The Women's Road Racing Thread 2016

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Just to confirm what an absolute shower of excreta putting the World Championships in Qatar was, in the scale of terrible things that have happened in the carrying through of the event, that's quite possibly the nadir. A police car deliberately running down a cyclist for wearing shorts? If we're willing to accept the point about culture and that wearing the bib shorts is considered provocative, could they not have, you know, done something a bit less drastic to reinforce their position, such as ordering her to cover up or pulling her over and giving her a lecture on why her actions were provocative or unacceptable, rather than running her over?
 


Jessie Daams may ride again. She saw her Olympic dream go in flame last April due to a thrombosis in the leg. Following tests at the University Hospital of Leuven the doctors gave her a green light again. She stays true to Lotto Soudal Ladies in 2017. Beside the support of the Lotto team she will also rely on that of the Belgian Cycling Team and of her coach Erwin Borgonjon who make sure she can be provided any facilities needed (testing, training sessions, etc.).

(Belang van Limburg, yesterday)
 
I'd imagine Daams is now in the position to be the team's best-placed stage racer, she's been top 20 at the Giro before and close to the top 10 of the Route de France, so if she can get healthy again and doesn't have to work for others she could well find herself with some good placements.

Speaking of stage races, it's good to know that the Emakumeen Bira isn't taking the UCI's BS lying down, although they've had their bid to safeguard their position by taking up WWT status rejected, probably because of not including a flat circuit stage... more seriously, though, it seems that running for 30 years as one of the toughest short stage races on the calendar, with a good field and history tied to a well-known men's race isn't enough to get WT status over such prestigious and iconic races as Chongming Island and the RideLondon Crit, so onwards and upwards. Cookson's letter turning them down suggests that he encourages them to apply again for 2018, but reads like a "we wish you well in your future endeavours" kind of letter to somebody you're leaving to their own devices, and certainly I have little faith that they - or Thüringen who are also getting screwed for that matter - would be accepted in future bids either, because frankly women's cycling was one of the only areas where Cookson held a real, genuine advantage over McQuaid, and despite the fact that there has undoubtedly been quite a lot of progress regarding coverage of women's cycling during Cookson's term, the direction of the reforms he is bringing in and what they mean - for both genders - means I really have little faith that the plans he has are good for the sport in the long term, instead going the Bernie Ecclestone route of selling the sport to the highest bidder, and improving the TV coverage of women's cycling, but with a calendar that feels low on genuine climbing challenges and far too high on urban circuit races that don't allow the women the chance to really show what they can do, racing-wise, and elevating one set of races at the expense of threatening the existence of another, which in the often precarious economy of women's road racing is hard to get behind 100% because we might need those established races that have proven sustainability and longevity in the future if some of the recent additions to the calendar do not successfully establish themselves or prove to be short-term solutions only.

The Bira's organizers' newly-set April calendar slot has been nixed by the clash with Amstel Gold, so the race plans to run in mid-May now, in a small break in the WWT calendar between California and Philadelphia. Obviously it's unlikely that those who compete in the North American mini-season will take part, but the organizers are presumably targeting early Giro build-up as well as teams of comparatively limited size or scope for whom spending all that time out in North America could be costly or who don't have sponsor interests out there.

In 2016, many key teams didn't go to North America and this presumably is what the Emakumeen Bira's new planned date will target - Liv-Plantur, Cervélo-Bigla, Orica, Alé-Cipollini, Hitec, Futuroscope, BTC and Lotto all scoring no points in California, while without the US-interested Rabobank sponsorship and operating on a lower budget this year will WM3 be as interested in the North American calendar? This is the kind of thing that the organizers will be banking on.
 
Re:

Libertine Seguros said:
Just to confirm what an absolute shower of excreta putting the World Championships in Qatar was, in the scale of terrible things that have happened in the carrying through of the event, that's quite possibly the nadir. A police car deliberately running down a cyclist for wearing shorts? If we're willing to accept the point about culture and that wearing the bib shorts is considered provocative, could they not have, you know, done something a bit less drastic to reinforce their position, such as ordering her to cover up or pulling her over and giving her a lecture on why her actions were provocative or unacceptable, rather than running her over?
This is why, IMO, the Worlds should never have taken place in Qatar. Or in any of these countries that are notorious for these types of beliefs, behaviors against women. I don't blame the Qatari: they're not ready for this. I blame UCI for putting the almighty $ ahead of riders' safety. Who in their right mind would think that the same people who cover their women from head to toe would not be offended by a cycling kit? I blame UCI.
 
