The Women's Road Racing Thread 2021

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Brown wins the sprint from Chabbey and Fisher-Black in stage one of Burgos with 5 seconds to the peleton - Brown attacked just before the end of the second last climb and then rode in the front for 90% of the time over the final drag.
 
Nice to see someone other than the usual suspects win today. Good performance by the Winner. Was surprised to see Niamh Fisher-Black working on the front today, thought that as the best placed SD Worx rider, someone else would be doing the work. AVDV pushing it on after the crash a bit dodgy as well, not like she didn't see it as she looked around when it happened. On a side-note NF-B looks tiny compared to most of the other ladies on the bike, very promising future anyway at just 20.
 



Nice to see someone other than the usual suspects win today. Good performance by the Winner. Was surprised to see Niamh Fisher-Black working on the front today, thought that as the best placed SD Worx rider, someone else would be doing the work. AVDV pushing it on after the crash a bit dodgy as well, not like she didn't see it as she looked around when it happened. On a side-note NF-B looks tiny compared to most of the other ladies on the bike, very promising future anyway at just 20.
The problem for Fisher-Black is that she can be one of the 10 best women in a race, but still not even be the third best SD Worx rider. But you'd expect her to get some chances at some point, cause she's clearly talented and has done a good job for the team so far.
 
. On a side-note NF-B looks tiny compared to most of the other ladies on the bike, very promising future anyway at just 20.
I was trying to figure out (watching a Spanish broadcast since this GCN broadcast isn't available in the US) who that tiny rider was leading the group several times near the end. The white jersey threw me off.
 
Look at that top 2. The Vuelta a Burgos is the best race in the world, and Complejo Kárstico de Ojo Guareña is a guaranteed stop on a future Race Design Thread Vuelta, because it is the source of great joy. There are as yet undiscovered tribes in the Amazon who have never been contacted by the outside world and even they are celebrating because a great triumph has been prophesied.
 
Reactions: Samu Cuenca
To be fair, Évita did a great job and it was a very attacking race with a few speculative moves. Cille herself was in one, with Pauliena Rooijakkers, we had Évita (who Cecilie singled out for praise in what part of the interview she was able to give) and Sabrina Stultiens, then you had Canyon-SRAM trying to lead it all the way to the finish (justified as Kasia was one of the strongest) but when they were running short on numbers, Elise Chabbey, despite being the race leader, decided on a speculative move, covered by Karol-Ann Canuel, and then BikeExchange drove the pace on Ojo Guareña and set up the sprint which ran about as perfectly as I could have asked.

Cecilie 1st, Kasia 2nd, Monte Zoncolan coming up, somebody dial up some Ice Cube, because it was a good day.

 
Reactions: postmanhat
Had this lined up to watch after the Giro, but accidentally saw that CUL had won. Still watched and very happy to see her get her first WT. Like many I am a fan, but as everyone is on the CUL bandwagon, I am starting a new bandwagon, the Niamh Fisher-Black bandwagon. No Irish girls to cheer at the top level of Womens Cycling, so one with an Irish name(and likely connections) will have to do. Would love to see her take victory here, SD Worx are in the driving seat with 4 in contention, but AVV could still smash them.
 
Had this lined up to watch after the Giro, but accidentally saw that CUL had won. Still watched and very happy to see her get her first WT. Like many I am a fan, but as everyone is on the CUL bandwagon, I am starting a new bandwagon, the Niamh Fisher-Black bandwagon. No Irish girls to cheer at the top level of Womens Cycling, so one with an Irish name(and likely connections) will have to do. Would love to see her take victory here, SD Worx are in the driving seat with 4 in contention, but AVV could still smash them.
You would probably have understood that Cecilie had won from the dancing in the streets and the parties being thrown across the world, and you probably heard her victory celebrations if you were anywhere in a 100km radius of northern Burgos province.

 
Reactions: Captain Sensible
I hope they don't get any hassle about missing out on 30 minutes' coverage because the women just happened to race too hard for the broadcast plans that were in place! The race appears to be one ITT short of what the men's Vuelta a Burgos was about 10 years ago - 2x punchy finishes, a flatter stage, a short-to-mid ITT and a Lagunas de Neila MTF. If they can add that in it might just be the perfect short stage race (though I'd prefer they use the old version of the Lagunas de Neila MTF if it's going to be the only one - they switched from the gradual-climb-then-descent-then-8km @ 8% version to the old road with 14km @ 5,5% in the men's race because they added the second MTF at Picón Blanco so they needed the second climb to be easier, but in the women's race with only one MTF, the old version would be fine imo, and probably better for the race as it's still long enough to be a real mountain test, more in line with other big climbs the women do, and steeper so it's harder to maintain tempo as that side of Neila is inconsistent too).

