Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Le Samyn results

  1.  Adrie Visser Skil - 1t4i 03:04:28
  2.  Noemi Cantele Be Pink ST
  3.  Trixi Worrack Team Specialized- Lululemon ST
  4.  Ellen Van Dijk Team Specialized- Lululemon ST
  5.  Megan Guarnier Team TIBCO ST
  6.  Loes Gunnewijk GreenEdge-AIS ST
  7.  Elisa Longo Borghini Hitec Products - Mistral Home ST
  8.  Christine Majerus Team GSD Gestion ST
  9.  Kaat Hannes Lotto Belisol Ladies ST
  10.  Jolien Hoore Topsport Vlaanderen - Ridley 2012 00:02 
  11.  Eleonora Patuzzo Be Pink ST
  12.  Lise Nøstvold Hitec Products - Mistral Home ST
  13.  Liesbet De Vocht Rabobank Women Team ST
  14.  Kelly Druyts Topsport Vlaanderen - Ridley 2012 00:05  
  15.  Roxane Knetemann Rabobank Women Team ST
  16.  Alena Amialyusik Be Pink ST
  17.  Julie Beveridge Vienne Futuroscope 00:07  
  18.  Chloe Hosking Team Specialized- Lululemon ST
  19.  Tiffany Cromwell GreenEdge-AIS 00:16  
  20.  Ine Beyen Topsport Vlaanderen - Ridley 2012 00:18  
  21.  Amanda Spratt GreenEdge-AIS 00:22 
  22.  Maaike Polspoel Topsport Vlaanderen - Ridley 2012 00:26  
  23.  Emilia Fahlin Team Specialized- Lululemon 00:28  
  24.  Regina Bruins Skil - 1t4i 00:30  
  25.  Alexis Rhodes GreenEdge-AIS 00:35  
  26.  Samantha Schneider Team TIBCO 01:05 
  27.  Sofie De Vuyst Lotto Belisol Ladies ST
  28.  Anna Van Der Breggen Sengers Ladies Cycling Team ST
  29.  Roxane Fournier Kleo Ladies Team ST
  30.  Celine Van Severen Sengers Ladies Cycling Team ST
  31.  Edith Vanden Brande Topsport Vlaanderen - Ridley 2012 ST
  32.  Siobhan Horgan Team GSD Gestion ST
  33.  Hanna Nilsson Alriksson Go:Green ST
  34.  Lauren Kitchen Rabobank Women Team ST
  35.  Emilie Moberg Hitec Products - Mistral Home ST
  36.  Annelies Van Doorslaer Kleo Ladies Team ST
  37.  Marie Lindberg Kleo Ladies Team ST
  38.  Karol-ann Canuel Vienne Futuroscope ST
  39.  Marion Rousse Vienne Futuroscope ST
  40.  Ann-sophie Duyck Lotto Belisol Ladies ST
  41.  Annelies Dom   ST
  42.  Jessica Kihlbom Alriksson Go:Green 01:16  
  43.  Robin Farina 01:37  
  44.  Ludivine Henrion Lotto Belisol Ladies ST
  45.  Lucie Pader Team GSD Gestion 02:00  
  46.  Claire Thomas ST
  47.  Carlee Taylor Vienne Futuroscope ST
  48.  Iris Slappendel Rabobank Women Team ST
  49.  Janneke Ensing Dolmans - Boels Cycling Team ST
  50.  Birgit Lavrijssen Sengers Ladies Cycling Team ST
  51.  Petra Dijkman Kleo Ladies Team ST
  52.  Anisha Vekemans Topsport Vlaanderen - Ridley 2012 ST
  53.  Martina Corazza Kleo Ladies Team 02:03  
  54.  Simona Frapporti Be Pink ST
  55.  Sara Mustonen Hitec Products - Mistral Home ST
  56.  Latoya Brulee Topsport Vlaanderen - Ridley 2012 ST
  57.  Mélodie Lesueur 02:31  
  58.  Jessy Druyts Topsport Vlaanderen - Ridley 2012 ST
  59.  Sarah Düster Rabobank Women Team ST
  60.  Andrea Dvorak Exergy Twenty12 03:00  
  61.  Amanda Miller Team TIBCO ST
  62.  Thea Thorsen Hitec Products - Mistral Home ST
  63.  Cecilie Sateroy Johansen Hitec Products - Mistral Home 04:14 
  64.  Esra Tromp Skil - 1t4i ST
  65.  Irene Van De Broek Dolmans - Boels Cycling Team ST
  66.  Kelly Markus Skil - 1t4i ST
  67.  Elodie Hegoburu ST
  68.  Lieselot Decroix Dolmans - Boels Cycling Team 06:18 
  69.  Anouska Koster Dolmans - Boels Cycling Team 07:05 
  70.  Vera Koedooder Sengers Ladies Cycling Team ST
  71.  Linea Fredäng Alriksson Go:Green ST
  72.  Liesbeth Verbeeck ST
  73.  Alexandra Tondeur ST
  74.  Tessa De Moyer RSC De Zuidwesthoek ST
  75.  Alex Ryan 07:18  
  76.  Linda Ringlever NWV Groningen ST
  77.  Anne De Wildt Skil - 1t4i ST
  78.  Sanne Bamelis ST
  79.  Linnea Sjöblom Alriksson Go:Green ST
  80.  Fiona Dutriaux Vienne Futuroscope ST
  81.  Silvia Valsecchi Be Pink 07:31 

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Holland Ladies' Tour will go ahead

The 2012 Holland Ladies' Tour will go ahead, it has been confirmed. Race chairman Marten de Lange says that a new sponsor has yet to found after a main financial backer withdrew support, but other sponsors have agreed to contribute extra; allowing organisers to run a more "economical" event.

"It would be a shame if this race was to disappear, especially now that it offers such a perfect prelude towards the world championship in Limburg one a week later," says de Lange. "We are still negotiating with a potential sponsor. If that happens, we can make the race as good as previous years - which is what the successful women of Dutch cycling deserve.''

