Teams & Riders Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig is the first - and only - Cille

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You're absolutely right; there hasn't been nearly enough discussions about the good looks of male riders.
BlueRoads is trying, though.

In fact, I think there have been more discussions about the looks of male riders than female riders (I think today was a first) despite the fact that - I suppose - there are far more male than female posters on the forum.

And yes, yes, I know we also speak more about male riders in general.
 
BlueRoads is trying, though.

In fact, I think there have been more discussions about the looks of male riders than female riders (I think today was a first) despite the fact that - I suppose - there are far more male than female posters on the forum.

And yes, yes, I know we also speak more about male riders in general.
This thread is becoming the ideal alibi to start posting some homoerotic posts about male riders. "No no, we're just trying to balance things out!"
 
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BlueRoads is trying, though.
That's what I wanted to answer, then I saw your post...

I really hate when people, athletes or not, are reduced to their looks.
But when I see someone I am immediately aware of what they look like, what they wear, what their movements are like (in regards to sexual attraction that is actually one of the main aspects to me, not looks really...), what they carry with them and how much distance they keep to other people...
Some of these things are hard to put into words. The way someone looks is easy.

To me it's a bit weird to behave like these people don't have bodies and faces, like I don't recognize them. That does not mean I am putting their looks above everything else, or that, in case of athletes, female or not, that is actually relevant. I just recognize it.
Also I am very much against negative comments (except for hairstyles or something, which of course often is nonsensical. People will just have different tastes) and I am trying to be respectful and to think of the fact they are real people and not just some characters from a series.

I hate when guys talk about female athletes like they are only there as eye candy for them, while respecting male athlete's successes. I would hate to do it the other way around... :oops:
 
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To get things back to the subject at hand, i.e. how awesome Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig is, let's discuss what people's movements are like. Cille is very elegant and seemingly effortless on the bike, one of the most naturally relaxed pedal styles in the women's bunch for sure. And it seems like that suits her well for when it gets really steep as she has that extra gear to go to. Take for example her attack to win at the Giro dell'Emilia.


This was the kind of thing Joaquím Rodríguez used to do, sit in looking easy and riding with as little energy expended as possible, next to no unnecessary motion, and when the gradient is up over 15%, just take off out the saddle and open up a big time gap very quickly. She's definitely among the absolute elite puncheuses right now, and seems to benefit most the steeper the climb is. Would love to see the 2020 version of her take on a rescued Emakumeen Bira, those climbs would be perfect for her. She seems to thrive the steeper the gradient gets and the more the balance tilts away from those riders who can use their power to force their way over the climbs. Maybe a bit more endurance is still required for the really long climbs, but she did manage 4th in the Giro, and it was only a TTT that cost her the podium.

As if there weren't already reasons enough to hate the TTT...
 
To get things back to the subject at hand, i.e. how awesome Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig is, let's discuss what people's movements are like. Cille is very elegant and seemingly effortless on the bike, one of the most naturally relaxed pedal styles in the women's bunch for sure. And it seems like that suits her well for when it gets really steep as she has that extra gear to go to. Take for example her attack to win at the Giro dell'Emilia.


This was the kind of thing Joaquím Rodríguez used to do, sit in looking easy and riding with as little energy expended as possible, next to no unnecessary motion, and when the gradient is up over 15%, just take off out the saddle and open up a big time gap very quickly. She's definitely among the absolute elite puncheuses right now, and seems to benefit most the steeper the climb is. Would love to see the 2020 version of her take on a rescued Emakumeen Bira, those climbs would be perfect for her. She seems to thrive the steeper the gradient gets and the more the balance tilts away from those riders who can use their power to force their way over the climbs. Maybe a bit more endurance is still required for the really long climbs, but she did manage 4th in the Giro, and it was only a TTT that cost her the podium.

As if there weren't already reasons enough to hate the TTT...
But I like TTTs... I know they are unfair. I just like to watch them for the beauty of it, if they are executed well...
 
But I like TTTs... I know they are unfair. I just like to watch them for the beauty of it, if they are executed well...
The WWT has two standalone TTTs (Vårgårda and Halden), just like the men's World Tour used to have one (Eindhoven). So leave it at that rather than biasing stage races with them too.

It'd be less of a problem if there were sufficient mountain stages and/or individual time trials on the women's calendar, but there really aren't sufficient numbers of those, so when a TTT has such a significant impact on the race it's more noticeable. I think it was Saul Miguel on twitter who pulled up the data a couple of years ago and found that TTTs account for more than double the % of race days in the women's WT calendar than they do in the men's, while individual time trials accounted for less as a %, mountain stages accounted for less than half, and stages with multiple large mountains were almost non-existent at the WWT level (usually confined to races like the Tour de l'Ardêche, and with the Route de France now gone, Giro del Trentino relegated in status and Emakumeen Bira and Tour of California in trouble and unclear as to whether they return post-Covid (the latter particularly unlikely but we'll see), this doesn't seem to be likely to improve soon).

