Women's Cycling Weekly issue 35
A weekly curation of women's cycling news and content straight to your inbox
Hello! Welcome to Women’s Cycling Weekly issue 35 🚴♀️
The Tokyo Olympic Games are upon us! They started today with the opening ceremony (or did they start on Wednesday with a football match?) the Japanese public hate them, the country is under a state of emergency, and they might yet be cancelled, but nevertheless: they are here.
Nobody asked, but my personal view is that whilst it would be heartbreaking for an athlete to watch their Olympic dream get wiped out, no city should be strong-armed into hosting an international sporting event fraught with public health concerns that is deeply unpopular amongst its inhabitants.
But, while The Discourse rumbles on, so, too, do the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games — and that means we have lots of cycling events coming up. Much has been made of the fact that this is the most gender-equal Games yet (48.8% of athletes are women) with some sports taking more women than men, but it will surprise nobody to learn that cycling ain’t one of them — with 299 men and 229 women competing across road, MTB, BMX, and track events. Next time, though, will be different.
Alright, so I got this far without mentioning the D-word. No, calm down, I mean the Dutch. Of course, in the build-up to the road race everyone has been asking the eternal question of who can beat them, or which one of the four of them will win. There are a few that might give the ‘Killer V’s’ (© Freewheeling) a run for their money but let’s be real: it’s hard to look past their formidable collective clout. (I’m not about to launch into predictions, that’s what the recommendations sections are for.) What we can be pretty certain of, though, is that it will (please) be an exciting showdown, no matter who claims gold on Sunday.
Let’s get into it…
In 2022 Canyon//SRAM will become the first WWT team to launch a development squad. The initiative forms part of Canyon//SRAM’s drive towards greater Diversity and Inclusion and will focus on bringing talent into the sport from Asia, Africa and South America. More details can be found here.
The stage routes for The Women’s Tour were revealed this week. The race will feature a time trial for the first time in its history this year on stage three in Atherstone. Full details here.
In more route reveal news: details for the Simac Ladies Tour, due to take place from the 24th-29th August, have been revealed. The race will start with a 2.4km prologue before moving onto a road stage followed by a 22.2km time trial and three more road stages. The organisers also added that they are confident that the race can go ahead saying: “We assume that we can eventually arrive at a scenario in which all involved mayors of the eight start and finish municipalities can give their approval.”
Yareli Acevedo and Victoria Velasco have been forced to withdraw from Mexico’s Olympic squad after the national cycling federation misinterpreted the qualification process. In general, their whole selection process looks like a bit of a mess, full story here.
After winning the US national pro crit title in June, Kendall Ryan, who rides for L39ION of LA, has been chosen as a travelling reserve for the Tokyo Games.
Montreal have put in a bid to host the 2026 World Championships. If accepted, it would be the first Worlds hosted in Canada since 2003.
After their soigneur tested positive for Covid-19, the Spanish Olympic road team have been cleared to race this weekend. Athletes must present a negative PCR test six hours before their event.
The teams for the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta have been announced.
If you’re in Europe and you hate lie-ins then catch the women’s road race on Sunday at 6am CEST! Race preview here. Startlist here.
On Tuesday it’s the MTB cross country race at the slightly more civilised hour of 8am CEST (yes, I know not everyone is in this time zone). Startlist here.
If you really hate sleep then the ITT kicks off at 4:30am on Wednesday the 28th!
BMX fans are better off just pulling an all-nighter as the qualifying and finals are at 3am on the 29th and 30th with the Freestyle events at 3:10am on the 31st and 1st.
Track events kick off the following week. Startlists here.
All of this info has been distilled into a much clearer format with more time zone details by the ever-brilliant TCA right here:
Elsewhere, the two-day Tour de Belle Isle en Terre - Kreiz Breizh Elites Dames 2.2 will take place between the 29th and 30th. Startlist here.
Naturally, there’s LOADS of stuff on the Olympics this week:
Olympic storytelling: Rachel Jary takes us back to some of the most memorable moments in Olympic road race history.
Fiona Tomas at Telegraph Women’s Sport: “If Tokyo is what the most gender-balanced Olympics looks like, then we have a very long way to go.”
In a blog for Cycling News ahead of the Games, Annemiek van Vleuten says she is ‘ready to suffer.’
In the first instalment of her new column for CyclingTips, Gracie Elvin reflects on the ‘agony and ecstasy’ of the Olympic Games.
Lizzie Deignan’s thoughts on GB being ‘underdogs’ at the Games.
Three months after abandoning Flèche Wallonne with broken bones, Sarah Gigante is ready to take on the Olympic road race and time trial for Australia.
Lizzie Deignan reflects on her ‘horrific’ build-up to Rio and how things are different this time around.
Snapshots of the Tokyo course from the women of Team USA.
Fighting talk from Grace Brown.
Orla Chennaoui reflects on the importance Team GB’s female role models at the Games in a team with more women than men competing.
GB track cyclist Katie Archibald has set the bar even higher this time.
Kasia Niewiadoma says she is a ‘different human being’ than she was at the Rio Games.
Ella Harris’s latest blog for Voxwomen.
Half of them are her current teammates, and the other half are former so Ashleigh Moolman Pasio reckons she knows the Dutch squad pretty well.
A talk featuring Hannah Ross (off of the brilliant book, Revolutions) speaking to Robyn Davidson and Dr Josephine Perry and Dan Bigham on what it takes to win the Olympic time trial.
A good point, well made
That’s all 👋
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Have a great weekend!
Until next time,