Dan and I have so many highlights from the 2013 road season that we’ve split our end-of-season women’s cycling podcast into 2 parts.  Here’s how Dan describes it:

Podcast – Episode 35 – The End of Season Part 1

This week we get into our highlights from the 2013 season starting with the spring classics and moving on from there. The discussion takes in races, riders, imagined moments and all sorts of hilarity including a possibly really dirty joke about stamps. Honestly, there’s so much to love about the 2013 season that it’s definitely a 3 beer podcast this week (well, 2 and a half if you’re taking it easy). So sit back, relax, crack a cold one and settle in and prepare to relive the best bits of the first part of the season! And don’t forget to check all the links and videos and fun things out below!

(1:21:41 MIN / 78.42 MB)

For the links to all the races, videos, blogs and everything else we talked about, click through to our blogpost.


Highlights of Tour de Flandres & Fleche Wallonne - Rounds 3 & 4 of 2013 Women’s World Cup (by ucichannel)


While I was at the Flèche Wallonne with team Hitec Products UCK, I interviewed Rachel Neylan, just after she finished the race, where she’d ridden in support of her Hitec team-mate, Elisa Longo Borghini’s second place.

I’ve interviewed Rachel before, in 2011, on her route into cycling, but in the time since then, she’s had a truly tumultuous time, due to team circumstances and injury, and her 2012 looked like it was a year to forget… until she came back in a mixed team at the Tour de l’Ardèche. Her results there, including 3rd place on Stage 6 and 4th in the GC, earned her a spot representing Australia at the 2012 Road World Championships, where she rode an amazing race, ending on the podium with a silver medal.

We spoke about riding Flèche as a domestique, her Worlds race and triumphing over adversity.


Interview: Rachel Neylan on triumphing over adversity and the Flèche Wallonne - Podium Cafe

My interview with Rachel - please head through and read it!

"It was the first time a South African road cyclist has ever finished on the podium at an International Cycling Union (UCI) Elite World Cup road race – male or female. That in itself is an impressive achievement and it elevates Moolman Pasio to another level in the women’s professional peloton, where she has enjoyed a rather rapid rise through the ranks over the past three years."

Ashleigh Moolman Pasio boosts African cycling’s big push - Mobi


I talk Flèche Wallonne, Marianne Vos, life with Hitec Products UCK, all last week’s racing and more, on the latest Velocast podcast (I’m on from 17:52)


It’s been an incredibly busy week of women’s cycling, with huge competitions in both Europe and the USA.

Three races in five days for the European peloton, starting with the mid-point of one of the most important competitions of the year – the Road World Cup. Certainly a busy week for Sarah Connolly, our pro women’s commentator.


Racing round-up: The pros take on road and mountain biking – Total Women’s Cycling | Total Women’s Cycling

Read my racing round-up please!

"Last week I went to the Flèche Wallonne with Hitec Products UCK, and I was lucky enough to be able to interview Hitec’s Elisa Longo Borghini, who came second, and Lotto Belisol’s Ashleigh Moolman who came third, just after the race, when they’d sprinted neck-and-neck behind winner Marianne Vos."

Flèche Wallonne post-race podium interviews - Elisa Longo Borghini and Ashleigh Moolman - Podium Cafe

I can’t tell you how privileged I felt to be just a tiny part of Elisa and Ashleigh’s post-race experience.  I’m still smiling!  Please read my interviews!

"Three years ago when I hit the Mur de Huy for the final ascent to the finish line, I found myself alone, chasing back after being caught up in a crash 5km from the finish. Last year I made it to the bottom of the climb, out of trouble, in the zone, and I rode my way to a 5th place finish. This year, when I hit the bottom of the Mur for the last time, on the wheels of Marianne Vos, Emma Johansson and Elisa Longo Borghini, reality hit me like a ton of bricks: I wasn’t just riding for the podium, I was racing for the win!"