Women's pros have been clamouring for longer and harder races longer than I've been following the sport, back to Edita Pucinskaite and Nicole Cooke, through Emma Johansson to Annemiek van Vleuten and now to Cille, who has been outspoken about the current trend for not giving women the same obstacles to work with as the men in major championship races and the lack of variety in the World Tour races not allowing proper separation of specialisms in the women's péloton.

And of course, Cille challenges them in her own inimitable style, assuaging race organisers' fears that long distances or high altitudes might cause riders' uteruses to fall out with sound, scientific reasoning.
 
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I thought we've discussed male riders looks. This isn't a female specific thing. Granted I joined this forum after Cancellara retired, and no idea how many female posters were around when he was riding, but in other places, his looks were discussed a lot while he was racing. Come to think of it, his looks still get discussed from time to time. There have definitely been conversations about male riders looks. I mean they have bodies and faces and you can't just ignore that.
 
Well, this thread went from being all about putting the hammer down, to being potentially about putting the hammer up, rather quickly :laughing:

Yes, to me, Cille is rather cute, though I think also that her personality adds to that. I have a bit of a thing for the tennis player Daria Gavrilova, who perhaps could be somewhat comparable, although women's tennis is much different in that it is far more visual, and you don't have to be 'that' good to receive great exposure (because it is one against one, not hiding in a group of 100), so whilst Daria can receive extensive coverage on television whilst being ranked 100 in the world (and be interviewed after playing), a female cyclist often won't even be noticed if she's the TENTH best in the world, because of the way that the sport is, and probably won't be interviewed unless she finishers on the podium.

Basically if Daria Gavrilova was a cyclist, then I would never have noticed her.

Anyway, looks are important, because they do effect us. They cannot be ignored. And the ways that females make men's hearts flutter is a little different to men effecting females similarly. In short, it is easier for them to have that effect. Looks and personality. With the way that women view men - as Blue Roads pointed out - many other factors come into it. Status is one....by the way Bluey....JA must have totally won your heart battle with TM now, being World Champion :D

It must be noted that women (or girls) care about the looks of female stars as much as, if not more, than men (or boys) do. With Ariana Grande or Taylor Swift, it isn't just, "I want to be/sing like her." It's "I want to look like her." Or at least that is kind of included within the first statement.

Maybe some girls will switch on the television and catch the end of the female cycling race, and then maybe they'll catch a Cille interview. And instead of saying, "I want to be like Swift" (or lo and behold a Kardashian) she'll say, "I want to be like Cille!" Because she will also note just how much happiness this Dane is deriving from doing this sport that she loves.

As others have suggested, such discussion is probably better held elsewhere. Maybe I'll open a thread for it later. I think there is a lot to discuss in terms of male and female sports participation (in relation to looks, physical attraction).
 
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Maybe some girls will switch on the television and catch the end of the female cycling race, and then maybe they'll catch a Cille interview. And instead of saying, "I want to be like Swift" (or lo and behold a Kardashian) she'll say, "I want to be like Cille!" Because she will also note just how much happiness this Dane is deriving from doing this sport that she loves.

Aside from not having women's races on TV here (well we hardly get any men's either. It sounds like we really need to have her interviews over here.
 
It must be noted that women (or girls) care about the looks of female stars as much as, if not more, than men (or boys) do. With Ariana Grande or Taylor Swift, it isn't just, "I want to be/sing like her." It's "I want to look like her." Or at least that is kind of included within the first statement.
'The Ariana Grande of cycling' is probably Letizia Paternoster.
 
It must be noted that women (or girls) care about the looks of female stars as much as, if not more, than men (or boys) do. With Ariana Grande or Taylor Swift, it isn't just, "I want to be/sing like her." It's "I want to look like her." Or at least that is kind of included within the first statement.
They do? Not anyone I know.... unless young girls / teens, perhaps... Maybe it's different where you are, but this woman strongly disagrees with that statement!
 
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It looks like she can be the next "dominating" rider in women's cycling, in case the women's scene does not get very broad and specialized. Who do you (Libertine?) think could challenge her?
Cille's problem will likely forever be that lack of a sprint weapon. At a similar age to Cille is now, Anna van der Breggen had very little sprint ability and really worked on it, to the point where she's "ok" now. Niewiadoma has been working on her sprint for a couple of years now with limited real results; Cille is starting from a position of real weakness in that respect which may hamper her results as long as flat to hilly racing remains the staple diet of the women's péloton, which may put her into a similar kind of position that Elisa Longo Borghini is in. Then again, if she ends up with a similar palmarès to Longo Borghini's she could probably retire happy (well, taking into account that Cecilie is almost always a bundle of energy).

