The Women's Road Racing Thread 2021

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Oct 4, 2020
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Reflecting on the women's first edition of PR - Overall, it was a disappointing edition which I half expected - I thought it was likely a strong solo rider would go early and every likelihood the race would be decided early as the women would be conservative in their riding - I expect that for upcoming editions that the teams will use their teams more effectively.
Perhaps it was somewhat disappointing, but after effectively two years with almost no top level racing in the UK it's all a big plus for me.
I had a great day out watching stage one and saw the world champion and several former ones as well.
Plenty of spectators and the riders all seemed positive about the race.
 
Perhaps it was somewhat disappointing, but after effectively two years with almost no top level racing in the UK it's all a big plus for me.
I had a great day out watching stage one and saw the world champion and several former ones as well.
Plenty of spectators and the riders all seemed positive about the race.
How does that change the fact that PR might have been a bit of a disappointment?
 

Audrey Cordon-Ragot also said something similar, and yesterday it was Chloe Hosking.

The cameras didn't really show anything too obvious, but the people who were there seemed to immediately know who it's directed at. I'm assuming it's probably in the leadout somewhere or was in the background of the sprint somewhere, because watching the very front at the finish, the only person who I can see clearly moved in line was Wiebes, and she was far too far ahead of everybody for it to have mattered, a bit like Cav in '09.
 
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Hmm... I don't like the implication that it should always be the young riders showing respect towards the more established riders. Everyone should show respect to everyone.
D'Hoore's tweet about "using brake pads to let heroes pass" especially strikes me as odd; surely, if you're fast enough to sprint, you should be allowed to sprint, whether you're a 20-year-old up-and-coming rider, or a 30-year-old well-established rider.
 
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Hmm... I don't like the implication that it should always be the young riders showing respect towards the more established riders. Everyone should show respect to everyone.
D'Hoore's tweet about "using brake pads to let heroes pass" especially strikes me as odd; surely, if you're fast enough to sprint, you should be allowed to sprint, whether you're a 20-year-old up-and-coming rider, or a 30-year-old well-established rider.
Sure, it goes both ways, but the established riders have earned the right to be shown some respect.
 
UAE Team Emirates set to take over Alé BTC Ljubljana women’s team for 2022


That might mean a lot more money for the team I guess. Both teams actually have Italian roots, as UAE team grew from then Lampre, so not that unusual.
 
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Well, they were once associated with Scinto's mob, so it's a step in the right direction :p

With the help of a bit of deduction, we can understand that the issue raised by Bastianelli and Cordon-Ragot refers back to behaviour a few kilometres out yesterday in the establishing of the leadouts rather than in the sprint itself, and also pertains to the attitude taken in getting involved - reckless riding in the leadouts followed by disrespectful or insulting behaviour toward those who are already up the front. We can also by process of elimination establish the likely culprits since Audrey called out the ages (not really a fan of the hashtag "Generation2000" to tar all young riders with that brush, but it is what it is) and taking who has been involved in the sprints and who has been expressly confirmed as innocent, it seems fairly clear.

Not an especially exciting second half of the race, another bunch sprint, but interesting that Wiebes couldn't treble up and lost this round of her long-running battle with Balsamo. I thought this stage was the one that most suited Wiebes as opposed to Balsamo, being less technical and more a pure drag race, and given Lorena won so convincingly yesterday, but nevertheless whether it be about her having not got involved in stage 4 and having a bit more in the tank or a tactical matter, the new World Champion got the better of her Dutch adversary today, and the GC was not changed at all.

We are told the race will be back in its usual June calendar slot next year, which will hopefully bring the race back to its top level field and depth. Happy for them to keep the ITT but if they do then there needs to be some more decisive stages more like the 2016, 2017 and 2019 editions to balance it. They're apparently likely to be in East Anglia again for part of the race, which I don't mind as it is definitely a supportive area and has historically drawn big crowds, but obviously there isn't too much topographical diversity there, and it is better to have those stages in the early part of the race, like in 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2019, and then move westwards to build the race, rather than having all the GC action in the first part of the race and then petering out with a series of stages where the leader is under no real pressure to defend.
 
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In case you haven't read about it already

Thanks. That's good news. I'm also a fan of horse racing over jumps and have seen far too many nasty injuries in that sport. Glad Tanja's injuries are not career threatening.
 
Horrible crash in the run-in, poor Évita Muzic looked in a bad way. It was her crash, it looks like she was trying to move up, but didn't see the bunch split for some road furniture until the last second and, unsighted, she tried to swerve around it but didn't have enough room, and she brought a few riders down too. One of the Movistar riders looked to get some pretty nasty looking road rash too.

