The Women's Road Racing Thread 2021

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I very much like the idea of having it be "opposite" of the men's TdF; in the sense that while the men's TdF starts in various cities - sometimes abroad - and always ends in Paris, then the TdF Femmes is going to - from what I understand - always start in Paris, and finish in various cities.
It'll be interesting to see how they're going to design the Paris stages in the future. A Champs-Élysées prologue seems very likely. But I hope they won't use C-E every year, cause as we saw in the first editions of La Course it could result in a lot of crashes, especially if the weather is bad. Of course there's a difference between a stage in a week-long race and a one-day race, but you never know what might happen in a nervous peloton, and in 2022 it doesn't exactly help that none of the riders will have ridden it in a race since 2016 and for many it will be even their first time.

But since it it will be on the last day of the TdF there's probably no way aroung including it every year.
It is tragicomic that the only place where female cyclists have been granted more than men, is when it comes to laps on the Champs-Élysées.
If they wanted to it shouldn't be a problem to just copy the men's stage instead of doing 12 laps. Also I've never been a fan of having a KOM at a point which is ridden through multiple times.

Is it known if the teams will start with 6 or 7 riders?
 
Looks like a good route. There are certain 'activists' claiming there should be longer stages and more stages if only to compare with the mens route more favourably. I personally think 12 stages would be about right with one rest day...
I think the first step should be to get 200 km one-day races before stages of that length get included in other races.

12 stages sounds reasonable, but 9 or 10 with the start being Friday or Saturday would probably be the best solution right now.
You obviously need more than 8 to be able to visit the Alps or the Pyrenees, which the race should do, considering both the original TdF Féminine and its successors were able to do that. But at the same time you also need to avoid the problems with too many and too long transfers that those races also used to have (amongst other issues).

I'm thinking they could design a decent route from Paris to Nice and thus be killing two birds with one stone.
 
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I think the first step should be to get 200 km one-day races before stages of that length get included in other races.

12 stages sounds reasonable, but 9 or 10 with the start being Friday or Saturday would probably be the best solution right now.
You obviously need more than 8 to be able to visit the Alps or the Pyrenees, which the race should do, considering both the original TdF Féminine and its successors were able to do that. But at the same time you also need to avoid the problems with too many and too long transfers that those races also used to have (amongst other issues).

I'm thinking they could design a decent route from Paris to Nice and thus be killing two birds with one stone.
You can get to the Alps with 8 stages, but might be limited in which ones you can do, say with six point to point stages in the same direction and some transfers (these would largely be unproblematic ones, certainly compared to the Giro or the old Grande Boucle Féminine). In my attempt at La Vraie Course in similar fashion I got to Lyon, but I detoured east around Besançon and that area since it's where Labous and Muzic are both from and had my main mountain stages in the Jura, but going by a more direct route you could go Paris-Paris, then from Sens toward the Morvan and into the Rhône basin before a final couple of days around Grenoble, bringing places like Chamrousse, the Chartreuse, the Sept-Laux and Collet d'Allevard resorts, Glandon, Croix-de-Fer and Alpe d'Huez into play for the final two days. I think 10 - matching the Giro Rosa - would be ideal but I can see why 8 is the plan at the moment. If they want to persist with the calendar slot (I have long advocated for the Champs start on the same day as the men's final stage, ideally with a prologue) then 14 long term would be a good goal, Sunday through Sunday through Sunday with a rest day on the second Monday.
 