Just to make sure that my post is not misconstrued: I do not condone the qatari cop's behavior, of course. It's criminal. But I see a difference between an ignorant acting as an ignorant, and an organization who should have known better, put $$$ ahead of riders' safety. UCI, like FIFA are prostitutes.
 
Lensworld are continuing to build a strong Italian-based arm to their squad. Having had the promising youngster Alice Maria Arzuffi and got some strong placements with Maria Giulia Confalonieri, and also signing Italian-based Ukrainian climber Tetyana Riabchenko earlier in the offseason, the team have now picked up former World Champion and multiple-time best Italian at the Giro, Tatiana Guderzo, which means that the team probably can also pose a GC threat, whereas this year it was all about Nina Kessler (who's swapped places with Guderzo, going to Hitec) and Confalonieri in sprints. We've also had a small number of riders confirmed to a Team Giusfredi-Bianchi, which I can only assume is a phoenix around the former INPA team.
 
FDJ to co-sponsor the only French team, Poitou-Charentes Futuroscope 86, boosting its budget to about 800,000 Euros. Name change,it will be FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope. Nicolas Marche remains the DS. Twelve riders: Roxane Fournier, Aude Biannic, Charlotte Bravard, Greta Richioud, Coralie Demay, Victorie Guilman, Eugénie Duval, Annabelle Dreville, Séverine Eraud, Eri Yonamine (JPN), Roxane Knetemann (NL) and Shara Gillow (AUS).
 
Sep 30, 2014
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RedheadDane said:
Got a bit of a question regarding Julie Roelandts - younger sister of Jürgen?

So, she's 14, right? yet she's on the elite Lotto Soudal Ladies team. She must be freakishly good!
It's peculiar - she's on their website but not on PCS and doesn't seem to have raced for them. So I'm thinking not really on the elite team. They don't have a female juniors or devo set up as far as I know.

Tonton said:
Just to make sure that my post is not misconstrued: I do not condone the qatari cop's behavior, of course. It's criminal. But I see a difference between an ignorant acting as an ignorant, and an organization who should have known better, put $$$ ahead of riders' safety. UCI, like FIFA are prostitutes.
I'd rather they had found a better place for the WC, and it sounds a horrendous incident. But in the interests of balance, I would say that the women have been racing in Qatar for a while now and I haven't heard of anything similar so far... which doesn't mean anything conclusive, but I think generally the women have found Qatar a pretty good place to race because the facilities are so much better than they usually get.

Tonton said:
FDJ to co-sponsor the only French team, Poitou-Charentes Futuroscope 86, boosting its budget to about 800,000 Euros. Name change,it will be FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope. Nicolas Marche remains the DS. Twelve riders: Roxane Fournier, Aude Biannic, Charlotte Bravard, Greta Richioud, Coralie Demay, Victorie Guilman, Eugénie Duval, Annabelle Dreville, Séverine Eraud, Eri Yonamine (JPN), Roxane Knetemann (NL) and Shara Gillow (AUS).
I think the new kit looks fantastic and really hope they do well. Soft spot for Roxy Knetemann.
 
