The Women's Road Racing Thread 2021

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I doubt that will happen, but presumably it would have to be a Crostis finish? I mean the problem is that the time gaps were already herculean this year, I think it's been a much better race than 2017 because of it but at the same time the range of climbs in 2015 and 2016 made for better races imo - I quite liked the format of Unipuerto to a big MTF to open up the gaps but then a multi-climb stage on another day so that it wasn't just a one-climb battle - 2016 to Madonna della Guardia was fantastic racing for a good two hours, for example.

Not that the women doing Monte Zoncolan wasn't fun, sure, but I don't want all of the mountain stages to be Unipuerto in future editions too, and I would quite like a flat TT next year if they're going to go with a big MTF like that - not that it would have made much difference on this occasion since Annemiek is of course in the TT rainbows anyway.
 
Ludwig's interview after the race with Danish television was one for the ages. Completely incredulous as to how she had been able to keep up with the world's elite and have a teammate get to the podium.

Just pure joy and not the tiniest ounce of disappointment of having been so close.
 
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tobydawq said:
Ludwig's interview after the race with Danish television was one for the ages. Completely incredulous as to how she had been able to keep up with the world's elite and have a teammate get to the podium.

Just pure joy and not the tiniest ounce of disappointment of having been so close.
What a fantastic interview that was, one of the best I have ever seen, not just in cycling, in sports :)

From the tail end of it (she is in tears, of happiness):

“It’s the wildest thing ever, people were cheering the entire way, I’m so happy, I love cycling, more of this”

(Having just collapsed at the finish line, after doing 2 big mountains alone, after going straight from her Giro Rosa 6th place finish yesterday, to the start of this race)

She is such a superstar in the making, both as a rider (she is 22) and as a brand.
 
Well, seeing as the men held a GC phony war (again), perhaps we can lay to rest the ghosts of the falsehood of the 'women's cycling is boring' myth, because we got a pretty epic battle out there in the Alps that can hopefully reignite the "what the f*** are ASO doing sticking a one-day race somewhere in the middle of the race and killing off the Route de France in the process?" debate, because what we saw there was some serious racing that gave the lie to the lack of long form stage racing among the women, because what's a tough 10 day Giro in the legs when you're Annemiek van Vleuten and you're made mostly out of titanium and awesomeness? Even after an eight hour drive on your "rest day"? Even Vuelta transfers don't demand that of the riders!

When I said it would be an intriguing battle between one of the strongest climbers in women's cycling, fresh after resting from the Giro but with her form therefore unknown, versus one of the strongest climbers in women's cycling, on incredible form but with ten days of the Giro in her legs, I didn't think it would end quite as closely as that. That was a pretty spectacular finish, it's absolutely gutting for Anna on the line, but at the same time I don't feel too bad for her, she's won plenty enough this year and she is eight years younger than Annemiek so she has plenty more opportunities should she so wish. Obviously her post-race interview was coloured by the outcome, refusing point blank to take any positives out of it seeing as obviously a win she thought was in the bag disappeared at the last (I did think she was looking over her shoulder rather a lot in the last kilometre which gave the lie to her legs seeing as she looked so much more composed whereas Annemiek was looking quite ragged in that final little drag up to the line) and obviously at that moment all she felt was disappointment. But at the same time, that Anna can slot straight back into the bunch at the very elite, appearing with the top two climbers from the Giro Rosa and showing them she's still not to be messed with, is something she should take heart from. As at the Giro, Moolman-Pasio was comfortably best of the rest but didn't have the legs to match Annemiek, and especially once she lost sight of them on the descent, not being able to follow the two Dutchwomen was always going to be a concern, not because Ash is especially bad at descending but simply because Anna and Annemiek are among the very best.

And then there was the heroine of the day, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig. I've been a fan of her as a rider back since the Tour de Féminin a couple of years ago, seeing how she rode the hilly stages as a young prospect with BMS-Birn, and had hopes for her as a climbing prospect; since she's developed with Cervélo and got to do the biggest races and got to show what she's all about, however, she's become a superstar in the making. She's an aggressive and likable rider, but even more so she's an incredibly likable and charismatic rider off the bike too. There aren't many who can hold an interview like her, laughing and joking even while she's in floods of tears, and her facial expressions even when just going about her thing in the bunch or in warm-up/cool-down are absolutely top notch. Her interview here was both heartwarming and hilarious ("if you ever have any bad form, I recommend you get your wisdom teeth taken out"), but at the same time she did also illustrate how far there still is to go - fans chanting your name and painting it on the road, holding banners etc. is more or less par for the course for any major contender and hometown hero among the men, but enough to reduce one of the most exciting prospects in women's cycling to tears of joy. That said, an epic solo over the mountains is a thing of glory, and Cille is awesome and I'm really happy for her.

