in a certain way and let it build into something huge. I think saying that it should be 3 weeks and the same distance as the men is unrealistic and could have a negative effect on the sport. If it is seen to be boring then viewing figures may drop and all important sponsorship may become hard to find?”

“However if it is run something like the Women’s Tour that we’ve just had in Britain, then it could work very well. I personally think it should be staged over 10 days to begin with and built from there. We could even have a test run of longer stages and a longer race at say a race like the Giro, which we already have. But I also think that this isn’t the only way of growing women’s cycling and that there will be some great ideas out there. I just didn’t agree with some of the ideas being put forward. I love the sport of cycling dearly and that is why I care about it so much and have opinions on it. The fact that these opinions where misinterpreted and then sensationalised is upsetting and frustrating in equal measure.”

Kenny has not yet explained his “deaths” comment. One women’s cycling fan on Twitter said, “I’d love to see Vos kick his arse all the way into Paris.”




Interesting Links

Meet Team Jadan, the dedicated East Yorkshire women bringing a touch of glamour to speed cycling (Hull Daily Mail) (Note: Neutral Service is ignoring the whole “touch of glamour” thing on this occasion, which would usually be considered irritating, just because it’s good to see a women’s team in the local press 😉 )