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The Women's Road Racing Thread 2017

A place to discuss all things related to current professional road races. Here, you can also touch on the latest news relating to professional road racing. A doping discussion free forum.

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03 Oct 2017 17:15

Rumour I've heard is that Katie Archibald is off to Wiggle
Tim O
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03 Oct 2017 18:12

I did think that would be the most likely. She showed well in the OVO Tour, has good results at the national calendar level, Wiggle would give her the freedom to pursue her track commitments too, plus with her skillset having both Brennauer AND Bronzini to learn from would be ideal. The team having also signed Barker points to another young British development project, so having missed out on Alice Barnes (which was perhaps inevitable, since Canyon would always have had first dibs having already got Hannah on the books) Archibald is the other key young name from the UK domestic scene you'd say is ready for the step to a frontline WT team as of now.
User avatar Libertine Seguros
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03 Oct 2017 18:30

I didn't mean any criticism of Rochelle Gilmore above, just that I wouldn't be surprised to see a British rider incoming. She's done great with Wiggle as far as I'm concerned, especially after Trott left, golden girl and all.

I'd love to see them sign Katie, who is in the front rank of young GB talent, as long as it works for her too. She's an absolute powerhouse.
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04 Oct 2017 17:37

Mayuko Hagiwara: Wiggle High 5 > Ale Cipollini

Needs replacing I would think.
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04 Oct 2017 18:30

I know Hagiwara has missed a lot of the 2017 season, but it does feel like Wiggle need reinforcements on the climbing side of the team, as Mayuko was a useful climbing helper for them for a couple of years, capped with that great Giro stage win in Morbegno, and with Claudia retiring, they are left with potentially having Cordon-Ragot or Yonamine as their last riders left with Elisa in the hillier and more mountainous terrain, and she could well find herself outmatched in the same way as Niewiadoma was this year. I mean, they've still got a world class team, but considering you're going to be looking at other teams with hydra-headed assaults on many of the races Elisa will be targeting - Boels with van der Breggen-Deignan-Guarnier-Canuel, Orica with van Vleuten-Spratt-(Garfoot?), Cervélo with Moolman-Pasio-Ludwig, Canyon with Niewiadoma-Ferrand-Prévot-Amialiusik-Cecchini - she could find herself outnumbered in a lot of key moves quite quickly in the more mountainous races. The team will likely be able to put numbers with her in the more undulating and hilly races but then also teams like Cylance and especially Sunweb have to be feared as well.

Oh, also worth noting is that Bizkaia-Durango has paired with the Murias team which may help keep them together as the existing Spanish teams cope with the creaming off of the crop from Movistar.
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05 Oct 2017 13:49

For various reasons, Wiggle have yet to find a consistent mountain helper for ELB. For hills/medium climbs they are relatively ok I think, but no-one else is a real climber.

I’m really not sure who could fill that role for 2018; maybe the team will focus on other targets. Sprints would be the traditional and obvious one, but they could also strengthen for the sort of selective and occasionally hilly races that dominate the WWT. Elisa was alone in the finals of those too often. So maybe they are not as ok as all that.

I mentioned above that Cecchini would in my view be perfect for them…. and a good fit, which seems to be a key factor for WH5 hiring decisions these days. No more than a hope on my part, in the absence of any news on her 2018 team.
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06 Oct 2017 17:35

Rachel Neylan moves from Orica to Movie Star - A ggod signing who will bring experience to the new team as well as the odd win or two - Will be interesting to see who is their final signing.
yaco
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09 Oct 2017 11:12

Fahlin and Leth extend with Wiggle.

Jess Allen renews with Orica.

And Lea Teutenberg, niece of Ina-Yoko, signs with WNT.
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12 Oct 2017 22:03

With the loss of Niewiadoma and the lack of bonanza leaders available in the market, the team has looked to crystallise around their remaining superstar, and so WM3 become Molteni, sorry, I mean Waowdeals, with WM3 stepping down to secondary sponsor; looks like Waowdeals may also stay on as secondary sponsor for Lares, however, so the transfer market is becoming convoluted until that is cleared up!

