Road (GP Comune di Cornaredo; Cholet Pays de Loire; Laura Massey wins Eagle RC Team Series, record start list shows women’s racing is on the up; Women’s Commission first meeting; World Cup on the BBC?; Van de Ree breaks pelvis; Wiggle-Honda reveal five Women’s Tour riders; WyndyMilla 2014; Provisional Ronde van Vlaanderen start list; Interesting Links) — Track (Interesting Links) — Other Cycling
Shelley Olds triumphs at GP Comune di Cornaredo
33-year-old American rider Shelley Olds (Ale-Cipollini) picked up her third victory of the season on the 23rd of March, winning the GP Comune di Cornaredo. Since the GP is the first Italian race of 2014 Olds faced strong competition from the Italian riders, but was fastest in a 24-strong bunch sprint.
In the last edition of the race, which took place two years ago, Iris Slappendel and Marianne Vos (both Rabobank) rode away from the peleton and took first and second with more than four-and-a-half minutes’ advantage over third-place Annemiek van Vleuten (also Rabo). This year there were numerous attacks but with riders fighting freezing rain and strong winds throughout all eleven laps of the 11km circuit, the lead group remained together until the final sprint.
Second place went to Tiffany Cromwell of Specialized-Lululemon, third to Giorgia Bronzini of Wiggle-Honda. The most successful British rider was Laura Trott, also Wiggle-Honda, in 20th place.
GP Comune di Cornaredo Top Ten
1 Shelley OLDS (Ale-Cipollini) 3h07’20”
2 Tiffany CROMWELL (Specialized-Lululemon) ST
3 Giorgia BRONZINI (Wiggle-Honda) ST
4 Anna Zita Maria STRICKER (Astana-BePink) ST
5 Trixi WORRACK (Specialized-Lululemon) ST
6 Peta MULLENS (Wiggle-Honda) ST
7 Martina ZWICK (Bigla) ST
8 Lotta LEPISTÖ (Bigla) ST
9 Carmen SMALL (Specialized-Lululemon) ST
10 Malgorzta JASINSKA (Ale-Cipollini) ST
Johansson wins Cholet Pays de Loire
The Cholet Pays de Loire Dames, which took place on the 23rd, is the first French race of the season and as such has been hotly contested by French riders each year; though ever since 2011, they’ve been having problems getting past Swedish rider Emma Johansson. Johansson’s 2011 victory made her the first foreign rider to win, then French rider Audrey Cordon won in 2012 before Johansson became the only rider to have won two editions when she triumphed again in 2013 – and this year the French hardly got a look-in, with Cordon their best-placed rider in fifth place.
Johansson, racing for a Swedish national team rather than her usual Orica-AIS trade team, got into an 11-rider break that escaped the pack on the fourth and final lap of the 29km circuit and worked with team mate Sara Mustonen to put the pressure on their rivals. Elisa Longo Borghini, accompanied by Hitec Products team mate Audrey Cordon, used the same tactic; with 10km to the finish she was the only rider able to go with Johansson when the Swede kicked and the duo found a small advantage. With the race so close to completion the chase group was immediately after them and, had the parcours have been just 500m longer, the outcome may have been very different; however, only Jolien D’Hoore (Lotto-Belisol) was able to bridge – she couldn’t better Johansson’s lightning sprint, but slipped ahead of Longo Borghini to take second.
Cholet Pays de Loire Top Ten
1 Emma JOHANSSON (Sweden NT) 3h02’31”
2 Jolien D’HOORE (Lotto-Belisol) NT
3 Elisa LONGO BORGHINI (Hitec Products) ST
4 Liesbet DE VOCHT (Lotto-Belisol) +04″
5 Audrey CORDON (Hitec Products) ST
6 Sara MUSTONEN (Sweden NT) ST
7 Megan GUARNIER (USA NT) +06″
8 Irene SAN SEBASTIAN LASA (Bizkaia-Durango) +25″
9 Amélie RIVAT (Poitou Charentes-Futurscope86) ST
10 Eugénie DUVAL (CR Normandie) +1’22”
Laura Massey wins Eagle RC Team Series; record start list shows women’s racing is on the up
If anyone seriously doubts that women’s cycling is growing year-on-year, they need only look at the ever-increasing number of women taking to the sport. Just how big it’s already become can be seen from the start list of Saturday’s Eagle Road Club race, the first round of the 2014 Women’s Team Series – a record 101 rider started the race, which is comparable to start lists for prestigious national men’s races in Belgium and France.
Laura Massey (Epic-Scott) escaped the pack in a group of three relatively early in the race, but they were caught with two laps left – so she simply attacked again, harder than before, and rode solo for the greater part of a lap before Grace Garner (RST) and Mathilde Pauls (Fusion) caught her. The trio proved too strong for a chase group numbering some forty riders, and Massey was unbeatable in the final uphill sprint to the line.