If van der Breggen is shortly retiring, then I can see Cille becoming a real fixture of the winner's circle for punchy finishes. Van Vleuten and Moolman-Pasio are both 35+ at this point and though both started late and have fewer miles on the clock than a comparable men's pro as a result, this will be a factor and their time as pre-eminent climbers will eventually fade, and might already be doing so in Ash's case where she was being outclimbed by Pauliena Rooijakkers, who was cast free from domestiquing for her, at the Giro. We do have to be mindful of attributing too much value to this year's racing however, because of the differences in training capabilities of various riders in lockdown, but nevertheless, she has proven herself to be a truly elite puncheuse this year and somebody who is better the steeper the races get. We must also remember that there are a number of latecomers to the sport for women and this can also impact our expectations; in addition because they broke out really young we must also remember that riders like Longo Borghini and Niewiadoma aren't exactly old - they're 28 and 26 respectively - so they could well be around for a good few years as rivals in the stage races for Cille. In the one day races, then at present especially tactically then unless the climbs are really steep and long enough to put them on the back foot, there's still Vos and Deignan, who are 33 and 31 respectively so still have some time at the top left in them so long as they want it, though naturally you'd expect Cille to still be going strong when they retire. In the stage races there's also Amanda Spratt, who will be getting her first chance to truly lead for herself next year, and recently turned 33 too so she'll be a challenger for the next couple years at least.

Two names that immediately spring to mind for the future in the same kind of races as Cille would be targeting are Demi Vollering and Liane Lippert. Both have better sprint weapons than Cille; Vollering also has won the Giro dell'Emilia, albeit less decisively than Cille, and was on the podium on the Mur de Huy this week, so that kind of gradient clearly doesn't bother her. She's still only 23 and is moving over to SD Worx (Boels) where she will perhaps lead less, but benefit from greater support than Parkhotel Valkenburg can give her. She doesn't seem as explosive as Cille, but it's also hard to tell whether on that finale it was her tactical naïveté (she's also paid for leaving time gaps in front of her in a couple of stage races last year) and she ran out of gas too early or if Cille just had the climbing edge on her, or, most likely going from Demi's interview post-race, a little from column A and a little from column B. Lippert is younger still - 22 - and this year - admittedly a bit inflated by the exaggerated importance of the Australian offseason races with so many of the European races through the middle of the season cancelled or postponed - has moved toward the premier end of the péloton. She doesn't seem quite so durable as Cille as of yet, but she does seem good at riding climbs to tempo if she can't go with the pace of those at the very front. Most of her best results are in those punchy one-dayers and I'm sure she'll learn from the chastening experience of blowing up in the Women's Tour last year.

In stage races, other than established names we already know all about like Niewiadoma and Longo Borghini, the obvious name to drop here would be Mikayla Harvey after her stunning Giro. Again, have to be mindful of attributing too much value because of the differences in training etc., but the young New Zealanders have been flying post-lockdown and none more eye-catching than Harvey. On the 12,5% slopes of the penultimate stage of the Giro, she was able to go with Anna VDB and Elisa Longo Borghini when nobody else could and though she was subsequently distanced, she plugged away limiting her losses and was never caught by the likes of Kasia and Cille either. She had shown glimpses of real promise last year but this year has been way above and beyond expectation. She did win an ITT in 2019 also so she has the all-round skills (albeit that was impacted by Cille having a mechanical which cost her the GC).

Elsewhere there are people like Aalerud (25) and Merino (26) who could be intriguing challengers when it comes to the climbs, but I don't think are multi-dimensional enough at this point to be real challengers across the board, although they will likely get to learn from Annemiek van Vleuten next year, which will surely help. Paula Patiño likewise, she's 23 and a pocket-sized Colombian grimpeuse, she just finished top 10 of the Giro but that was largely thanks to the final day breakaway. Likewise Évita Muzic, who seems very promising as a climber and comes from CX so has plenty of all-round skills, she will likely graduate to be a second-in-command for Cille in the near future however, and perhaps fulfil the same role for Uttrup that she herself once did for Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio. Juliette Labous over at Sunweb is probably the most GC/climbing-oriented of their young riders, at least for races like the Giro, will be interesting to see what happens next year though as it seems Lippert's progression has rather trodden on her toes a bit, but also Sunweb having signed Lorena Wiebes might mean they put less attention on their climbing corps, and while Lorena Wiebes is definitely a star in the making, she can't really be considered a contender/challenger to the likes of Cecilie because they're completely different types of rider.

I know I'm going to post this and then facepalm completely about somebody I've forgotten, too.
 
You're absolutely right; there hasn't been nearly enough discussions about the good looks of male riders.
I am sure Bennati would have appreciated reading this forum if we had had these discussions.

Sorry, off topic.

Really appreciate Uttrup's appearance in racing interviews, but I am not a big fan of her appearing on danish mainstream TV shows, where she has to amplify her act in order to satisfy TV viewers nationwide.
 

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