The Vos Waowdeals has managed to safeguard itself a little though with some further signings, bringing respected engine Dani King over from Cylance and retaining Riejanne Markus, who will be a useful weapon for them as she progresses in the more durable sprint races and Dutch styled single day calendar. Lares-Waowdeals, for their part, have signed Pascale Jeuland from FDJ, and have been connected to Pauliena Rooijakkers even though I thought the WM3 Waowdeals would be a more logical stopping point for her, as she and Stultiens would give a decent enough climbing support team if Vos is going to be the leader across all terrains à la a few years ago. That's not to say that Vos' Waowdeals hasn't been looking at the Parkhotel Valkenburg yard sale, as they've been connected to 19-year-old prospect Nicole Steigenga.

Elsewhere, Virtu have added to their international roster, bringing German rouleur Mieke Kröger over from Canyon-SRAM; with the high profile acquisitions the German team have been making as well as some real young prospects as well, it seems that like Brennauer she has been kind of lost in the shuffle, Virtu seem to be building a fairly formidable TTT base as well with Kröger joining Neben and Villumsen, though the loss of Mathiesen will be felt. Experza-Footlogix, the former TopSport Vlaanderen team now looking for a more international roster looking like being led by Thalita de Jong, has brought in a young Dane as well, 20-year-old Trine Holmsgaard, to bolster their team. At the moment they only have 7 riders confirmed for next season, but once they lock the Druyts girls in that should easily be enough ;)
User avatar Libertine Seguros
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Re:

13 Oct 2017 00:03

Libertine Seguros wrote: At the moment they only have 7 riders confirmed for next season, but once they lock the Druyts girls in that should easily be enough ;)


That would take them up 14 I think. Or have I missed one?
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13 Oct 2017 05:51

Dunno how relevant it'll be, as I don't know what name she'll choose to go by, but Dani King might be referred to as Dani Rowe from now on.










(And now what I'm looking forward to is the day a cyclist-couple get married and takes the wife's name.)
Aka The Ginger One.
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13 Oct 2017 18:46

My spidey-sense tingled correctly, Rooijakkers to Waowdeals as in Molteni made much more sense, and indeed the 24-year-old has made the jump to join the former WM3 squad. She's a good but not elite climber, but 4th on San Miguel de Áralar and a top 10 on GC at the Emakumeen Bira, 9th in the Giro del Trentino and a stage win on Mont Lozère in the Tour de l'Ardêche point to decent prospects for the former Parkhotel Valkenburg rider who was cut by Boels-Dolmans as a 20-year-old when they started building the current super-team. With Niewiadoma gone they will obviously not have any major leader besides Vos, so Rooijakkers and Stultiens will likely have plenty of freedom in the races for escaladoras.

The team has also brought in Monique van de Ree, confusingly enough from the Lares-Waowdeals team. She's a 29-year-old rouleuse with a fast finish, who has bounced around the Benelux scene for a few years but has been racking up countless top 10s on the Dutch and Belgian domestic races in the last two years, as well as a decent 7th place in the Madrid Challenge in 2016. I suspect given her powerful burst she may be utilised in many races as a leadout for Vos or Markus, but in some races she'll be the team's preferred sprinter too - there is a slight concern that they may do an FDJ (either the men a few years ago or the women more recently) or Alé-Cipollini and have two or even three riders each contesting the finish for their own goals and getting placements.
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16 Oct 2017 09:38

Dani K has changed her twitter to Dani Rowe, so I guess so.

Two Druyts have gone to Lares after all that hilarious bantz.

Wiggle have announced Katie Archibald this morning.

And Audrey Cordon-Ragot won the Chrono des Nations, and in her French TT champ kit too.
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16 Oct 2017 09:46

Wait, no. You can't do that! You can't split up the Druyts.











