Women’s Cycling Weekly: Issue 31

Amy Jones packs all the women's cycling news you need to know into this weeks Women's Cycling Weekly.

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Hello! Welcome to Women’s Cycling Weekly issue 31 🚴‍♀️

A whole four days of live women’s racing at the Lotto Belgium Tour later and here we are: on the eve of La Course. The excitement of the LBT served as the perfect warm up event for the warm up event but the race was exciting, and dramatic, and brilliant in its own right — not merely an amuse-bouche to the latest round of the WWT. This looks to be the last La Course so lap up the live coverage (if you’re an early bird) and, local elections be damned, we’re sure to be in for an exciting race.

Oh, and the elephant in the room: the Bracke case. Lots has already been said on this subject but I think we can all agree on two points: 1) three years isn’t enough and 2) it took far too long. The Freewheeling podcast and the many articles on the subject will give you more detail that I am willing to go into here because I’ll still be typing next week — and that won’t do, because by then it will be the first stage of the Giro Rosa (ok, ‘Giro d’Italia Donne.’) 

On the subject of the Giro… I can’t lie, it’s crept up on me. Suddenly, it’s one week away. Where did June go? What day is it? If I can scrape my brain from off the floor I’ll do my best to pull out some bonus content and analysis, stay tuned.

News 📰

  • Doltcini-Van Eyck manager and director Marc Bracke has been suspended for three years by the UCI Disciplinary Commission for sexual harassment. Amongst other entirely inappropriate actions for a team manager, Bracke was found to have asked former riders Sara Youmans and Marion Sicot for photos of themselves in their “panties and bra” and “bikini.” Astonishingly, the team released a statement defending Bracke and outlining his intent to appeal. More details here
  • Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Emma Norsgaard have been selected to represent Denmark at the Tokyo Olympic Games on the road. Norsgaard will also race the time trial. 
  • Lizzie Deignan and Anna Shackley have been selected as GB’s road squad with Shackley also racing the time trial. Evie Richards will race the mountain bike XCO. On the track it will be Katie ArchibaldElinor BarkerNeah Evans, Laura Kenny, and Josie Knight for the endurance events and Katy Marchant for sprint.
  • BikeExchange have a new (and unsavoury) sponsor.
  • French rider Juliette Labous has extended her contract with Team DSM until 2023. 

Results 🏆

Lotto Belgium Tour 2.1 

  • Prologue – It was one for the comeback kids. Ellen van Dijk took her first win since recovering from Covid-19, and her teammate Elynor Backstedt took second after breaking her leg in 2020. 
  • Stage one – Lorena Wiebes won the bunch sprint ahead of an impressively consistent Jolien D’HooreBarbara Guarischi took third, and D’Hoore moved into the leader’s jersey.
  • Stage two Alena Amialiusik took a solo, rare victory with Lorena Wiebes out-sprinting Lotte Kopecky for second and nabbing the GC lead. Kopecky moved up to second with a two-second deficit. 
  • Stage three – On today’s final stage, Kopecky went solo on the Muur van Geraardsbergen after Wiebes was involved in a crash late in the stage. An impressive ride saw Yara Kastelijn take second and van Dijk third. Kopecky’s dominant climbing and Wiebes’s bad luck saw the Belgian take the overall win by 20 seconds ahead of van Dijk with Wiebes third at 36 seconds.

If you missed any of the action you can replay it on GCN+ .

National championship road race results (some, not all):

Lost track? Here’s a handy guide conveniently also written by me.

  • Italy – Elisa Longo Borghini
  • France – Évita Muzic 
  • Luxembourg – Christine Majerus 
  • USA – Lauren Stephens
  • Belgium – Lotte Kopecky 
  • Denmark – Amalie Dideriksen 
  • Spain – Mavi Garcia 
  • Switzerland – Marlen Reusser
  • Germany – Lisa Brennauer
  • Norway – Vita Heine
  • Hungary – Kata Blanka Vas
  • Netherlands – Amy Pieters 
  • Serbia – Jelena Erić
  • Slovenia – Eugenia Bujak
  • Israel – Omer Shapira
  • Portugal – Maria Martins 

Upcoming Races 📅

Set your alarms early, it’s time for everyone’s favourite sideshow: La Course!

At the unsociable hour of 8:20am CEST tomorrow, the women’s peloton will race their first World Tour event since Vuelta a Burgos Féminas. The (possibly?) last ever La Course has been shuffled forward a day (those all-important local elections, remember?) and — thus far — shuffled off the calendar for 2022 making way for the eight-day Tour de France Femmes. Starting in Brest and finishing in Landerneau the 108km course incorporates four ascents of the Côte de la Fosse aux Loups and if last year’s racing is anything to go by it will be 🔥. There’s a live broadcast from start to finish on GCN+ and Eurosport and probably various other places aka wherever you get your live cycling. Race preview here. Startlist here

That’s it until the Giro d’Italia Donne which starts next Friday — but more on that next week! 

Read 🗞️

Watch 📺

After the brilliant first episode which followed the women’s peloton ahead of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, The Run Up is back with a second instalment trailing WWT teams ahead of La Course!

Listen 🎧

Not that we ever do, but Abby, Loren, and I definitely don’t mince out words in this week’s Freewheeling on the subject of the disgraced Doltcini Van Eyck manager whom I am trying not to name too often in this issue. We also talk about the national championships results and the Lotto Belgium Tour. 

Elsewhere, a bonus episode of The Cycling Podcast Féminin featuring an interview with Annemiek van Vleuten!

That’s all 👋

Thanks for reading Women’s Cycling Weekly.

If you liked what you read you can buy WCW a ‘coffee’ on Ko-Fi. A huge thanks to everyone who has done so already!

Have a great weekend!

Until next time,

Amy x

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