Monday, 27 February 2012

Chloe's Omloop

"Trixi’s comment, “You’ve never done it before? Good luck!”didn’t exactly fill me with confidence..." Chloe Hosking on her first Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

Procycling: men's salaries rise, women still being ripped off

UCI president Pat McQuaid refuses to
discuss professional female cyclists'
(image credit: Oblongo CC BY-SA 2.0)
According to documents released by the UCI's auditors Ernst & Young, the salaries paid to professional male cyclists with the top ProTeams rose from an average of €190,000 to €264,000 between 2009 and the present - amounts currently equal to £160,893.67 and £223,557.52 or $255,113 and $354,472.80. Not a bad wage by anybody's standards.

Yet, still, cycling's international governing body does not guarantee a minimum wage for female professional cyclists, refusing to even discuss the matter publicly - which has led to a number of protests, most notably at last year's World Championships when Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, Marianne Vos and others highlighted the issue. "I think it’s total bullshit," said a characteristically forthright Teutenberg. "We’ve seen over the last couple of years, it’s getting harder and harder, you cannot come to a race to win if you’re not fit. The women deserve it - I don’t know why the men get this guarantee with a contract and the women don’t. We deserve equal rights." Vos, who has been so successful that she's one of the few women in cycling able to demand a decent salary, agrees: "The women’s cycling is becoming more professional, why should there be a difference between men and women?"

Both women are right. What's most shocking of all is that while male cyclists at the top professional level are guaranteed a minimum wage, some of the women are not paid at all - and with the prize money offered to them in most races frankly quite laughable compared to what the men get, they have to find jobs to make ends meet.

Whether the men deserve salaries that any fat cat city banker would be proud of is another argument entirely and it's true that women's cycling gets a fraction of the media attention (= sponsorship) that men's cycling does. However, if teams can afford to pay its male riders almost a quarter of a million Euros per annum, there also seems to be a very real argument for the introduction of an upper limit. The average annual salary for a family in the UK, according to statistics from Wikipedia, was €28,822.33 as of April 2010 - male pro cyclists receive more than nine times that amount.

Do they need €264,000? Of course not. Whether they even deserve that much is debatable - it is, after all, more than three times the highest salary of a specialist doctor in the British National Health Service; and even the keenest fan can't argue that a cyclist does a more important job than a doctor. Nobody needs that much.  Introduce a cap of €214,000 and the male riders will hardly even notice a difference. Then see to it that the money made available is diverted into paying female riders a decent wage, because they really will notice the difference. In fact, it'd quite possibly result in a fund sufficient for those teams that do not currently run women's teams to set them up.

Will it ever happen? Of course not - and so female cyclists will continue to be paid less than their male counterparts, something that is illegal in business in any right-thinking nation. That is shameful - after all, as Teutenberg says, "We are living in the 21st century."

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Gunnewijk wins Women's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

Loes Gunnewijk
(image credit: CC BY 2.0
A breakaway powered by three GreenEDGE riders at the halfway point Côte de Trieu drained a large postion of the peloton's energy, leaving nobody able to keep up when Loes Gunnewijk attacked on the famous cobbles of Paddestraat as the race entered its final part. The 31-year-old Dutch rider was then left alone for five kilometress until Specialized-Lululemon's Ellen Van Dijk joined her and shared the work. The two women entered the final sprint together with Gunnewijk proving marginally faster to the line.

GreenEDGE continue their fantastic first season, having won every race they've thus far entered. Lululemon, of which third place Trixie Worrack is also a member, are having a great start to what is their first season too; the two teams having also taken seven of the top ten spots at the Tour of Qatar.

The best-placed British rider was Lucy Martin and Katie Colclough in 32nd and 33rd place.

For an excellent report on the race, click here.

1 Loes Gunnewijk (Ned) Greenedge-AIS 3:17:14
2 Eleonora Van Dijk (Ned) Team Specialized-Lululemon
3 Trixi Worrack (Ger) Team Specialized-Lululemon 0:01:10
4 Martine Bras (Ned) Dolmans-Boels Cyclingteam  
5 Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team  
6 Noemi Cantele (Ita) Be Pink  
7 Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling Team  
8 Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Greenedge-AIS  
9 Amanda Spratt (Aus) Greenedge-AIS  
10 Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr) AA Cycling Team  
11 Lise Nöstvold (Nor) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling Team 0:01:19  
12 Chloe Hosking (Aus) Team Specialized-Lululemon 0:01:33  
13 Latoya Brulee (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012  
14 Christine Majerus (Lux) Team Gsd Gestion  
15 Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team  
16 Ludivine Henrion (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies  
17 Sarah Düster (Ger) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team  
18 Romy Kasper (Ger) Rusvelo  
19 Thalita De Jong (Ned) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team  
20 Sara Mustonen (Swe) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling Team  
21 Maaike Polspoel (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012  
22 Irene Van Den Broek (Ned) Dolmans-Boels Cyclingteam  
23 Madeleine Olsson (Swe) AA Cycling Team  
24 Jessie Daams (Bel) AA Cycling Team  
25 Ann-Sophie Duyck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies  
26 Iris Slappendel (Ned) Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team  
27 Alexis Rhodes (Aus) Greenedge-AIS  
28 Chantal Blaak (Ned) AA Cycling Team  
29 Fröydis Waerstad (Nor) Hitec Products-Mistral Home Cycling Team  
30 Carlee Taylor (Aus) Vienne Futuroscope  
31 Regina Bruins (Ned) Skil 1T4I 0:04:46  
32 Lucy Martin (GBr) AA Cycling Team 0:07:17  
33 Katie Colclough (GBr) Team Specialized-Lululemon  
34 Kaat Hannes (Bel) Lotto Belisol Ladies  
35 Jolien d'Hoore (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012  
36 Marlen Jöhrend (Ger) Abus Nutrixxion

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Pâtisserie Cyclisme needs your help!

(image copyright Pâtisserie Cyclisme)
Have you heard of Pâtisserie Cyclisme yet? Established by a keen cyclist, it's a website that aims to provide details and reviews of all the world's cycling-friendly cafes - something that would in all likelihood soon become as valuable an aid when planning a route as a decent map. After all, there are only two things that we cyclists like as much as riding our bikes: drinking tea and eating cakes.

At present, they have around one hundred reviews of cafes in the United Kingdom and Europe but the site grows daily and, after just a year, is becoming one of the Internet's cycling hubs. The service's creator Louise is now hoping to develop her idea further, but to move on to the next stage she needs money. Don't click "back" just yet!