Obviously Anna and Annemiek fought out the end and it was essentially one big knock-down drag-out as Anna prevented Annemiek from getting around her, but Demi-goddess for MVP. She was incredible, just rolling through and shelling everybody, including some big name climbers like Longo Borghini and Niewiadoma. Fisher-Black worked really hard but I think this was more about trying to see how far she could go and honouring the leader's jersey than any concerted attempt to win; when she dropped, SD Worx dropped Ash Moolman-Pasio back, their most experienced climber, to babysit her because Vollering really didn't need any help grinding everybody else into powder, and obviously once she let go Niamh fell back pretty hard, dropping around the same time as Cille but finishing 40 seconds behind the crazy banana - still an impressive showing for her, and it's hardly a disgrace to lose a bunch of time to Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig in a final kilometre at 11%, that's kind of Cille's thing.

I'm also going to draw attention to Pauliena Rooijakkers, who is very much a female David Moncoutié. I don't necessarily mean in the whole "If you want me to have some vitamin C, bring me an orange" kind of thing, but I mean what Moncoutié was like as a bike rider in races. She's aggressive in what few true mountain stages there are, she gets better the longer climbs are, and just her demeanour in the bunch; you can always find Pauliena in the péloton - put a camera on the moto at the back of the bunch, she will always be there. She doesn't like pack racing, and consistently loses time in descents, in the rain, and is a nervous and twitchy bike handler, but she's seriously underrated as a climber as a result because she will miss splits and lose time due to being, not inattentive, but not in a position to react to situations developing in the bunch, but her best results are consistently in climbing stages, her only pro win was on Mont Lozère in the Tour de l'Ardêche, and her best stage race results are all in Spain, in the Emakumeen Bira twice, the edition of Valencia which had Xorret del Catí in it, and now here. And speaking of that Xorret del Catí stage, Clara Koppenburg is great when the road is really steep and it is baffling to me that, without any disrespect intended to the team, she wasn't snapped up by a bigger team than Rally - although with her, Sara Poidevin (who is also pretty underrated as a climber) and Kristabel Doebel-Hickok, they are building a pretty nice looking climbing corps.

The top two was pretty self-explanatory, I think we all knew that was likely, but this kind of distance of climbing really tilted things back towards the real specialist climbers like Katrine Aalerud and Rooijakkers, and away from those who excel across the board in the calendar on hilly and mountainous races. Which is more fool me from the prediction game, as I've pointed out several times that 7-8km climbs tend to be around Niewiadoma's threshold and I still picked her.
 
I hope they don't get any hassle about missing out on 30 minutes' coverage because the women just happened to race too hard for the broadcast plans that were in place!
But that is why planning for just 30 minutes - especially when you base your plan after the slowest possibly finish-time... - is never gonna work. Coz sometimes riders go really fast, and then 30 minutes becomes 10 minutes.
 
But that is why planning for just 30 minutes - especially when you base your plan after the slowest possibly finish-time... - is never gonna work. Coz sometimes riders go really fast, and then 30 minutes becomes 10 minutes.
Agreed, but especially if a less well-established race like Burgos has gone to the trouble - and they had all the proper graphics and everything of the men's race - and has made the provisions to meet the requirements set out for them, they shouldn't be punished for one thing which is out of their control. Most race organisers are required to put forward a set of estimates for pace in the road book, and these should be used to inform the TV coverage. Now: if they had based it on "half an hour if the riders average the slowest estimates" then they should be punished because they would only be fulfilling their requirements if the riders rode slowly, and therefore had not made adequate provisions. It should perhaps as a requirement be "you must be on air live half an hour before the fastest expected finishing time" to ensure that time, and then if the riders are faster than the predicted times the organisers don't get punished because they had made reasonable provisions for the requirements of them. I'd be amazed if there isn't some wording within the UCI's rule on that to clarify the time. Otherwise you could see races find all manner of creative ways to get away with bare minimum coverage to save money - not through malice mostly (except maybe ASO) but out of necessity - or do something like we had from the Emakumeen Bira a few years ago where they showed above 5-10 minutes of stages 1-4 and then 2 hours of the queen stage.
 
Reactions: RedheadDane
I was actually thinking (dangerous, I know...) that with so much coverage being on online streams, and therefore not dependant on general TV schedules, it might be possible to have a system with coverage not starting at a specific time of the day, but rather when - or before - riders reach a certain point on the route. Then viewers sign up for an alert to know if they needed to tune in at an earlier time than expected. They could still go live on old school television at the originally scheduled time.
 

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