22 10, 2013

2013 UCI World Road Race Championships

By |October 22nd, 2013|Blog|Comments Off on 2013 UCI World Road Race Championships|

By Jade Wilcoxson
September 28, 2013—Tuscany, Italy—Worlds. It was sensory overload, it was incredibly stressful, and it was awesome—all wrapped up in one glorious package.

There’s definitely added pressure at a World Championship race because, first of all, it’s a one day race. You’re either going good or you’re not, and you’re not getting any do-overs. If you’re feeling terrible, you don’t get to show your team the next day that you do actually have fitness. And it’s streamed online, so the whole world knows how you’re going that day.

The World’s course was perfect for our team. We had two of the best climbers in the world and a pretty strong support team to boot. So, a win or a podium was looking good (insert more stress here).
I knew my job was done when I had absolutely nothing left in the tank.
I was stoked about our race plan because we each had a very specific job and we had to trust that each of us was going to do our job in order to setup up our climbers for the win. It was going to be a true team effort, which is what I love about road racing.

Carmen and I controlled the 30k of flat road leading into Florence, making sure no breaks got up the road. We then kept our climbers safe as we wound through the beautiful and historic parts of Florence. I’ll never forget riding by the Duomo, on the cobbles, with fans 5 deep cheering us on. Then we tried to blow up the field as best we could to the base of the climb. I knew my job was done when I had absolutely nothing left in the [...]

21 10, 2013

Women’s Sports Foundation – 34th Annual Salute to Women in Sports

By |October 21st, 2013|News|2 Comments|

October 16, 2013—New York City—The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) hosted their 34th Annual Salute to Women in Sports at the Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

Jennifer Leeds (Giant Steps Foundation) and Cathy Wong (Champion Mobile Notary) very graciously sponsored the Women’s Cycling Association (WCA) and sent me, professional cyclist and WCA secretary, Lauren Rauck Komanski, as a representative to the event on behalf of the newly created WCA.

The evening started with a cocktail hour. There was a silent auction with incredible items, such as an autographed Abby Wambach soccer jersey and an autographed basketball by WNBA athletes. Attendees lined the red carpet pre-event to see Billie Jean King and other notable women and men attending that evening.

Standing next to the red carpet, I was introduced to Kathryn Olson, the CEO of the WSF, and a group of 10 children, that rushed over when they heard “professional athlete”, and subsequently asked for an autograph.

I was surprised when I realized they were talking to me, but it was hard not to smile. WSF had given the young girls a small notebook filled with blank white sheets to collect autographs throughout the evening.

The WSF demonstrated the value they place in supporting young girls as they invited numerous girls under the age of 15. The evening provided these young girls an opportunity to meet amazing role models that will continue to influence their lives for years to come.

The evening continued with a sit down dinner as speeches and awards were presented. A special tribute was given to Diana Nyad, the long distance swimmer who swam from Cuba to Key West (110.86 miles) at the age of 64.

In her speech, she remarked, “The journey is nice, but the [...]

11 10, 2013

Women’s Cycling Association: A Vision for Change

By |October 11th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Women’s Cycling Association: A Vision for Change|

By Peter Easton, ROAD Magazine
The timeline of professional cycling has bridged three centuries, and the history of the sport has been colored by some legendary figures with a remarkable list of accomplishments, and by some dubious characters who have succumbed to illicit behavior. It has been dogged by two World Wars, and has been fighting an ongoing battle against doping and a much maligned leadership.

And yet, it continues to thrive. The sport itself has expanded to the continents of Asia and Africa, not to mention the increase in revenue drawn from the most popular races on European soil. Even as current history may be casting a bit of a cloud over some of the legends and their palmares, the sport no doubt continues to thrill and excite riders, promoters, fans and sponsors. Having participated as a racer, rider and a fan, I firmly believe there is no sport more exciting to see live than professional cycling. And by professional cycling, I speak of men’s and women’s racing. And while the history of the women’s pro peloton as an established entity barely spans half a dozen Olympic Games, it is no less important and no less significant. Lest someone speak of women’s racing as boring, they have never seen the women race the Tour of Flanders live, or caught a stage of Redlands, or the Tour of the Gila. There is plenty to learn when one takes a look in the rear view mirror, yet in the case of women’s cycling in the United States, the view is hazy, brief, and frankly, shameful. This is what former U.S. National Champion Robin Farina noticed, and decided it was finally time to change that view with a new vision for the future of women’s cycling.

As a sport that has [...]