(Other than Gerry, but Gerry doesn't count.)
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16 Oct 2017 10:35

It’s Kelly and Demmy to Lares (I’m leaving out Waowdeals, too confusing)…

Still a few names with 2018 team to be decided. Plichta and Scandolara are leaving WM3/Waowdeals and you’d think they could find decent teams. Back to BTC for Plichta maybe?
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19 Oct 2017 10:05

Skylar Schneider to Boels - super talent but only 19. Bit of a surprise (to me at least).

Edit – Danny Stam is quoted as saying she could be a trump card in sprints. How d’you like them apples Amelie?

(Actually she seems fine judging by her twitter, but I do feel Boels underplay her sprinting a bit.)
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20 Oct 2017 18:06

Here's a (maybe somewhat crazy?) idea:

Okay, I know the route for next year's La Course has already been announced, so this isn't gonna happen. However, would it have been completely impossible to simply have both the men, and the women ride the route of stage 17 of the TdF? 65 is pretty short for a women's race as well.
Heck, you could even have the men start first, and make sure there's enough time between the two "starting groups" that if a man gets caught by the women, then he'd probably be HD anyway.
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20 Oct 2017 19:44

To be fair on the Schneider signing, she has shown a lot of talent and Boels, despite their very strong position in the sport, have to do a bit of keeping up with the Joneses when it comes to bringing in young talent as, because of their super-strength lineup, they have the problem of needing workhorses, because they are seeing top talents either running out of opportunities for themselves and wanting to move on, as has happened with van Dijk and Pawlowska recently, while the team's workhorses of choice such as Canuel and Majerus merit plenty of freedom for themselves; a couple of years ago Dideriksen was a domestique du jour development project, but her winning the Worlds meant she had to be accommodated as a potential leader as well; having riders like van den Bos and Schneider who have a good turn of pace and are young enough that they still have plenty of learning to do means they will be well-served - especially in Skylar's case because she's a good time triallist too - serving their apprenticeship with the team, while for them it has the benefit of the team not placing any undue expectations on them this early in their careers either. The team has been very quiet in the transfer market, not without reason of course - they have a team which is already flush with incredible talents and a good mix that can cover almost all races with a legit option for victory - so with Pawlowska having a decent turn of pace that she seldom needed to use and being used primarily as a domestique by the team you could even argue it's a like-for-like replacement but with Schneider having much much better room for improvement as a 19-year-old who is hotly tipped. When you look at some of the more active teams in the transfer market, Boels' leadership is a bit more experienced and they want to make sure they have young riders coming through to take up the mantle of leadership.