You can get to the Alps with 8 stages, but might be limited in which ones you can do, say with six point to point stages in the same direction and some transfers (these would largely be unproblematic ones, certainly compared to the Giro or the old Grande Boucle Féminine). In my attempt at La Vraie Course in similar fashion I got to Lyon, but I detoured east around Besançon and that area since it's where Labous and Muzic are both from and had my main mountain stages in the Jura, but going by a more direct route you could go Paris-Paris, then from Sens toward the Morvan and into the Rhône basin before a final couple of days around Grenoble, bringing places like Chamrousse, the Chartreuse, the Sept-Laux and Collet d'Allevard resorts, Glandon, Croix-de-Fer and Alpe d'Huez into play for the final two days. I think 10 - matching the Giro Rosa - would be ideal but I can see why 8 is the plan at the moment. If they want to persist with the calendar slot (I have long advocated for the Champs start on the same day as the men's final stage, ideally with a prologue) then 14 long term would be a good goal, Sunday through Sunday through Sunday with a rest day on the second Monday.
No, it would of course not be impossible to get to the Alps in 8 stages, and I for one would be disappointed if they are not included in the second edition. Racing Alpe d'Huez in a major race for the first time in almost 30 years would also be great.

14 stages is a reasonable goal, cause then it would still finish during a weekend, which I think is a key element.
Having 8 stages now limits the amount of route options, but at least it offers up a better opportunity of backloading the race, which seems to be well appreciated by the riders. Technically the 2022 race could end up being almost decided after stage 4, but let's hope it won't be.
 
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it was Blaak Friday in Dwingeloo today with VdBB taking her second win in the Drentse Acht van Westerveld on her 32nd birthday.
In rainy conditions she attacked solo from a 15 women group, which had broken away early on.



Movistar's withdrawal didn't please the organisers, because unlike FdJ they didn't inform them in time for their hotel reservation to be cancelled. So the organisers will still send them the invoice.
 
Much appreciated, SD Worx, now Pfeiffer will need to rest some and Lorena will become option A for them.

In normal circumstances I would cheer the break over the bunch 100% and would cheer Georgi over Wiebes likewise, but needs must.

This is the kind of cognitive dissonance which is precisely why I refuse to select Lizzie Deignan even in races I think she will win.

Vollering being dropped on the VAMberg, that tells you it's the end of the season all right.
 
DSM have four out of a group of 7. So Floortje Mackaij attacks and drops all her teammates to make it one out of a group of 3. The others can sit on Consonni and it would guarantee a poidum, but it's definitely a risky move with Wiebes having been the odds-on favourite from the group of 7.

Now that the groups have reconvened and Consonni has done the work to bring them together it seems like DSM have decided they fancy their chances from the sprint with Little Miss Contract Law more, understandably, and are just riding to make it sure that the 7 stay away rather than trying to play the 1-2-3 card, at least for the time being.
 
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Easy peasy for Lorena. Such a clear favourite in the sprint that DSM didn't even think about playing the 1-2 card once the British double move of Georgi and Barnes was brought back, and just focused on getting the leadout right, which they absolutely did. In that kind of group you'd have backed Lorena even without DSM having the numerical advantage and the leadout, but with it it was almost a formality.
 
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https://www.cyclingnews.com/news/fulfilling-her-dream-irish-champion-imogen-cotter-steps-up-to-pro-ranks/

interesting story. This is, I think, the biggest road team an Irish woman has been on for a long time, possibly ever. it‘s pretty grim how difficult it is for women to make a living in the sport. you can’t devote yourself to training full time until you are on a big team, and it’s hard to show enough of your talent to get yourself a contract like that if you have to train after working 8 hours a day on an assembly line decorating cakes.

Anyway, Cotter got her shot as a proper pro the hard way, so I hope it works out for her.
 
I had kind of thought she might get onto Movistar because of the link with the e-racing team, and because her experience racing in Belgium would make her a useful part of Norsgaard's team since that's something that the men's team doesn't really have too much experience in to transfer across.

And hey, she's only been cycling competitively for 3 years, but it's still earlier than some. Mavi García didn't become a competitive cyclist (OK, she was a triathlete) until she was 31 and seems to have done decently for herself, and there's still good scope for late entrants at a high level, albeit more in North America but still plenty in Europe - see Evelyn Stevens, Katie Hall, Veronica Ewers, Marlen Reusser or, you know, Annemiek van Vleuten.
 

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