She's not asking you to put your hand in your pocket - but you can still help. All you need to do is vote for her funding application. If she can get 500 votes, her company will receive £500 from Enterprise Nation to put towards development and the purchase of a professional camera which will allow the reviews to be backed up by quality photographs of the various cafes.

It takes about 20 seconds to sign up and vote and it's completely free - so there really is no reason not to do it.

Vio Cyclo Cross Masters Results

Just as they have done for the last two years, the current World Champions proved their mettle with victory on the unique indoor parcours at Hasselt - but it was Marianne Vos who dominated, rather than Niels Albert. In the time trial, conducted over a lap of the course, Albert took fifth place after a surprising victory by Dieter Vanthourenhout, the 26-year-old BKCP-Powerplus rider beating him by just 3.38" with 2'15.33" while Zenek Stybar took second place with a time of 2'15.45". Vos, meanwhile, beat second place Daphny Van Den Brand - racing her last race before retirement - by a far more decisive 14.26" at 2'32.43", while third place Joyce Vanderbeken was 17" down.

In the main race, Albert was victorious when he beat second place Stybar by the tiniest of margins, both men recording the same time. Vos, meanwhile, delivered a more crushing defeat for a second time; on this occasion beating second place Van Den Brand by 6" with a time of 20'29". Make no mistake, however - this was not a boring race, despite recent suggestions that the 24-year-old Dutch woman's supremacy might be killing women's 'cross, and she fought hard for it.

Vos and Van Den Brand - a sight we shall no longer see, as this was Daphny's last race
(image credit: Rolf Van Der Zwart CC BY 2.0)
It was Van Den Brand who led at the end of the first lap while Sanne Cant took second, giving the huge crowd of spectators a rare opportunity to see Vos in third position. By the end of Lap 2, Vos was leading both "on the road" and on overall time, while at the end of Lap 3 things had been shaken up - Vos still led overall, but was second over the line just behind Britain's Helen Wyman who had demonstrated why she's been National Champion for seven consecutive years by making her way to the front of the race after an uncharacteristically slow start. Vos was fastest again on Lap 4 but then finished Lap 5 in third place behind Van Den Brand and Joyce Vanderbeken, Cant now tiring and crossing fourth. In the penultimate lap, Vos was second after Van Den Brand gained a 2" advantage, Wyman taking third.

Sabrina Stultiens
As they entered the final, seventh lap, Vos was leading overall with Van Den Brand second and Cant third. This was the point at which she proved just how good she is: whereas all the other riders except for Sabrina Stultiens were noticeably slower - Van Den Brand finished the lap 7" slower than Lap 6, Cant 11" - Vos got faster, knocking a second off her Lap 6 time (Stultiens was 4" faster and was third over the line, but as she was in fifth place overall it made no difference). Wyman, the only British rider in the race as Gabby Day was kept away by injuries sustained in a crash at the last round of the GVA Trofee at Oostmalle last weekend, was fifth over the line and took sixth place overall.

Some people consider it nothing but a crowd-pleasing sideshow, but with Rabobank's recent announcement that it's considering entering Vos into a few men's races in order to prevent her becoming bored this event's Battle of the Sexes - in which the World Championship's top three men race against the top three women - was always going to be an interesting aside. Few expected a female winner, much as it would have been a great thing to see, but the result was not as quite a few people might have predicted: Niels won with Kevin Pauwels receiving the same time in second place, but Vos was a mere 1" behind them in third place with Van Den Brand only another second behind her for fourth. Fifth place Rob Peeters was 9" slower than Vos, which would appear to suggest that while Vos might not win every men's race she enters (should the "announcement" not prove to be the publicity stunt it rather resembles), she'd still hold her own.

1 VOS Marianne (Rabobank) 20:29

2 VAN DEN BRAND Daphny (AA Drink) +6"
3 CANT Sanne (BKCP-Powerplus) + 48"
4 VANDERBEKEN Joyce (Style&Concept) +1'25"
5 STULTIENS Sabrina (Brainwash) +1'40"
6 WYMAN Helen (Kona Factory Racing) +2'25"
7 VARDAROS Christine (Baboco) +3'01"
8 BOBER Nancy (Style&Concept) 3'21"
9 DE BIE-LEYTEN Nicolle (Telenet-Fidea) 19:51 -1 lap
10 VAN LOY Ellen (Kreikel) 17:19 -1 lap

Battle of the Sexes

1 ALBERT Niels 5'24"
2 PAUWELS Kevin 5'24"
3 VOS Marianne 5'25"
4 VAN DEN BRAND Daphny 5'26"
5 PEETERS Rob 5'34"
6 CANT Sanne 5'57"

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Vio Cyclo Cross Masters

Vos dominates women's cycling. Tonight,
we get to see how she fares against the men
The final round of the GVA Trofee last weekend has been widely called Daphny Van Den Brand's last CX race, as she plans to retire after an incredible quarter-century of racing. However, she has one race left: it takes place this evening in Hasselt and it's the Vio Cyclo Cross Masters, unique in that it takes place indoors.

The premise of the event is simple: take all the greatest 'cross stars of the closing season and then have them battle one another for supremacy on a parcours designed to represent the most challenging obstacles found in the year's races with sand, ladders, beams and washboards all making an appearance along the 1km track. It is, according to the official website, "A rock 'n' roll event where cyclo cross is promoted as a true sporting spectacle."

The races differ somewhat to standard 'cross events. There's an individual time trial over a single lap, then the women race for twenty minutes and the men for thirty. Best of all, and for the very first time this year, there's a Battle of the Sexes - in it, the top three World Cup women and their male counterparts will compete against one another, the women getting an advantage of two laps. Plenty of us have been wondering how current World Champion Marianne Vos might fare if she raced against men, and since she'll be taking part this is our chance to find out.

British National Champion Helen Wyman will be racing, Gabby Day - despite inclusion on the start list - apparently will not.