Further back, it looks like the next group through were more or less a group of 7 split at various points - Guarnier and Niewiadoma, both on form in the Giro, Hall and Spratt - again Spratt having been on super form in the Corsa Rosa and Hall showcasing her climbing level - perhaps not quite the very elite but then again with access to a full European season who knows what she might be able to do? She's 31 years old but she's only been on the road properly since 2014 so she doesn't have the miles on the clock several others her age do; Mavi García only just missed the top 10 of the Giro and didn't turn pro until she was 31, I'd say Katie's a better overall climber than Mavi too. Santesteban, Magnaldi and Brand made up the rest of the group, with Nikola Nosková next home, so happy to see that Nosková's climbing legs haven't deserted her as I did have some concern that like BePink's last young climbing breakthrough, Kseniya Tuhai, her success may have been fleeting. Brodie Chapman of Team TIBCO, another late convert Australian like Malseed, was also in the top 15, continuing an impressive first pro season for the 27-year-old - she was 5th in the Tour of California and top 20 in La Flèche Wallonne so this would suggest climbing races to be her speciality too. Less exciting is that, seeing as PFP withdrew early, the best French competitor in the race was Edwige Pitel; the lack of current French GC talent, with the dependency on the increasingly inconsistent and whimsical Ferrand-Prévot being almost total, is likely the biggest handicap to a real commitment to a proper length stage race under ASO's tutelage in France. PFP's string of injuries in the last couple of years allied to her tendency not to stick to any one discipline for too long and to hop between them regularly means that relying on her is increasingly difficult, and the other top level French women are either sprinters (Fournier, for example) or domestiques (Cordon-Ragot especially) though we shall perhaps see how Juliette Labous develops.

Those are questions for another time though. For now, let's agree that this was great racing and enjoy a gutsy solo from a young prospect, a climbing battle between three of the very best in the world right now, and a chasedown finale for the ages, of the kind of Jiménez and Tonkov on the Angliru in the "is there enough time, can she get there in time?" mould. Women's cycling had a chance to showcase itself today and it absolutely delivered. Maybe this can prove to organisers and TV broadcasters that, when given the chance and a course conducive to racing, the women can deliver some pretty damn good racing, we just need to be able to see more of it.
 
Uttrup did two absolutely awesome interviews, the one you are referrinng to when she cried and another one later where he also dropped a lot of nuggets. I remember posting that I had no clue who she was earlier in the year, but she took part in a podcast explaining in detail why women should race on harder courses (makes sense after today, no) and such, also heard her in another danish podcast, and then these interviews. I skipped La Course for a bike ride myself and the men's stage, but am gonna watch the stage now. She really is awesome and quite a character. And the race seemed to be a lot better than the men's anyway which was expectable given the different circumstances, obviously.

Funny thing is after this interview Bjarne Riis said when asked about the interview, who is one of the experts on Danish TV, that it was cute. I couldn't help but think it was a pretty weird response (well she is cute), but still, a bit weird.
 
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Valv.Piti said:
Uttrup did two absolutely awesome interviews, the one you are referrinng to when she cried and another one later where he also dropped a lot of nuggets. I remember posting that I had no clue who she was earlier in the year, but she took part in a podcast explaining in detail why women should race on harder courses (makes sense after today, no) and such, also heard her in another danish podcast, and then these interviews. I skipped La Course for a bike ride myself and the men's stage, but am gonna watch the stage now. She really is awesome and quite a character. And the race seemed to be a lot better than the men's anyway which was expectable given the different circumstances, obviously.

Funny thing is after this interview Bjarne Riis said when asked about the interview, who is one of the experts on Danish TV, that it was cute. I couldn't help but think it was a pretty weird response (well she is cute), but still, a bit weird.
For the record I'm referring to the one where she's sat on the tarmac, she starts off in tears but pulls it together and starts having fun with it as it goes on, talking about her wisdom teeth ("I was unhappy because a month ago I was really riding like s***"), exhorting others to watch more women's cycling (trust me Cille, I watch what I can) and talking about driving all day, arriving in the middle of the night, not knowing whether they'll have any legs at all, etc.. I can see what Riis means, kind of, although his choice of words is arguably a bit patronising, in that she's really enthusiastic and she has a really expressive face when she's getting animated talking about things, which helps make her enthusiasm infectious. A happy Cille makes you happy for her.
 