Flèche Wallonne Femmes 2013: My First World Cup Podium Ashleigh Moolman Pasio

"Yesterday I told you about being backstage at the Flèche Wallonne Femmes World Cup with Hitec Products UCK, and what it was like in the lead-up to the race. But that wasn’t all I did - I also got to see the race from in the team car! Let me tell you all about it…."

Adventures with Hitec at the 2013 Flèche Wallonne - part 2, live from the race car - Podium Cafe

My words and photos!  Please read them!!

Vos Scores 5th Win at Women’s Flèche Wallonne! - News | Giant Bicycles | United States
Vos Scores 5th Win at Women’s Flèche Wallonne! - News | Giant Bicycles | United States
1.   Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank/Liv-Giant, 3:34:322.   Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products UCK, s.t.3.   Ashleigh Moolman (RSA) Lotto Belisol, s.t.4.   Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Sengers, + 00:065.   Emma Johansson (Swe) ORICA-AIS, s.t.6.   Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemom, + 00:197.   Alena Amialiusik (Blr) BePink, + 00:258.   Amber Neben (USA) Cogeas-Pasta Zara, + 00:289.   Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) ORICA-AIS, + 00:3310. Jessie Daams (Bel) Boels-Dolmans, s.t.
Full results

Vos Scores 5th Win at Women’s Flèche Wallonne! - News | Giant Bicycles | United States

1.   Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank/Liv-Giant, 3:34:32
2.   Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products UCK, s.t.
3.   Ashleigh Moolman (RSA) Lotto Belisol, s.t.
4.   Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Sengers, + 00:06
5.   Emma Johansson (Swe) ORICA-AIS, s.t.
6.   Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemom, + 00:19
7.   Alena Amialiusik (Blr) BePink, + 00:25
8.   Amber Neben (USA) Cogeas-Pasta Zara, + 00:28
9.   Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) ORICA-AIS, + 00:33
10. Jessie Daams (Bel) Boels-Dolmans, s.t.

Full results

"La Fleche Wallone, the famous Mur de Huy, a climb that you can’t truly appreciate till you have raced up it. The streets of this narrow road are lined with thousands of people screaming “ Venga, Venga”, “Allez, Allez” and then randomly “bidon?” Really? I’m out of the saddle grovelling up the climb and you want my bidon? Ah yes, the crazy Belgium fans really make the atmosphere out there, and honestly encourage you to push that little harder."

Fleche Wallone Blog by Loren Rowney – Tackling the Mur de Huy | Team Specialized-lululemon | Velocio Sports

"I was lucky enough to get to go to the Flèche Wallonne Femmes World Cup with “the biggest little team in pro cycling”, Hitec Products UCK. I’ll be posting photos, writing and interviews over the next few days - starting with life “backstage” before the race - a gallery of photos and some words!"

Adventures with Hitec at the 2013 Flèche Wallonne - part 1, before the race - Podium Cafe

Click through for selected photos, and the story of the race preparations - all by me!

"“The lead in to the Mur de Huy was perfect with Shara, Spratty and Tiff on the front,” said Johansson. “I was feeling confident because I could start the climb at my pace and dictate how fast we’d go. At 150 metres to go I could feel riders behind me breathing down my neck. I knew I couldn’t wait any longer and tried to go faster. Vos kicked off the sprint and I tried to stand up to go with her and the others, but I was parked. Today there were four others who were better than me.”"

ORICA GreenEDGE Cycling Australia : News : ORICA-AIS Put Two in La Flèche Wallonne World Cup Top Ten

"“This was not a good race for the team,” said sports manager Cees-Jan van der Zweep. “In races like this we don’t have the ability yet to make the difference, and we lost two riders already in the beginning. With only Amy who finished the race within the time limit, that is just not good enough. We know where we can improve, so we will work on that to do better in the future.”"

Disappointing Flèche Wallonne for women » Team Argos-Shimano