10 10, 2013

Women’s Racing: A Junior Cyclist’s Perspective

By |October 10th, 2013|Blog|Comments Off on Women’s Racing: A Junior Cyclist’s Perspective|

By Ashlyn Woods
October 10, 2013—Winston-Salem, North Carolina—Change. It’s one of the most challenging and frequent obstacles life can throw at us. A few weeks ago, my family and I relocated to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. While it was difficult, as a teenager, to change schools and make new friends, the cycling community here has welcomed me with open arms. The city has attracted women who are at the top of their sport, all of whom make for great role models for me as a junior female cyclist. Here, I’ve already had the opportunity to learn from them and observe for myself their dedication and passion for cycling.

Winston-Salem is primed for growth in cycling; it is easily accessible to beautiful, rural roads with rolling terrain, and benefits from the support of a large cycling community. Last year, the city organized the Winston-Salem Cycling Classic, a criterium that ran through the streets of downtown. The race featured a technical course and excellent turnout of both racers and spectators. In the years to come, the event could easily attract racers from all over the country .

For the past three years, cycling has not only been my sport, but has served as an outlet for me to escape from life’s everyday stresses. Cycling requires dedication and hard work, and in return yields great rewards. I’ve met wonderful people, visited amazing places, and developed into a better person along the way. By participating in a sport as mentally tough as this one, you learn things about yourself that you would have otherwise never known. On the road, it’s just you and the bike; and you are the only one who can push yourself to the limit.

As a junior cyclist, [...]

5 10, 2013

Racing to Equality, Women Form Cycling Association

By |October 5th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Racing to Equality, Women Form Cycling Association|

Aiming to grow the sport of women’s professional cycling as well as promote greater fairness among riders of both genders, a group of women riders launched the Women’s Cycling Association this summer.

In the sport of professional cycling, there is a great divide in opportunities for men and women riders. To help close the gaps in pay, race frequency, television coverage, and prize money, a group of professional women cyclists collaborated this summer to form the Women’s Cycling Association.

“The time is right for all women cyclists and supporters of women’s cycling to join together and work towards equality in our sport,” Janel Holcomb, a professional cyclist and media director for the WCA, said in a statement announcing the group’s official launch party last weekend.

The association, which officially began enrolling members over the weekend when it launched its website, formed in June after a group of about 20 women cyclists decided to meet after a race to discuss the actions that needed to be taken to bring more equality to the sport.

One of the first orders of business the group undertook was to get a better gauge of salary discrepancies between men and women riders. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI)—the sport’s international governing body—does not require a minimum salary for professional women cyclists as it does for men.

“It’s a matter of human decency to have a minimum wage, and the UCI has stated that they don’t think the women’s sport has developed far enough to require [one],” Holcomb said.

WCA circulated a salary survey via social media this summer to cyclists both in and outside the United States. The results aren’t final yet, but Holcomb said WCA hopes to do the survey annually and make it more [...]

5 10, 2013

Women’s Tour de France Petition

By |October 5th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Women’s Tour de France Petition|

This petition can be found at Change.org.
ASO (Amaury Sports Organization): Allow female professional cycling teams to race the Tour de France

Petition by Kathryn Bertine.

For 100 years, the Tour de France has been the pinnacle endurance sports event of the world, watched by and inspiring millions of people. And for 100 years, it has been an exclusively male race (there was a separate Tour Feminin in the 1980s, but it lacked parity, media coverage, and sponsorship). After a century, it is about time women are allowed to race the Tour de France, too. While many women’s sports face battles of inequity, road cycling remains one of the worst offenders: fewer race opportunities, no televised coverage, shorter distances, and therefore salary and prize money inequity. We seek not to race against the men, but to have our own professional field running in conjunction with the men’s event, at the same time, over the same distances, on the same days, with modifications in start/finish times so neither gender’s race interferes with the other.

The women’s road race at the London Olympics was a showcase for how impressive, exciting, and entertaining women’s cycling can be. The Tour of Flanders and Flèche Wallonne hold similar top ranked men’s and women’s races on the same day, with great success. Having a women’s pro field at the Tour de France will also create an equal opportunity to debunk the myths of physical “limitations” placed upon female athletes. In the late 1960s people assumed that women couldn’t run the marathon. 30 years on we can look back and see how erroneous this was. Hopefully 30 years from now, we will see 2014 as the year that opened people’s eyes to true equality in the sport of cycling.

If you’d like to [...]

5 10, 2013

New Women’s Stage Race in England Slated for 2014

By |October 5th, 2013|News|Comments Off on New Women’s Stage Race in England Slated for 2014|

This article by John Stevenson originally appeared on road.cc.
On his blog today, British Cycling president Brian Cookson confirmed that there will be a women’s stage race in the UK in 2014. Guy Elliott of SweetSpot is the man driving forward the initiative to bring a world-class women’s tour to the UK. He told us of his ambitions for the event and where the planning and preparation currently stands.