Re:

Valv.Piti said:
Uttrup did two absolutely awesome interviews, the one you are referrinng to when she cried and another one later where he also dropped a lot of nuggets. I remember posting that I had no clue who she was earlier in the year, but she took part in a podcast explaining in detail why women should race on harder courses (makes sense after today, no) and such, also heard her in another danish podcast, and then these interviews. I skipped La Course for a bike ride myself and the men's stage, but am gonna watch the stage now. She really is awesome and quite a character. And the race seemed to be a lot better than the men's anyway which was expectable given the different circumstances, obviously.

Funny thing is after this interview Bjarne Riis said when asked about the interview, who is one of the experts on Danish TV, that it was cute. I couldn't help but think it was a pretty weird response (well she is cute), but still, a bit weird.
Fully agree

She's a gem - and I think I would be a fan, even if there was an Eddie the Eagle situation going on, because of the personality alone, but she can actually ride, well, especially for her age.

- and she can TT as well.

Imagine where she is at 25, when the women start doing a lot more stage races (TdF is coming, Vuelta is coming, 1 week stage races looking into adding women, etc.).... not to mention 30, which is the ideal age for most GC riders.

Oh, another little tidbit..... did anyone notice, when she got caught on the last climb, and her captain attacked, she screamed "ride".
 
Re:

Valv.Piti said:
Uttrup did two absolutely awesome interviews, the one you are referrinng to when she cried and another one later where he also dropped a lot of nuggets. I remember posting that I had no clue who she was earlier in the year, but she took part in a podcast explaining in detail why women should race on harder courses (makes sense after today, no) and such, also heard her in another danish podcast, and then these interviews. I skipped La Course for a bike ride myself and the men's stage, but am gonna watch the stage now. She really is awesome and quite a character. And the race seemed to be a lot better than the men's anyway which was expectable given the different circumstances, obviously.

Funny thing is after this interview Bjarne Riis said when asked about the interview, who is one of the experts on Danish TV, that it was cute. I couldn't help but think it was a pretty weird response (well she is cute), but still, a bit weird.
It's races like this that (if they were on TV in the US) I'd definitely watch as it appears from the brief high lights they showed it was a great race. Unfortunately we have enough problems just getting men's races on TV. I'm guessing I should be able to find this one on line somewhere.
As for Riis comment, to me that comes across as sexist.
 
Re: Re:

Koronin said:
Valv.Piti said:
Uttrup did two absolutely awesome interviews, the one you are referrinng to when she cried and another one later where he also dropped a lot of nuggets. I remember posting that I had no clue who she was earlier in the year, but she took part in a podcast explaining in detail why women should race on harder courses (makes sense after today, no) and such, also heard her in another danish podcast, and then these interviews. I skipped La Course for a bike ride myself and the men's stage, but am gonna watch the stage now. She really is awesome and quite a character. And the race seemed to be a lot better than the men's anyway which was expectable given the different circumstances, obviously.

Funny thing is after this interview Bjarne Riis said when asked about the interview, who is one of the experts on Danish TV, that it was cute. I couldn't help but think it was a pretty weird response (well she is cute), but still, a bit weird.
It's races like this that (if they were on TV in the US) I'd definitely watch as it appears from the brief high lights they showed it was a great race. Unfortunately we have enough problems just getting men's races on TV. I'm guessing I should be able to find this one on line somewhere.
As for Riis comment, to me that comes across as sexist.
Yes it’s really dripping with condescension.
 
Re: Re:

Zinoviev Letter said:
Koronin said:
Valv.Piti said:
Uttrup did two absolutely awesome interviews, the one you are referrinng to when she cried and another one later where he also dropped a lot of nuggets. I remember posting that I had no clue who she was earlier in the year, but she took part in a podcast explaining in detail why women should race on harder courses (makes sense after today, no) and such, also heard her in another danish podcast, and then these interviews. I skipped La Course for a bike ride myself and the men's stage, but am gonna watch the stage now. She really is awesome and quite a character. And the race seemed to be a lot better than the men's anyway which was expectable given the different circumstances, obviously.

Funny thing is after this interview Bjarne Riis said when asked about the interview, who is one of the experts on Danish TV, that it was cute. I couldn't help but think it was a pretty weird response (well she is cute), but still, a bit weird.
It's races like this that (if they were on TV in the US) I'd definitely watch as it appears from the brief high lights they showed it was a great race. Unfortunately we have enough problems just getting men's races on TV. I'm guessing I should be able to find this one on line somewhere.
As for Riis comment, to me that comes across as sexist.
Yes it’s really dripping with condescension.
Chill out drama queens :cool:

The word wasn't exactly "cute" - it was "sweet".

He was asked what he thought of her reaction on the line, and he said "it is mega sweet", in a positive manner.

- and BTW, Riis owns and operates a female world tour team, so ofcourse he is not negative about female riders, especially danish female riders, and particularly Cecilie Ludwig, whom he called "world class" in another broadcast today.
 

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