1 Marianne Vos Rabobank
2 Daphny Van den Brand AA drink
3 Sanne Cant BKCP Powerplus
4 Helen Wyman Kona
5 Sabrina Stultiens Brainwash
6 Joyce Vanderbeken Style and Concept
7 Ellen Van Loy Kriekel Cycling team
8 Christine Vardaros Baboco cycling team
9 Gabriella Day The Chain Stay
10 Nicole De Bie-Leyten Telenet Fidea

Monday, 20 February 2012

Tour of New Zealand starters

22-26 February 2012

1   ARNDT Judith
2   GILLOW Shara
3   VILLUMSEN Linda Melanie
4   MACLEAN Jessie
5   FRY Rowena

7   ARMSTRONG Kristin
9   CLIFF-RYAN Theresa
10   SMALL-McNELLIS Carmen
11   STACHER Ally
12   STEVENS Evelyn

13   BACCAILLE Monia
14   BERLATO Elena
15   GUDERZO Tatiana
16   TAMANINI Luisa
17   CECCHINI Elena
18   PRESTI Gloria

19   HOGAN Joanne
20   JACOBS Lisa
21   ROWNEY Loren
23   ALLEN Jessica

China Chongming-Giant ProCycling
25   WU Chao Mei
26   YONGYAN Sheng
27   ZHAO Na
28   LIU Xin
29   HUANG Dong Yan
30   YUAN Yunyun

Armstrong Motor Group
31   GRIFFITHS Miranda
32   IVES Stephanie
33   COLDWELL Lucy
34   JUSTICE Nicole
35   NEYLAN Rachel

37   WIASAK Rebecca
38   MCDONALD Ailie
39   RICE Allison
40   ROPER Emily
41   MUNDY Jessica
42   MEADLEY Laura

43   NISHI Kanako
44   HAGIWARA Mayuko
45   HARIGAI Chisako
46   MYOCHIN Yuko
47   AKATSUYA Yurie

Team Jayco-AIS
50   ELVIN Gracie
51   NOONAN Sinead
52   CARLE Alexandra
53   RYAN Carla
54   HEATHER Taryn

Cyclosport NZ
55   CRUM Emma
56   BEST Tracy
57   BARR Jane
58   SMITH Corrinne
59   SOUTHEE Rachel

61   SANBROOKS Shailie
62   FORSYTH Sue
63   BURKE Melanie
64   MACDERMID Fiona
65   GIDDENS Hayley

New Zealand
67   BOYD Kaytee
68   COOPER Sequoia
69   COLLINS Emily
70   CHILCOTT Kate
71   JOSEPH Rosara
72   TROTMAN Reta

Wheelworks Racing
73   COPP Janine
74   SUTTON Philippa
75   BELL Deane
76   BRADLEY Amy
77   NEAVE Ashleigh
78   VAN KAMPEN Hannah

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Van Den Brand wins Oostmalle

Winning the last race of your career is always going to be good - but if all your competitors pay tribute to you and you beat the current Word Champion, it must be absolutely fantastic.

Daphny Van Den Brand: a great race, a great season and a spectacular career
(image credit: Thomas Ducroquet CC BY-SA 3.0)
Daphny Van Den Brand will therefore be celebrating tonight, because this is precisely what happened to her today at Oostmalle, the final round of the GVA Trofee. First, all the riders wore their hair in pigtails (see Helen Wyman here), as she has always done in races, to show tribute; and then she beat none other than Marianne Vos (who was in this race, despite the dodgy start list we'd seen which said she wasn't!). The home-made pie baked for her by the Telenet-Fidea team will have been welcome too, looking as delicious as it did.

"Afterwards, I asked Marianne if she let me win," says Daphny, who will now retire from cyclo cross, "but she said I was the better rider."

Congratulations, Daphny, on a great race, a great season and a spectacular career. The cyclo cross world will miss you.

Things didn't go so well for Gabby Day - the British rider crashed early in the race and was taken to hospital. Get well soon, Gabby!

Nasty crash at the very start of todays race, taken to hospital & have had stitches in my face. Battered and bruised all over, very sore :-("

(More pigtails!)


  1.  Daphny Van Den Brand
  2.  Marianne Vos
  3.  Sanne Van Paassen
  4.  Sanne Cant  
  5.  Nikki Harris  
  6.  Sabrina Stultiens 
  7.  Arenda Grimberg  
  8.  Helen Wyman  
  9.  Pavla Havlikova  
  10.  Joyce Vanderbeken  
  11.  Amy Dombroski  
  12.  Sophie De Boer  
  13.  Nicolle De Bie Leyten  
  14.  Nikoline Hansen  
  15.  Evy Kuijpers  
  16.  Iris Ockeloen  
  17.  Ellen Van Loy  
  18.  Lana Verberne  
  19.  Karen Verhestraeten    
  20.  Nancy Bober  
  21.  Katrien Thijs  
  22.  Anja Geldhof  
  23.  Margriet Kloppenburg  
  24.  Christine Vardaros  
  25.  Katrien Vermeiren  
  26.  Nele Van Maldeghem  
  27.  Madara Furmane  
  28.  Janice Geyskens  
  29.  Marijke De Pauw  
  30.  Tine Verdeyen 
  31.  Sandie Verriest 
  32.  Caitlyn La Haye 
  33.  Maaike Lanssens 

Saturday, 18 February 2012

On this day...

Amber Neben
Amber Neben
(image credit: Crikey)
Amber Neben, born in Irvin, USA on this day in 1975, originally competed in football (soccer) and cross-country running whilst at college, only adopting cycling when stress injuries forced her to give up running. She first took up mountain biking but soon discovered she performed better in road cycling and rapidly came to the attention of team managers, being signed up to ride with the USA World Championships squad in 2001 and winning a silver medal in the National Championships that same year. One year later, she took silver in both the Road and Time Trial National races.

She became National Road Race Champion in 2003 and began to show promise in stage races, finishing the Giro della Toscana in 7th place overall the next season. This would be bettered with a win at the Tour de l'Aude and a third National Time Trial silver medal in 2005, her l'Aude success repeated in 2006 along with podium finishes at the Route de France Feminin, Thuringen-Rundfahrt and other races, another National Time Trial silver and a bronze in the National Road Race. 2007 was similar, but she topped it all by becoming World Time Trial Champion in 2008. In the following years, she continued to win stages in a series of races and in 2011 won the Chrono des Nations.