Eagle RC Team Series Top Ten (provisional)
1 Laura Massey
2 Mathilde Pauls
3 Grace Garner
4 Merce Pacios Pujadó
5 Megan Barker
6 Abigail Dentus
7 Emily Nelson
8 Suzetta Guerrini
9 Parys Edwards
10 Dani Christmas
Women’s Commission meets for the first time
The UCI’s new Women’s Commission, one of the measures promised by Brian Cookson during his presidential election campaign, met for the first time at Drenthe. Tracey Gaudry, head of the Commission and UCI vice-president, was joined by rider Katy Compton, Specialized-Lululemon boss Kristy Scrymgeour, Thierry Gouvenou and Thibaud Coudriou of the ASO, Karen Bliss of Advanced Sports International, Martin Barras of the AIS and Mark Butterman of Infront Sports & Media with Marianne Vos also participating.
Topics discussed included a strategy designed to improve the pathway from grassroots racing through to elite level competition, including more support for riders. An agenda was also set for the next meeting, when the Commission will look in greater detail at opportunities to develop and promote the sport, as well as set targets to work towards.
World Cup on the BBC – is it going to happen?
A fortnight ago, it was widely reported in the cycling press (and here on Neutral Service) that several broadcasters including the BBC had agreed to show footage of the UCI Women’s World Cup, along with six special “feature” programmes on the sport. Details of when and how the BBC would make it available – on a terrestrial channel, on the red button channel or online – were sketchy, with fans’ guesses ranging from hopeful to the world-weary pessimistic. With no signs of footage of the Ronde van Drenthe, the competition’s first round, anywhere on the BBC since the race took place on the 15th of March (you can see it on the UCI Youtube channel instead), Neutral Service contacted the broadcaster to ask what was happening. The first email was apparently not actually read by anyone, as the apparently automated reply simply directed us to a programming schedules page; so I replied pointing out that this didn’t answer any of my questions and got the following back:
Thank you for your email.
The original highlights broadcast had to be cancelled due to the poor quality of the TV signal received from the event. We hope to successfully broadcast more coverage later in the year.
I then asked (again) for more details on how coverage will be broadcast and have been informed that information will appear on the “Must Not Miss” webpage, which suggests red button or online.
Monique van de Ree breaks pelvis
Dutch rider Monique van de Ree suffered a pelvic fracture in an accident during a training ride on the 22nd of March. It’s a big set-back for her Parkhotel Valkenburg team, which was already one rider down after Jermaine Post broke her collarbone a few days prior to van de Ree’s injury.
Wiggle-Honda announce five Women’s Tour riders
British-registered team Wiggle-Honda have named five (from a maximum of six) of their riders going to the Women’s Tour. They are the multiple World and Olympic Champions Jo Rowsell, Laura Trott and Dani King, twice-World Road Race Champion Giorgia Bronzini and Linda Villumsen, winner of two European Championships, six Danish National Championships and one New Zealand National Championship.
WyndyMilla reveals 2014 line-up
WyndyMilla launched its women’s, men’s and development squads last week and announced a new sponsor in the shape of Reynolds Cycling, the US-based wheel manufacturer.
The women’s squad is Cassie McGoldrick, Hannah Payton, Keira McVitty, Rebecca Womersley, Tamiko Butler and Mary Costello with one more name to be confirmed; Isla Rush is on the development team.
Ronde van Vlaanderen start list
A provisional list of starters for the upcoming Ronde van Vlaanderen has been published and reveals that 27 teams are due to take part. With 162 riders in total taking part (six to each team), the Ronde tends to have the biggest start list of any race on the women’s cycling calendar.
The most notable name missing is that of Marianne Vos – the World Champion won for the first time last year, taking the race off the very short list of races she hasn’t yet won. This year she’s elected to have an extended break following the cyclo cross season.
Hannah Barnes hoping to pedal the way to a cycling success at The Women’s Tour this summer (Northampton Herald & Post)
Armitstead targeting Flanders and Women’s Tour (Cycling News)
Redlands Bicycle Classic teams (Pez Cycling News)
Marijn de Vries – Staring at the Biscuit Tin (rouleur.cc)
Sarah Storey wins National Time Trial series opener (Cycling Weekly)
Large pot of prize money to attract top cyclists to Shrewsbury (ShropshireLive.com)
Cheshunt’s Grundy Park Leisure Centre to be renamed in honour of Laura Trott (Herts Mercury)
The rise of the female cyclist (The Independent)
Grace Garner’s debut in the National Team Series proves a notable occasion (Leicester Mercury)
Hundreds of women join cycling groups in the Netherlands (in Dutch; MetroNieuws)
Elinor Barker on right road for Commonwealth Games success (Wales Online)
Qatar’s women cyclists feature in MTB event (The Peninsula)