La Course... mixed feelings as usual. The actual course is pretty good, you know. It's back to having a proper length, and it includes the Romme and Colombière, giving us a genuine climbing race, plus also with the Tour being arranged a week later they have moved it forward in Le Tour. So, first up, my issues with it. I'm a bit concerned by the race being just one rest day after the finish of the Giro Rosa; I think this may affect the startlist simply from a logistic point of view, although admittedly before we know the Giro Rosa route this could be premature - if the Giro is taking a route across the north like in 2015 and we're going to end somewhere in, say, Piemonte, then it will be fine as it's drivable, although obviously it might mean the Giro is reluctant to finish with a major climbing stage in case it affects their startlist or riders whose GC bids aren't going well drop out to focus on La Course. The fact that this move of the Tour to accommodate the World Cup also has a minor problem to me which is that La Course is somewhat buried in the middle of the race (also, it's the first mountain stage of the Tour, so will inevitably garner the majority of the attention) as opposed to at a focal point, as well as being a midweek race again, limiting potential audience. The fact that it's been reduced back to a one day race doesn't in and of itself raise my ire, however the absolute BS justification about the unpopularity of the pursuit suggesting that there isn't the clamour for a longer race absolutely does. Boiling blood level. What absolute level 10 BS. The pursuit race was unpopular because it was announced late in the day, meaning riders and teams didn't have the organization and accommodation all sorted until quite late in the day; the race was unbalanced, omitted several of the riders who might have made for an interesting pursuit, the pursuit didn't pay WT points so was seen as a bit of an exhibition race, and the cameras didn't follow the places where there was an actual fight for positions, because they were far down enough that they weren't really relevant to the result. Of course, that Annemiek won at Izoard was a problem for them because of the strength of her TT, but the problem was not that there wasn't the interest in a multi-day women's race, far from it. The problem was that ASO experimented with a new format in front of one of the biggest audiences the women will see all year, and clearly there were some teething problems that continuing to run the format in smaller races might be able to resolve, or might not, and that they brought it in late in the day, and screwed over organizers of long-standing and long-running women's races to accommodate their event. I'd say that actually, there's plenty of clamour for a longer race. They just didn't do a great job of the one they put together last year. That isn't an issue in and of itself; not every idea you have will be a great one. But the problem was not the women's racing. The problem was the particulars of last year's La Course, and ASO should learn from that and produce a better race by tweaking the format or revisiting how they operate the format, rather than say "that didn't work, so we'll give up" and return to a one-day race, because that reeks of token gestures rather than any actual commitment to developing the sport, which when you consider the coverage for La Flèche Wallonne compared to the Flanders Classics is not a difficult accusation to level at ASO sometimes.

Now for the positives. This is the best one-day race parcours the women have had since... possibly ever. Certainly as long as I can recall. It's a bigger climbers' race than any Worlds in living memory, than any of the one-day editions of the Giro del Trentino. The climbs are markedly steeper than those in the Trofeo Binda and longer than any in the Emakumeen Saria and the Ardennes. There's more than the one, so it has more sustained climbing than we saw in the Rio Olympic road race. And it's not just a mountaintop finish either, so it benefits all-rounder skills which gives an added dynamic since often descending skills are more important in the women's péloton than the men's. It's like a Lombardia, but tougher. The climbing is also sustained enough that team trains are unlikely because the absence of a large number of such mountains in women's racing mean that there aren't really the opportunities to develop a climbing train of the kind we see in the men's races all too often, and a lot of domestiques are likely to disappear as soon as they hit the Romme properly. What's more, the proximity to the Giro does potentially mean that form will not have the chance to wane; this year Anna van der Breggen took a break directly off the Giro and didn't grace La Course, will we see the Giro winner seek to put an exclamation point behind their triumph by winning in a super-tough mountainous one-dayer straight after? Another real benefit of La Course being held like this is that a 120km race with genuine tough mountains will mean that the Giro has to produce something proper to assert its importance as the biggest test of climbing in the women's sport; 2017's Giro was roundly criticised as too lacking in decisive climbing by both fans and riders alike (Annemiek van Vleuten in particular asking the organizers for more selective and harder climbing in the 2018 edition) and they will need to pull out the stops to make sure they don't see some of their prestige eroded. A Romme-Colombière double is going to need some stops pulling out to beat it, so the impact of a good parcours for La Course could go further than just ASO's race in its implications.

Oh yea, but one final negative point: they give us this course after Pooley, Abbott and Lichtenberg have all retired :(
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21 Oct 2017 10:06

...although there is still the Taiwan KOM challenge to take into account of course. A great day for nostalgia, since we got to see Emma Freaking Pooley raise her hands in celebration which is so beyond great it's unreal. It was in fact an all-British podium at the Wuling Pass since she finished ahead of Hayley Simmonds and Emily-Grace Collinge. Not familiar with the latter but it seems she's an endurance and cross-country runner, and she came in just ahead of Claudia Lichtenberg (!).

Emma won by like fourteen hours or something absurd like that, because she's Emma Pooley and we all love that.
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21 Oct 2017 22:17

Short video of a Drops rider Rose Osborne calling it a day. Nicely done I thought.

https://vimeo.com/236411161
Tim O
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