Neben tested positive for 19-Norandrosterone in 2003, a recognised metabolite of nandrolone - a banned anabolic steroid. However, the result was delayed for some time and the rider accepted provisional suspension from racing during the following investigation, also stating her belief that the drug had come from dietary supplements. The Court for Arbitration in Sport decreed that while there was evidence to suggest she had been affected by the drug in races that took place prior to the announcement of the positive test, in their opinion she had not intentionally doped. She received a six-month ban beginning from the start of the provisional suspension with the agreement that she would submit to increased checks over the subsequent 18 months and returned to racing, passing every test since.

On this day in 2011 Joanna Rowsell, Wendy Houvenaghel and Sarah Storey set a new British Women's Record when the completed the 4000m Team Time Trial at the World Track Cup in Manchester with a time of 3'19.757".

Thursday, 16 February 2012

GVA Trofee: Oostmalle

Click to enlarge
(image credit:  WSC Oostmalle)
Bad news - Sunday the 19th of February brings the last big cyclo cross meet of the season. However, the upset is slightly lessened by the fact that it's the GVA Trofee at Oostmalle; one of the most twisty, turny, technical tracks to have ever felt the rough touch of a pair of Rhinos. There are some similarities between this parcours and the legendary Koksijde with some sections on runway and some on sand; but the terrain that characterises this race is woodland. The highest points just reach 29m, but with the lowest at 17m on a parcours 3km in length there are some steep ramps with a maximum gradient of around 6.7% in places.

From the start line (51°16'36.78"N 4°45'35.66"E) the riders have a 390m blast along the runway to start off, a state of affairs that will suit Helen Wyman after she's been demonstrating how fast she is in an opening sprint recently,  then it ends abruptly with a sharp left onto sand, potentially shattering the lead of any rider who was fastest from the line and passing over the reins to those riders who can best handle the technical sections. After 200m (look here for an old oak tree which, with its roots half exposed, looks as though it's trying to crawl away), the parcours again turns left and follows a track for a few metres , then turns left to travel past the "Publiekstent" (which is probably where you need to go if you want beer), through a tight V-shaped bend and onward to the pits. After turning right, riders dip briefly into woodland and negotiate a couple of tight left-hand turns, then emerge back onto the sand and follow the edge of the woods back past the runway.

Having followed the perimeter of the woods for 110mm, the riders duck back into the trees for a relatively uncomplicated and straight 100m back through to the sand on the other side and then turn left before the path leads into the woods again 20m later. The following section, just under half a kilometre in length, is entirely in the woods and features some tight bends, sharp corners and all the usual puncture risks that lurk within a forest environment. It comes out back onto sand, then after 23m it's left and back into the woods again. This section has fewer bends than the last, but climbs fairly steeply and then descends fast just before it spits the riders back out onto the sand and into some hairpins. Once through, they make a second pass of the pits and remain on sand as they follow the path around the north-western banks of the lake to a track.

After just a few metres on the track, the parcours leads back onto the sand in the opposite direction it came for around 45m, then turns sharply right into the woods once more. This final 475m is entirely forested and features several technical sections, including sharp corners hairpins and the always-amusing beams over which most riders will shoulder their bikes but those with the skills (or desire to show off) will bunnyhop (51°16'37.51"N 4°45'46.09"E). It emerges at the runway next to the VIP tent near the start line, where another lap begins. On the final lap, riders will sprint along the runway to the finish line located just before the first corner (51°16'28.03"N 4°45'47.98"E).

Altimetry (click for enlargement)
Les Déesses de la Route Choices: Daphny Van Den Brand is the most obvious - she's been on fire over the past month and this, the last race of this year's Trofee, would be a fantastic way to end her 'cross career - she plans to retire once the season ends. Both the Sannes, Van Paassen and Cant, could also do well here and will be looking for a chance to end the season on a high note, as will British riders Nikki Harris, Helen Wyman and Gabby Day. Harris has ridden exceptionally well in her last two or three races and there's no reason she won't do so again here. As mentioned earlier, that long sprint from the start and up to the finish line will suit Wyman very well; however, she says she's been suffering with a stomach bug this week - best wishes for a speedy recovery Helen. Then, there's Marianne Vos, of course - the seemingly unbeatable World Champion. Finally, Christine Vardoros will no doubt also want to do well after her chances at Heerlen last week were ruined by an asthma attack. That she kept going and finished the race on that occasion proves she certainly has the determination!

Programme: 10:00 Novices, 11:00 Juniors, 12:00 Under-23, 13:45 Elite Women, 15:00 Elite Men (CET)
Streams: Cycling Fans are showing the Elite Men. If anyone manages to locate a stream for the Elite Women, please let us know either by email, Tweet or in the messages after this article.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Who's who at the 2012 Track World Cup?

CURE Amy - 19-year-old Tasmanian Amy already has one World Championship listed on her palmares after she won the Juniors Scratch race at Moscow in 2009. She's also won a total of four National Championships, on the track and on the road. (image)
EDMONDSON Annette - At 20 years of age, Annette has no fewer than eight National titles at both Junior and Elite level under her belt. She also won three gold medals and one bronze at the 2007 Oceania Cycling Championships. (image)
HOSKINS Melissa - Melissa, also 20, has won six National titles. She also excels on the road and won Stage 2 at the Czech Tour last year, earning her a place with the new GreenEDGE team for 2012. (image)
MCCULLOCH Kaarle - 24-year-old Kaarle has won eleven National and three World titles, as well as three gold medals at the Oceania Cycling Championships and another at the Commonwealth Games. (image)
MEARES Anna - Anna, who is 28, is the younger sister of Kerrie Meares, also a professional cyclist. She has won seven World titles, three of which she currently holds, fourteen National titles, four gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and one at the Olympics. (image)
TOMIC Josephine - 22-year-old Josephine has won thirteen National and five World Titles. She's also a talented road rider, having won the Tour de Perth in 2008. (image)