Edit: just re-viewed, she wasn't unsighted but was just tunnel vision looking at where she was trying to move up to and only looked up at the last second, the literal definition of not being heads-up riding.
 
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Erath tells the story about what happened after her crash a bit differently:


A broken rib, a broken collarbone that requires surgery, two broken vertebrae, one of which is unstable and suspected a broken finger: That was the diagnosis that Tanja Erath (Tibco - SVB) received after her serious fall at the start of the 7th Women`s s tour received. But what the 32-year-old had to report in retrospect on her Instagram account was a nightmarish medical scandal.

"When I fell, my spine was compressed and I fell violently on my head. I was in incredible pain and panicked because I felt that something was wrong with my thoracic spine," said Erath.

The fact that she could feel and move her legs gave her some reassurance, but as a precaution she told the rescue workers that they should be lifted "as a whole" to protect her spine. "To my surprise, they didn't listen to me and didn't follow my request. So they let me run to the stretcher," she wrote. But that's not all: Erath was simply dropped off at the team hotel by the medical supervisors, "without any further safety measures with a view to my spine," said Erath, who was then brought to the emergency room by the team and only four hours later with a doctor for the first time Had contact. She told him about her fears. "He took my worries seriously and arranged for an x-ray of my spine," said Erath. During the examination, fractures of two thoracic vertebrae were finally diagnosed.

But even after the diagnosis, no further safety measures were taken. So Erath had to run to the CT and was then transferred to the trauma surgery department at Oxford: "Strangely enough, still without any further protection for my spine."

It was only in Oxford that the seriousness of the situation was actually recognized and she was forbidden from moving on her own. Instead, four people lifted her into a bed. It was also found here that a vertebra was unstable and had to be operated on.

However, this procedure should be carried out in Germany. With the support of her friend, SVL Sport GmbH and the team doctor Dirk Tenner, she should be flown home. However, the plan failed because of the petrol shortage in England - one of the consequences of Brexit. "No joke. Because of the lack of petrol there was no ambulance that could take me to the airport," wrote Erath.

She spent her 32nd birthday on October 7th, lashed to a cot with a vacuum mattress in an ambulance that came from Germany and took her home in a twelve-hour drive. "That was the best birthday present ever. I've never felt so relieved," said Erath, who received good news the day after her birthday. After specialists at Cologne University Hospital looked at the results of the CT examination again, it was decided that the fracture on the spine could be treated conservatively - accompanied by regular x-rays. "I am supposed to stay in bed, but I can move with the help of a corset. That was probably the best day of my life," reported Erath, who will be operated on on the collarbone on Tuesday.
 
Oct 3, 2021
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With the help of a bit of deduction, we can understand that the issue raised by Bastianelli and Cordon-Ragot refers back to behaviour a few kilometres out yesterday in the establishing of the leadouts rather than in the sprint itself, and also pertains to the attitude taken in getting involved - reckless riding in the leadouts followed by disrespectful or insulting behaviour toward those who are already up the front. We can also by process of elimination establish the likely culprits since Audrey called out the ages (not really a fan of the hashtag "Generation2000" to tar all young riders with that brush, but it is what it is) and taking who has been involved in the sprints and who has been expressly confirmed as innocent, it seems fairly clear.
sadly my deduction isnt working, or maybe I just think there are too many likely suspects as they all look like Generation2000 to me. Or maybe Im just focussing too much on the 5km thing as theres nothing I can see from the little footage we got where that exchange could have taken place with Trek over on the far side of the road, and then next we see the leadouts are formed and not much else happens, though theres alot of head shaking going on and turning around which might suggest its in there somewhere but the single motorbike on the front just didnt pick it up.
 
That's a terrible indictment of the emergency support from Tanja. You cannot mess with back injuries. Very glad the situation wasn't made worse.

As for the niggle about lead outs, I wonder if this is all a bit of a hang over from the crash in Banbury on day 1 as well. Is the snark aimed at DSM or am I barking up the wrong tree?
 
Oct 3, 2021
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cant disagree with whats been said on the Womens Tour this year, so apologies if a lot of this just echoes what others have already said, its not an edition that will live long in the memory for sure,whilst its always special to see Elite riders racing on UK roads, whether this year was essentially just a holding thing to get a race done, to keep it going on the calendar or not, parts of it felt like it was on life support to me.

