Q: What about the rest of the course? What’s it like to race Flèche?
Loes – I think it’s a roller coaster from the start line to the finish line. Before you know, you already hit the first climb and then it’s downhill and then up again. It’s fast. It’s narrow climbs. It’s heavy. It’s nice with all the spectators. It’s one of the Classics, and that makes it special.
Emma – Together with Ronde van Vlaanderen, I think it’s one of the most beautiful races that we do all year, one of the most beautiful in Belgium, for sure. The Mur de Huy is hard, but it’s also special as well. Once again, I think you need to be there to be able to get the atmosphere. You need to be a part of it. It’s hard to describe."
[It’s]Very steep, yeah. But it would be ok as a Time Trial, it’s just with other people in the way, that’s the problem!
And the wall of noise, it’s really cool for us - it’s a bit like Flanders, or the World Championships, in that having all those people there, it’s awesome. That’s what I would like to see the sport have more often, is races on the same day as men’s races. And it’s organised by ASO, who organise the Tour, so it’s a great race, and I’m really looking forward to it from that respect, I’m just worried about the prospect of not doing very well!"
Part 2 of the transcript of my interview with Emma Pooley - you can read Part 1 on Podium Café or Listen to the whole interview as a podcast on my blog
You’re involved with World Bicycle Relief, the Right to Play and CYCLE Kids.
I personally feel like I’ve been given a gift to bike race, so I know that I have a lot to give back to the sport. I think when you’re in the public eye it’s your responsibility to be a good role model. We are so lucky and privileged to have the opportunity to be the best at something and pursue our dreams. Another thing is, being a woman cyclist; people really help you get to where you are, because you’re living all over the place. There have been so many people along the way who have looked after me and been very kind and generous.
Besides other hearing women’s stories and your charity work, what fulfills you personally?
Right now, bike racing is what fulfills me. I just want to know that I’ve reached the potential of what I can do and that I’ve given everything to the sport that I can give. But also, recognizing that it’s a journey and there are so many things in between it. You win, you lose, you crash, you get to travel and meet new people. It’s such a process.