BELMANS Els - 28-year-old didn't begin winning races until two years ago, but has already won three gold medals  and one bronze at her National Championships for 2012. (image)
D'HOORE Jolien - approaching her 22nd birthday, Jolien won the pursuit, scratch, 500m, team sprint and team pursuit at the Belgian Nationals this year. (image)
DRUYTS Kelly (turn the sound down before clicking if you're at work) - Kelly, aged 22, has an impressive palmares from her days in the Novice and Junior classes and has been riding among the Elites since 2007. (image)

DYLKO Alena - 23-year-old shared victory for the Team Pursuit at her 2011 Nationals and won bronze in four other events. (image)
LOHVINAVA Maryia - Maryia was on the winning Sprint team at the 2011 Nationals and took silver in three additional events. (image)
PANARINA Olga - Lightning-fast 26-year-old sprinter Olga came away from the World Championships with one gold and two silver medals last year. She's one of the favourites to do well at this event. (image)
PAPKO Aksana - Aksana, aged 23, won the Points race in Beijing earlier this year and was fourth in the same event at the European Championships in October 2011. (image)
SHARAKOVA Tatyana (image)

RIBEIRO Sumaia (image)

BROWN Laura - though she specialises in track, 25-year-old Laura also does well in road races - she won the Tour de White Rock last year. (image)
CARLETON Gillian - Gillian won a silver medal in the Sprint at the 2011 Nationals. At 22, she may be about to emerge as one of Canada's most successful track stars. (image)
GLAESSER Jasmin - at 19, Jasmin has held two National titles, came second behind team mate Laura Brown at the 2011 Tour de White Rock and won a gold medal at the PanAmerican Games. (image)
ROORDA Stephanie - 25-year-old Stephanie has won seven National Championship medals, three of them gold. She's easy to spot on the track due to her close resemblance to actor Drew Barrymore. (image)
SULLIVAN Monique - Monique, aged 22, won the Keirin and the Sprint at the 2011 Nationals. (image)
WHITTEN Tara - 31-year-old Tara enjoyed a successful road race career in the past and now specialises in Omnium, winning eight medals in the discipline last year - including gold in the World Championship(image)

GONG Jinjie - 25-year-old Jinjie was part of the winning Sprint team at Beijing earlier this year. (image)
GUO Shuang - Shuang, also 25, was on the same team as Jinjie and also won a further two gold medals. (image)
HUANG Li - 23-year-old Shuang won a bronze medal at the Astana Omnium in 2011. (image)
JIANG Wenwen - Wenwen, aged 25, won the Team Pursuit at the 2011 Asian Cycling Championships. (image)
JIANG Fan - Fan, aged 21, won the Team Pursuit at the 2011 Asian Cycling Championships. (image)
LIANG Jin - Jin, aged 27, won the Team Pursuit at the 2011 Asian Cycling Championships. (image)

CALLE Maria Luisa - Maria Luisa won the Individual Time Trial at her National Championship and at the PanAmerican Games last year. At 43, she's one of the oldest Elite level athletes active today and the oldest in this event, but is more than capable of holding off rivals half her age. In 2004, she was the first Colombian to ever win Olympic gold but had to hand it back after failing an anti-dope test. (image)
GARCIA Diana Maria (image)
GAVIRIA RENDON Juliana - TT, Sprint and Keirin specialist Juliana, aged 20, won a silver medal at the PanAmerican Games last year. (image)
LOZANO RAMIREZ Laura - 25-year-old Laura has concentrated on road racing for the last couple of years, but remains a highly effective Points rider. (image)
SERIKA Guluma - 37-year-old Guluma is one of the oldest athletes in the event, but is highly valued in Team Sprints. (image)

Czech Republic
MACHACOVA Jarmila - 26-year-old Jarmila won thirteen medals in 2011, including two gold. (image)

LETH Julie - 20-year-old Julie is current Danish Road Race Champion. (image)

ALANGO Monika (image)

PENSAARI Pia - "I can't believe that I'm packing my bike and heading to London, not for the Olympics but for World Cup," says 28-year-old Pia. "I'm pretty excited!! I'll be there riding with all the greatest track girls in the world! To ride track in Finland is almost as stupid as being a skier in Kenya. We don't have indoor velodrome, our best velodrome was build 1952." That sounds like a rider who'll want to grasp the opportunity to add to her palmares - and as she won numerous medals in 2011, there's a good chance she'll do so. (image)

CLAIR Sandie - Sandie, now 23, won her first National title right back in 2005 and a World title the following year. She has been French 500m Champion since 2008 and came second in the event at the Worlds in 2011. (image)
JEULAND Pascale - though she's still only 24, Pascale has seven National titles dating back to 2004. She's aslo won five medals at the European Championships and the Scratch race at the World Championships in 2010. (image)
SANCHEZ Clara - Twice World Keirin Champion Clara won the National Scratch and Sprint titles last year. She is 28. (image)

Great Britain
HOUVENAGHEL Wendy - Anybody who believes female cyclists are of less interest than the men should spend five minutes reading up on 37-year-old Wendy: having risen to the rank of Squadron Leader in the RAF (and qualifying as a dentist), she took to competitive cycling and was immediately successful. In 2011, she won the British Road Individual TT Championship. (image)
KING Danielle - 16 years Houvenaghel's junior, Dani rode with her in the winning team at the 2011 World Team Pursuit Championship. At the same event, she won bronze in the Scratch race. (image)
PENDLETON Victoria - Possibly the most famous track cyclist of the last fifty years (and definitely the most famous track cyclist in Britain ever), 31-year-old Victoria has won eight World Championships, an Olympic gold and most of track cycling's most important events. She has been hinting at retirement for some time now; so this could be one of the last chances to see her in action - and Victoria going for a win is one of the most impressive sights cycling has to offer. (image)
ROWSELL Joanna - 23-year-old Joanna, one of Britain's most successful cyclists, competes on road and track. While she has specialised in Team events, early success in individual events is evidence that she may be the one to pick up where Pendleton leaves off. (image)
TROTT Laura - it's no secret that Britain produces better female cyclists than male and 19-year-old Laura is proof that this will continue. Last year, she won six gold medals and, as she enters her early 20s, is likely to get much better. (image)
VARNISH Jess - At 21, Joanna has five European Championship titles under her belt: proof that British Cycling's decision to select her for the Olympic Program when she was a year too young was a wise one. (image)