“There’s not a great deal to tell you,” says Guy Elliott over the phone from SweetSpot Group’s HQ in Weybridge, Surrey, and then goes on to talk enthusiastically for almost 30 minutes about his plans for a five-day women’s race in May 2014 and the likely shape and philosophy of the race.
What’s in a name?
The race will simply be called The Women’s Tour, says Elliot. It won’t be the Women’s Tour of Britain because British Cycling owns the rights to the name of the men’s tour, and the race he’s planning “is not a tour of Britain yet, but our ambition is to move it up to be a Tour of Britain.”

What Elliot and SweetSpot Group have in mind for the race’s first year, though, is a five-day event in East Anglia and the East Midlands. The vital element they believe they can bring is TV coverage.

“We have already been in discussion with TV and we are confident of having extensive coverage. We don’t want to say which station but we believe that will be a game-changer because we will have daily significant TV coverage.”

With coverage comes the kind of visibility you can sell to sponsors and to local councils hungry to make a favourable impression.

Receptive local authorities is one of the reasons for [...]

5 10, 2013

United Health Care to Launch New Professional Women’s Team in 2014

By |October 5th, 2013|News|Comments Off on United Health Care to Launch New Professional Women’s Team in 2014|

This article originally appeared in Cycling News.
Recently there have been a number of calls for more equality for women in cycling, and while the ASO director Christophe Prudhomme dismissed the idea of a parallel women’s Tour de France, and UCI presidential candidates Pat McQuaid and Brian Cookson continue to try to appeal to the female racers with rhetoric, one organisation is leading by example: the Momentum Sports Group, which runs the UnitedHealthcare men’s Professional Continental team, announced today it will add an equivalent UCI-registered women’s team for 2014.

While it is too early to name riders or staff, General Manager Mike Tamayo confirmed to Cyclingnews that the team of 10 to 12 women will be clad in the same “blue train” kit as the men, and will focus mainly on the domestic circuit, but with some international races as well.

Tamayo said that the time is right to launch this project, and that adding the team is the “right thing to do” in order to help further women’s cycling. “It’s good for the sport. A team like ours, with a decent budget – we take care of our men really well – if we take care of a women’s team, manage it properly and bring that group of 10 or 12 women to a more professional level, that’s good for the sport. If that motivates other Pro Continental teams or WorldTour teams to find 10-12 women and help them to be more professional, that continues to grow the sport. That’s what needs to happen.

“It’s not about prize money or paychecks at this point, I think it’s more about growing the sport, and where that money needs to go is into infrastructure. The athletes today aren’t going to necessarily benefit [...]

5 10, 2013

Even a Twelve Year Old Can Recognize Disparity

By |October 5th, 2013|Blog|Comments Off on Even a Twelve Year Old Can Recognize Disparity|

This article by Kayla Beaconsfield originally appeared at Tour de Couch.
So I’m just a twelve year old girl. But my opinion still matters and I deserve to be heard.

I’m a fan of cycling. Simon Gerrans, Cadel Evans, Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia. I’ve heard about all that stuff and I’m a big fan. But today my dad has taught me something very shocking. So apparently women aren’t allowed to race the Tour de France?

Apparently, women aren’t as good and strong as men. But people are forgetting one thing. People are trying to get kids into cycling, right? But they forget: 50% of kids are girls. And if girls can’t see female cyclists on T.V. as much as the men, or hear cool news about them like we do with the men, well, I’m just going to say, “Screw cycling!” “I don’t want to become a cyclist when I’m older if I’m not going to be treated like an equal!” What kind of person wants to be treated like they’re inferior? Like they don’t matter as much as other people?

As a kid, I’ve had a taste of that feeling, and I do not want it when I’m older. Cycling used to be about fun. About being free. Feeling the wind go past you as you know nothing can worry you. You’re free.

Not anymore. How can you feel like you’re free when you’re being mistreated? How can you feel free when you’re not free? No one can be free when they aren’t being given equal rights. I thought our world had moved on from that sexist-against-women era.

But we’re still the same old people. So if women aren’t given equal rights, unemployed men should just go off and get a job. Because [...]

5 10, 2013

How the Women’s Race Calendar Has Changed (Part 2)

By |October 5th, 2013|Blog|Comments Off on How the Women’s Race Calendar Has Changed (Part 2)|

This article by Sarah Connolly originally appeared at Podium Cafe.
I’ve been looking at how the women’s cycling calendar has changed over time, to back up the calls for the UCI to do something to help with real evidence. Earlier in the week I posted some charts and figures, demonstrating how the calendar has changed since 2006 and since 2011, when I last analysed this, but that has raised more questions. So I went back to my spreadsheets, and here are more charts – showing which races have stability, so we can see if we can find why, and showing the 2013 calendar in a visual view, to see overlaps and gaps…. and once again, I was surprised…. See what I mean, and then discuss the implications and solutions in the comments.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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