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’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!
"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!!
"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!
"I first interviewed Marijn de Vries for Podium Café in October 2010. She had just finished her first season as a pro, having given up her demanding career in television to see if she could seriously become a pro cyclist in her 30s, documenting her journey on her blog. Since then, her journey has only got more interesting. She’s written a book, Vrouw & Fiets, expanded her journalism, commentated the Worlds for Dutch tv – and in the meantime her riding has gone from strength to strength. This season she’s moved to Lotto Belisol, and had her best World Cup results yet – including 8th place in the freezing Ronde van Drenthe. I caught up with her after the Ronde van Vlaanderen, and we talked about how things have changed in her cycling and her life, Frozen Eyeballs, the upcoming Energiewacht Tour, and much more."
Interview: Marijn de Vries - “Hoping for great and inspiring adventures” - Podium Cafe
I always love interviewing riders, but Marijn de Vries always is so much fun to talk to. Click through and red my interview with her!
It is a race steeped in history, but is equally punishing, exhausting and can even be dangerous. It’s a true Classic; a pinnacle of the season and anyone who finishes knows she’s a tough rider.
For the women, it’s also the third round of the Road World Cup and one of the handful of races they ride on the same roads as the men, in front of the same huge crowds. 2013 was the tenth year the women have been able to race the Ronde van Vlaanderen and everyone was ready.
Racing round-up: cobbles, climbs and crashes – Total Women’s Cycling
My Ronde van Vlaanderen race report - please click through and read it!
"Trixi Worrack has had a great career in cycling. Ever since she won the Junior Road World ITT Championships in 1998, the German cyclist has been at the pointy end of the peloton, winning the Tour de l’Aude in 2004, coming second in the 2006 Road World Championships, are just two highlights in a glittering career. In 2012, she moved to Specialized-lululemon, winning stages in the Tour of Qatar, Gracia-Orlová and Thüringen-Rundfahrt, and being part of the all conquering, World Champion Team Time Trial squad. She’s a rider who loves to attack, and excels in the tough, cold, difficult races - perfect for Sunday’s Ronde van Vlaanderen! She came second in the first edition of the race, in 2004, and is pretty much guaranteed the “Most Aggressive” jersey in any race she starts - and she took some time out from preparation to answer some questions about the race, and more, just for the Café."
Interview: Trixi Worrack talks Ronde van Vlaanderen - Podium Cafe
I interviewed Trixi about Flanders, Specialized-lululemon, and more - click and read!
"On Sunday, 21-year-old Elisa Longo Borghini won the Trofeo Alfredo Binda Road World Cup - the first Italian to win the race since 2000, and the first World Cup win for Hitec Products UCK. Just as importantly for her, it was the biggest win of her career, and on her local roads, in front of her friends and family. She answered some questions about it, just for the Café - watch the videos and then see what she has to say!"
Elisa Longo Borghini answers some questions on her Trofeo Binda World Cup win - with videos - Podium Cafe
Longo Borghini is getting ready for the Ronde van Vlaanderen, but she took some time out to answer some of my questions about her Trofeo Binda win.
There are videos of the World Cup, Gent-Wevelgem and some other team videos I’ve liked recently - have a look!
"Last week I wrote a post on gifts ideas if you have women’s cycling fans, or women who love bikes in your life with birthdays in the Spring, or who you just want to make happy. And as I always like to do, I asked for suggestions from readers – and wow, did I get some great responses, especially from the lovely Megster, who told me about art, clothes, hand-made bikes, comapnies you can buy from that put things back, and more. They were so great, they needed their own post – so without further ado, I present, Spring Gift Guide part 2 – the Megster edition!"
Spring gift guide part 2 – the Megster edition! | Unofficial Unsanctioned Women’s UCI Cycling Blog
Presents for anyone who loves bikes - from hand-made bikes, made by a woman in Portland, to bike clothing, a fun art project, and things for all budgets. Have a read!
"We’re still struggling to shake off winter in Europe, but the peloton battled through the cold and rain, with two major races this weekend, despite the awful weather. Sarah Connolly reports."
Racing round-up: a weekend of treacherous conditions – Total Women’s Cycling
My race report on the Trofeo Alfredo Binda World Cup and the women’s Gent-Wevelgem. I get very excited about it all - please click through and read it!
"The Trofeo Alfredo Binda, the second round of the Road World Cup - and who better to ask about it than local girl, Elisa Longo Borghini? When you think about Longo Borghini’s ride at the World Championships last year, where she was the only rider who could follow Marianne Vos into the final break, and ended up with a bronze medal, it’s easy to forget she’s still only 21. She told the Café all about her superb 2012, why she loves racing on cobbles in the rain and riding for Hitec Products UCK, what to expect from the World Cup tomorrow and more!"
Interview: Elisa Longo Borghini previews the Trofeo Binda World Cup, and talks Worlds, her amazing 2012 and more! - Podium Cafe
I interviewed the young Italian star about all sorts of things - please click through and read it!
"Sarah Connolly reports on a tough week for women’s pro cycling, with more races disappearing and some truly excellent riders now out of the peloton due to accidents."
Racing round-up: crashes, cancellations and counter attacks – Total Women’s Cycling
My round-up of last week’s news and results from the women’s pro peloton - click and read!