BECKER Charlotte - 28-year-old Charlotte is as effective on the road as she is on the track and won several stages in races last year. (image)
BRENNAUER Lisa - 23-year-old Lisa has been entering and winning road races since 2005, the year she became World Junior ITT Champion. She has dotted her palmares with track success along the way and won the National Omnium title in 2011. (image)
GEBHARDT Elke - Elke, aged 28, has won two National Championships and stood on the podium at numerous other events. (image)
SANDIG Madeleine - Now 28, Madeleine won a European Championship in 2005, then National Championships every year through to 2010. Last year, she won three silver medals and two bronze. (image)
VOGEL Kristina - Kristina, while only 21, is one of Germany's all-time most successful track stars having already won five National, two European and six World Championship titles. Right now, she's at the age when excellent young riders become first-rate adult riders - keep an eye on how she does in this event. (image)
WELTE Miriam - Miriam is still only 25, yet she has won seventeen National Championship medals including seven gold, nine European Championship medals including two gold and three World Championship medals. (image)

Hong Kong
DIAO Xiao Juan - 25-year-old Xiao Juan won a silver and a bronze at the Asia Cup in 2011 and a bronze at the Asian Championships earlier this year. (image)
LEE Wai Sze - Wai, who is 24, won the Sprint at the Asian Championships this year. She won the same event at the Asian Cup in 2011. (image)

RYAN Caroline - 32-year-old Caroline won her National Individual TT Championship on the road as well as the 500m and Pursuit of track last year. She was third in the National Road Race and in the Scratch race at the National Track Championships. (image)

SCANDOLARA Valentina - it's hard to believe that Valentina is only 21 because she seems to have been at the top of her game for so long. The reason for that is she won her first National Championship as a novice right back in 2005, when she was 15 and has steadily been adding impressive results ever since. She is the current Under-23 Points Race European Champion. (image)
TAGLIAFERRO Marta - Marta, aged 22, won three National and one European medal in 2007. She concentrated more on road cycling in 2010 but still found time to win silver at the European Track Championships, then took two more silver medals on track in 2011. (image)

ISHII Hiroko (image)
MAEDA Kayono - 21-year-old Kayono won a silver and a bronze at the 2011 Asia Cup. (image)
TABATA Maki - At 37, Maki has already won three medals this year, including a gold, at the Asian Championships. (image)

STEFANSKAYA Natalya - 23-year-old Natalya has won two medals in National Championships and two at the Asian Cycling Championships. (image)

South Korea
LEE Eunji - 29-year-old Eunji won a silver medal in the Team Sprint at this year's Asian Championships. (image)
LEE Hyejin - 20-tear-old Hyejin was part of the same silver-winning team as Eunji. (image)
LEE Min Hye -  Min Hye, aged 26, is one of South Korea's most successful cyclists with an impressive palmares stretching back to 2003 when she won two bronze medals at the World Track Championships. She has also enjoyed a successful road career, winning the Individual TT at the 2010 Asian Games. (image)

GAIVENYTE Gintare (image)
JANKUTE Gabriele - at 18, Gabriele is the youngest rider in this event. (image)
KRUPECKAITE Simona - Simona, aged 29, became 2009 World 500m TT Champion with a time of 33.296" - still the world record. (image)
PIKAUSKAITE Vaida - 20-year-old Vaida won a silver medal at the 2010 European Championships. (image)
SEREIKAITE Vilija - 25-year-old Vilija has been placing well in track and road races since 2006. She won the bronze in the Pursuit at the World Championships last year. (image)
TREBAITE Ausrine - Ausrine is another rider who seems to have been around far longer than her 23 years makes possible. This is because she won her first National title in 2005, when she was 16. One year later and she was competing at Elite level, coming third in the National Road Race Championship for three consecutive years until she won it in 2010. Last year, she became National ITT Champion, also on road. While not an experienced track rider, she was part of the silver medal-winning Pursuit team at the 2010 European Championships(image)

ARREOLA Sofia - 20-year-old Sofia won a silver medal for the Omnium at last year's PanAmerican Games. (image)

HIJGENAAR Yvonne - 31-year-old Yvonne was a successful speed skater who decided she preferred track cycling, then began to compete when she started beating the men in training. Last year, she won silver for the 500m and Omnium at the National Championships. (image)
KANIS Willy - Willy, aged 27, is a cycling polymath who has won World titles in several disciplines including BMX. She is the current National Champion in 500m and Keirin on the track. (image)
KOEDOODER Vera - 28-year-old Vera won her first World Championship in 2000 and has won numerous events on track and road since then. She has held six National, one European and two World Championship titles. (image)
PIETERS Amy - Amy is only 20, but has already won twelve National Championships. (image)
VAN DIJK Ellen - at 25, Ellen is one of the most respected riders of her generation on both road and track with eight National, four European and two World Championships to her name. Earlier this year, she finished in the top three after two stages of the Tour of Qatar and was fourth in the overall General Classification. (image)
WILD Kirsten - 29-year-old Kirsten took third place overall at the Tour of Qatar, having won Stages 1 and 3. She is also a very talented track rider, winner of four National Championships and podium finisher in many others. (image)

New Zealand
ELLIS Lauren - 22-year-old Lauren won a National title in 2005 and came second at the World Championships that same year after discovering a talent for cycling on a bike she bought to use for commuting. She is the current National ITT Champion at Elite level. (image)
HANSEN Natasha - Natasha, aged 22, is largely the reason that New Zealand has a Women's Olympic Sprint Team. She  is the current National Champion in the discipline. (image)
KIESANOWSKI Joanne - 32-year-old Joanne has won eight medals in the National Championships, three of them gold. (image)
NIELSEN Jaime - Jaime, aged 26, won a gold medal in the National Team Pursuit in 2010 and a silver medal for the National ITT Championship earlier this year. (image)
SCHOFIELD Katie - Katie won a gold and a bronze medal at the National Championships in 2010. (image)
SHANKS Alison - 29-year-old Alison has five National and one World Championship on her palmares, She's also won gold at the Commonwealth Games. (image)