Not just on the routes the stages go, though Im always reminding people these races go where there are councils willing to pay for it, and they arent interested in having hard or challenging routes, that become really tactical for teams & riders that bike racing fans like, they all want that photo of the finish line with a bunch sprint racing hell for leather people banging on boards and the winner with the arms aloft that they can then use in tourism promotion material for their town,county to show what a great place it is to visit.

plus especially on the Womens Tour, and this has been a thing even since the beginning, they literally route past nearly all the local schools they can find in the area, and the councils again for it is they paying for it, no doubt use some educational spend as part of the money deal as it lets them claim they are teaching kids about active lifestyles and sport, and they all get to stand on the side of the road by the school when the ride goes past which also gives you that look how many people have come to see this presentation thing and again the tv highlights coverage focuses alot on that kind of stuff. not saying thats a bad thing, but there arent many schools at the top of really hard cycling climbs

There was definitely a lot less promotion of the event this year, Im not sure because of Covid necessarily, as its still all about sponsors getting eyeballs on ads kind of thing, plus they cant sell it to new venues without those this event generates 1million pounds of income for your area, and they still did media rides, and there was enough that it was known about, but not alot of this is a big thing, which it is for some of the venues probably the biggest sporting event theyve hosted, for people to get excited about or involved with.

but I only made it to one stage in the end, lack of reliable fuel supply and some unpleasingly costly train tickets and crazy journey times put paid to me getting around more of the race. but I know some people who went to a couple of other stages, and we only saw one banner promoting the event at all between us, normally theres a lot more of them round the start/end points and sometimes on the routes, ads everywhere kind of thing, and there was nothing reallythis time.

and just listening to locals of those towns talk about it, most hadnt any idea what was going on or what to expect.

numbers in Clacton crowd wise were supposedly noticeably much lower than it has been for previous editions, the weather wasnt exactly bad even for October, but simply lots less people about, if you hadnt walked along by the finish line you wouldnt have even known there was an event taking place. They werent selling any merchandise, no programmes either this time, most of the trade stands were simply there for show it felt like. obviously crowds in Felixstowe completely the opposite much busier than I expected but there might have been a multitude of reasons for that which had nothing to do with the race finishing there.

lack of live tv coverage, though I spotted they had enough to pay for a helicopter for tv shots on the last stage, for what little use they made of it, said before Im annoyed about that live coverage aspect, but more annoyed by how the cycling media turned a blind eye to it, whilst banging on the drum that live tv was what the sport demanded, and I guarantee the next event that tries to pull this its just too costly excuse the same cycling media will be all over it like a rash.

it didnt feel like a WWT event should, it felt like almost a national series race but with a few more international riders, and thats not how the Womens Tour had been feeling in previous years.

I felt it was disappointing as a race overall, though I think with a fair winner, though really still amazed Vollering (even if I picked her as a likely winner) took over a minute on the rest of the field. But I didnt feel the coverage was that good at all, and it all felt a bit cheap ultimately.

maybe it had to be for Sweetspot to survive and theyll come back stronger next time, but I dont know how that bodes for future editions, or how teams may choose to prioritise it against other races in the future, it might turn into the B team kind of race that the main riders choose to avoid.
 
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Oct 3, 2021
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That's a terrible indictment of the emergency support from Tanja. You cannot mess with back injuries. Very glad the situation wasn't made worse.

As for the niggle about lead outs, I wonder if this is all a bit of a hang over from the crash in Banbury on day 1 as well. Is the snark aimed at DSM or am I barking up the wrong tree?
absolutely, that sounds like one of those horrid mix ups you read about happened 30 years ago, interesting though thinking about it I dont recall seeing that much medical support at the race yesterday, maybe only an ambulance, and a doctors car.

as for whether it was hangover from day 1, possibly though I dont think that crash was caused by trying to get into the sprint lead outs, and I definitely dont think its DSM, if we are to take this 5km marker which seems fair as lead outs are formed just after it, Trek are on the far right side of the road, DSM are actually over on the far left moving up alongside Canyon Sram. FDJ end up alongside Trek, but in a decent lead out line, so I cant see they were causing an issue. Theres an Ale jersey behind Trek, who I assume was Bastianelli so its sort of around there I reckon or just before the camera picked up the front again.
 
So, decent route for the women. It still looks silly that they are riding 8 days, while the men have three weeks, and their stages are a lot shorter in general, but all in all it's not bad, there are some mountains, some gravel and a longer than usual stage.
What I did find a bit disturbing about the presentation was that Urska Zigart was among the invited - she's neither French nor an extraordinary rider (yet?), in combination with the fact that Marion Rousse is the head for the women's Tour.
 
Reckon that Bike Exchange are happy that one of their riders from their two teams were invited to the TDF presentation.
Does she even stay with them?
I don't know, maybe the others declined to come, but I think there are others I'd chose over her, even it it was supposed to be one from BikeExchange. Of course in the end it doesn't matter much, but all in all...
 

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