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"Emma Pooley is one of the most interesting riders in the peloton, the 2010 World Time Trial Champion and 2008 Olympic ITT silver medallist, who’s won some of the biggest races in the women’s calendar, including the Tour de l’Aude Grand Tour, and World Cups including the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, Flèche Wallonne and the GP de Plouay, combining climbing skills with suicide attacks. In part 1 of our interview she tells us all about what she was doing in her “reduced season”, including surviving finishing her PhD, running marathons in snowstorms, campaigning for women’s cycling, and much more."

Emma Pooley interview: Part 1 - life off the bike - Podium Cafe

I was lucky enough to interview the amazing Emma Pooley! This is a transcript of what will go up as a podcast - so keep an eye out!

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An hour into the low-budget, high-impact documentary, Union Cycliste International president Brian Cookson claims that a women’s Tour de France “would be devastation” because, “frankly, women are weaker.” Yet it appears he’s an improvement over former UCI president Hein Verbruggen, who advocated women be banned from racing while menstruating. Bertine’s occasionally dry film makes rare space for female cyclists to convey themselves with the seriousness and urgency they embody when they race.

Their arguments slowly accumulate into an enraging portrait of entrenched sexism in competitive sports that proves parity is worth fighting for.

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Half the Road is an Enraging Portrait of the Entrenched Sexism in Competitive Sports | Village Voice

Audio

It’s this week’s episode of Dan’s and my women’s cycling podcast.  Dan describes it:

Podcast 2014 Episode 5 – What’s the Capital of Delaware?

Hi everybody! This week Sarah and I recap the highlights and tragedies of the Omloop. We also ambitiously try to (kinda) follow Le Samyn semi-live while we record. We talk about the Track World Championships, including stellar performances from Kelly Druyts, Amy Cure, Sarah Hammer and more. We talk about Richmond worlds and a whole bunch of awards of the film type and other types as well! We get into a weird conversation about US state capitals and Sarah baselessly accuses Dan of lying, so of course Dan responds by accusing Sarah of lying about lying. See if you can spot who is telling the truth. Oh, and for those wondering, the Capital of Delaware is Dover, although Dan claims partial credit because there is actually a Wilmington in Delaware.(1:12:32 MIN / 69.64 MB)

Even if you don’t like podcasts, we have tons of videos, links, blogs and news in the post - click through to our blog to see what we talked about (and some stuff we didn’t get around to)

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Twitter / RabAusten

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Many women’s cycling supporters wish there was more media coverage out there. What are your thoughts on how to develop that side of the sport?

In any other sport the media caters to the athlete because they are well known or the sport itself is well known. But with cycling, I don’t think the media has truly has any idea what to do with us on a global level. One of the things we need to do, and I hope that the film helped in this, is that we need to show that these racers have personalities, that they have lives that are interesting on the bike as well as off. Once the media gets a whiff of the fascinating aspects in cycling, then I think that dynamic will change. Emma Pooley is a great example. She’s smart, funny and passionate. Also, I think that as female athletes, we need to celebrate each other as well. It’s one thing to be in competition and rip each other’s legs off, but when we’re off the bike we should elevate our sport by speaking highly of our competitors. We need to create fun dynamics, positive rivalries and really celebrate the attributes of our fellow racers.

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Clara Beard interviews Kathryn Bertine - Matrix Fitness – Vulpine

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Twitter / Kathryn Bertine

Know anyone in VA? Go and stay with them and take them with you to the Half The Road women’s cycling film!

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Bertine outlines what she believes are the most important things in year one. “Securing media and sponsorship will be the key factors, and of course, the fans of cycling can play an enormous role by supporting this year’s La Course race.

“Click on the links, watch the news programs, talk about the incredible change taking place…this is something we can all do to drive change. If we create the demand, opportunity and business potential for women’s pro cycling the thrive, then ASO will continue to see the value.”

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Bertine: New La Course race is ‘stepping stone towards a women’s Tour de France’

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“We see this as a stepping stone toward a women’s Tour,” she told VeloNation, making clear that the long term ambition remains the same. “With the 2014 Tour de France less than six months away, we understand time is an issue and we’re grateful for the opportunity to make history this year with a one-day event.

“This race is a perfect launching pad to build upon in the years to come [as regards a multi-day womens’s Tour de France]. It’s important because female athletes need high profile stages on which to compete, with the associated media coverage and sponsorship, to truly enable them to shine. Le Tour is just that stage.”

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Bertine: New La Course race is ‘stepping stone towards a women’s Tour de France’

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Twitter / Kathryn Bertine

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Twitter / Kathryn Bertine

Want to know more about Le Tour Entier?  Check out their website.

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She believes this month’s UCI presidential election will play a “huge role” and insisted that should Brian Cookson defeat the incumbent Pat McQuaid it would be a catalyst for change.

Bertine added: “We have to elevate all of women’s cycling so it is sustainable. It’s about having a Tour de Everything, all the opportunities that the men have as well.

"Right now, we need change. We believe that Brian Cookson, in his manifesto, presents an opportunity for women’s cycling to move forward.

"If Pat McQuaid wins [a third term], my biggest fear is that nothing will happen."

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Women’s Tour manifesto published - BBC Sport

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Twitter / Kathryn Bertine

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Kathryn Bertine talking on The World about the petition for a women’s Tour de France - if you haven’t yet signed the petition, please go here and sign it

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"Speaking on a visit to Yorkshire, which will host the 2014 start, Prudhomme said: “It would have been much easier to talk to us directly instead of a petition and [finding out by] opening your mailbox one morning and you don’t know what has happened."

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme says a women’s parallel event is ‘impossible’ - Telegraph

I am always interested in how some people choose to conflate the words “difficult” and “impossible”, but I wanted to draw your attention to how Prudhomme has been chastising the organisers of the women’s TdF petition, and the MP Harriet Harman, for how they went about it - apparently emailing is bad form? 

I know for a fact people have been asking the ASO about more women’s racing for years, and the ASO has ignored them out of hand.  So they’ve mobilised social media, and good for them! 

(I am also interested in his implication that’s it’s impossible but that if they’d approached him in a different way, it might not be.  Makes no sense…)

To support the calls for a women’s Tour de France, sign the petition, and share it with everyone you know who is interested in cycling, or women’s issues.  Hell, even if you don’t care either way, knowing it annoys Pudhomme so much is surely worth a few clicks!

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But Prudhomme said simply bolting on a women’s race to a Tour that is already full to capacity was not practical.

"It would have been better for (Harman) to talk to us at the end of one of the stages or after another race," said Prudhomme on a visit to Yorkshire on Friday. "We are not the only organizers of cycling in the world.

"Also, it would have been much easier to talk to us directly instead of a petition and (finding out by) opening your mailbox one morning and you don’t know what has happened.

"We are open to everything. Having women’s races is very important for sure. (But) the Tour is huge and you cannot have it bigger and bigger and bigger down the road—it is impossible."

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Tour de France: Christian Prudhomme Opposes Adding Women’s Race | Bicycling Magazine

So Prudhomme says Harman shouldn’t have emailed him her letter?  And that the petition organisers are wrong for mobilising support?  I know people have been trying to talk to him for YEARS about women racing - so what he’s saying is he’d prefer them to have emailed him, so he could have ignored them?  I am hoping his quotes are lost in translation….