BUJAK Eugenia - 22-year old Eugenia took a silver and a bronze at the European Championships last year. (image)
JASINSKA Edyta (image)
PAWLOWSKA Katarzyna - 22-year-old Katarzyna came second in the Points race in Beijing earlier this year. (image)
WOJTYRA Malgorzata - Malgorzata, aged 22, is the current Under-23 European Omnium Champion. (image)

BARANOVA Viktoria - 22-year-old Viktoria is current European Under-23 500m and Sprint Champion in addition to National Keirin Champion at Elite level. (image)
CHULKOVA Anastasia - Anastasia, aged 26, win silver for the Omnium and Team Pursuit at the National Championships last year. (image)
VOINOVA Anastasya - Last year, 19-year-old Anastasya won the Team Sprint National Championship, four European Championship titles and three at the World Championships. She was second in the 500m in Beijing this year. Keep an eye on her this weekend - she may prove to be a serious new talent. (image)

PAVLENDOVA Alzbeta - Alzbeta, aged 22, has twice been National ITT Champion of the road. Promising track results including second place in the Scratch and Points races at Wien last year have pointed her in a new direction, and the Slovakian Federation evidently feel she has the potential to go further. (image)

CALVO BARBERO Tania - At only 19, Tania is among the youngest athletes in this event. However, with four National and one European title already to her name the older and more experienced riders won't want to underestimate her. (image)
CASAS ROIGE Helena - 23-year-old Helena is the current National Keirin Champion. In the past, she held the Elite 500m and Sprint titles despite being 18 at the time. (image)
OLABERRIA Leire - 34-year-old Leire isn't far off twice the age of the youngest member of her team, but as current Scratch, Pursuit and Points Champion she won't be worried about that. (image)
RODRIGUEZ SANCHEZ Gloria - 19-year-old Gloria won both the Juniors National Road Race and ITT in 2009. In 2011 she was third in the Elite Scratch and Pursuit at the National Championships(image)

SCHNIDER Pascale - Pascale, aged 27, is the current National Champion in Road, ITT and Omnium. (image)
WOLFER Andrea - 24-year-old Andrea won silver behind Schnider in the Omnium at her National Championships last year. (image)

HUANG Ting Ying - 21-year-old Ting Ying also qualifies for the Australian Nationals, where she won bronze in the Elite Keirin and 500m last year. (image)
I Fang Ju - Fang Ju, aged 23, won a silver and a bronze in the 2011 Asia Cup. (image)

BOCHKAREVA Yelizaveta - Yelizaveta, aged 33, was part of the winning Pursuit team in Beijing earlier this year. (image)
GALYUK Svitlana - 24-year-old Svitlana rode with Yelizaveta in Beijing. (image)
KALITOVSKA Lesya - while 24-year-old Lesya has not held a track title since 2007, consistently good results just outside the top 3 prove she still has the potential. (image)
PAPEZHUK Iryna (image)
SHULIKA Lyubov - Lyubov, aged 23, is the current European Sprint Champion. (image)

BAUSCH Dotsie - 38-year-old Dotsie came to prominence in 2001 when she was fourth in the National Road Race Championships, then added numerous victories before winning the National Pursuit title in 2007. Last year, she was part of the winning Pursuit team at the Nationals. (image)
GODBY Maddie - Maddie, aged 19, was part of the victorious Sprint team at the Nationals in 2011. At the same event, she took the bronze medal in the Inidividual Pursuit. (image)
HAMMER Sarah - Sarah, 28, has held a total of eight National titles (two at present) and three World titles (one at present). (image)
REED Jennie - 33-year-old Jennie has won eleven National and one Keirin World Championship. With Dotsie Bausch and Sarah Hammer, she is current National Team Pursuit Champion. (image)
TAMAYO Lauren - 28-year-old Lauren was part of the fourth place team at the 2010 World Team Pursuit Championship. (image)
WALKER Cristin - 23-year-old Cristin won the Under-23 National 500m title in 2008. Last year, she took silver medals in the National Individual and Team Sprints at Elite level. (image)

GONZALEZ Angie - Angie, aged 31, is current National Road Race Champion. In 2011, she won the Omnium at the PanAmerican Games. (image)
LARREAL Daniela - Daniela, aged 38, shared victory in the Madison with Mariesthela Vilera at the PanAmerican Games last year. (image)
VILERA Mariesthela Carolina - Aged 23, Daniela won a gold medal at last year's PanAmerican Games. (image)

Trade Teams

DIEZ Alba - 22-year-old Alba won a silver medal at the Spanish Nationals last year. In 2007, she took bronze in the National Junior Cyclo Cross Championships. (image)

BASSO Laura - 27-year-old Italian Laura is primarily known as a road racer (she won the Giro della Toscana Femminile in 2007). Her presence at this event suggests she may be planning a new direction. (image)

Giant ProCycling
JUNHONG Lin - 21-year-old Lin was third in the Sprint in Beijing earlier this year. (image)
ZHONG Tianshi - Tianshi, now aged 21, won the Junior 500m World Championship in 2009. (image)

Moscow Track Team
STRELTSOVA Olga - Olga, aged 24, is current National 500m, Individual Pursuit and Team Pursuit Champion. (image)

Petroholding Leningrad
BREJNIVA Elena - 22-year-old Elena won three silver medals at her National Championships last year. (image)
GNIDENKO Ekaterina - 19-year-old Ekaterina won the bronze in the Under-23 European Keirin Championships last year. (image)

Reyno de Navarra-Telco-M Conor
EL BUSTO ARTEAGA Ainara (image)

ABSALYMOVA Venera - 25-year-old Venera was born in France but races for Russia. (image)
KONDEL Viktoriya - Viktoiya, aged 24, shares the current National Team Pursuit title with Absalymova and Romanyuta. (image)
MOLICHEVA Irina - 23-year-old Irina was a part of the Pursuit team that took bronze at the 2011 Nationals. (image)
ROMANYUTA Evgeniya - In addition to sharing the National Team Pursuit victory with Absalymova and Kondel last year, 24-year-old Evgeniya is the current National Omnium and European Points Race Champion. (image)

YSD Track Team
MUSTAPA Fatehah - Malaysian Fatehah, aged 22, took second place in the Sprint at this year's Asian Cycling Championships. (image)

(With thanks to all the photograph providers. Les Déesses de la Route cannot be held responsible for the content of external sites)