Quick round-up of the changes we've had over the last couple of weeks:

- Astana have lost one of their Mexican riders with Ingrid Drexel returning to North America to ride for Tibco. They have in the last couple of days renewed Caro Rodríguez, however Drexel had stronger results over the last couple of seasons. They have signed Olena Pavlukhina across from BTC City-Ljubljana, who won Gracia-Orlová and showed some strong performances. They have also brought in Arlenis Sierra as a replacement for Drexel, the Cuban having won a number of races in Central and South America and also the Tour de Brétagne last season.
- Team Twenty16-BIKERIDER are now Team Twenty20-BIKERIDER. What this means for Kristin Armstrong I don't know, but I don't rule out her doing jack for two years before announcing a return, never racing out of the US but being primed for the Olympics, Longo-style. Anyway, obviously Kristin has little relevance to the 2017 roster, however they've retained Chloe Dygert, along with much of their 2016 roster, as well as bringing in Shayna Powless (yes, related to Neilson). They have, however, lost Alison "Action" Jackson, who signed for BePink, where she guested for much of the autumn in Europe.
- Ting-Ying Huang's sojourn in Europe will continue as Servetto have extended her contract after bringing her in as a ringer for the Giro. The team have, however, lost a couple of their young Italian riders to BePink.
- We have a new Italian UCI team in Valcar-PBM. Ilaria Bonomi, signed from BePink, is perhaps the most notable name, but they have a few young prospects who will be of interest in the Italian races, particularly Allegra Arzuffi, sister to Alice Maria.
- BePink have finalized their roster, with the biggest surprise being no Amber Neben - though as she has yet to announce anywhere, don't be surprised if she joins them mid-season on a short-term basis given her age. The team will therefore look to centralize around another elder stateswoman with a chequered history, Olga Zabelinskaya, although personally I'm much more interested in wafer-thin Belarusian escaladora Kseniya Tuhai, who had a spectacular Giro, was top 5 of Ardèche, and is only 21. Ilaria Sanguineti had a quiet 2016 but a very strong 2015 so she could be interesting as well, while Russian Anastasiya Chulkova, who left the team mid-season, rejoins. As mentioned above Alison Jackson is brought in, as are Katia Ragusa and Maria Vittoria Sperotto from Footon.
- Bizkaia have signed Paola Muñoz, Xirayas' Chilean rider who was arguably their most prominent name although with most of her results coming in the American 'pop-up' races ahead of the Olympics judging their level is hard. They've also brought in Cristina Pujol Muñoz, who I believe to be the sister of everyone's favourite ex-Cervélo and Lotto Asian race musketeer Óscar Pujol.
- BTC have confirmed the signing of Änna Zita Maria Stricker last week, so though they've lost Plichta and Pavlukhina, two of their most prominent riders last year, they have kept Radotic and seemingly Bujak as well so they will look to make a lot of races hard, with numerous options from a reduced sprint.
 
- BTC indeed have kept Bujak, who will likely be a main leader for them going forward.
- Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo have updated their roster, keeping hold of a few of their young riders - Asja Paladin (having lost her sister Soraya), Irene Bitto etc. - but allowing a couple to walk. They've padded out the roster by bringing over Romanian national champion Ana Maria Covrig from the wreckage of INPA, and Beatrice Bartelloni from Aromitalia.
- Veteran Israeli journeywoman Shani Bloch will join VirtuPro, the former BMS-BIRN team. More interestingly, however, the team's increased budget has enabled them to bring in Amber Neben from BePink, the veteran American shoring up some interest in stage races and time trials what with Ludwig and Vilmann, their strongest riders in 2016, moving on to Cervélo (where they've already been riding as 'guests'...)
- SC Michela Fanini have brought Ceoloni across from Footon.
- Thanks to the Zwift Academy program, Canyon-SRAM have signed 37-year-old former cross-country and marathon runner Leah Thorvilson. I assume this is in a way a bit of stunt casting, similar to João Correia signing at Cervélo a few years ago, but considering it's a comeback to pro sport after quitting distance running following serious injury issues that led to four separate surgeries. She literally didn't start cycling until halfway through 2015...
 
Here are a couple of random - completely useless - musings:

1: Five-(wo)man rosters aren't completely unheard of, right? This means that Boels-Dolmans technically could start in a race with not two riders wearing the same kit.

2: This has definitely being the year for old* American ladies when it comes to major ITT championships. Also, the ITT World Champion could be the mother of the RR World Champion. Of course, said RR champion is pretty young.




*For a professional athlete. I don't actually think 43 or 41 is that old.

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And in a terrible change of subject:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/canadian-neo-pro-ellen-watters-dies-from-crash-injuries/

:cry:
 

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