Saturday 12 May 2012

Women's Cycling News 12.05.12

Tour of Chongming Island World Cup details
Start list



Ruiter Dakkapellen closes women's team
It's always a sad occasion when a cycling team is forced to come to an end. A team is not an easy thing to put together, and keeping it together is even more difficult - managers, helpers and, away from the big salary glitz of the men's ProTour, riders put in a great deal of effort, more frequently inspired by their love of the sport than by the salaries they might receive. Even more sad is when a team facing financial hardship takes the all too common decision to save money by closing down its women's team, as has been the case with Ruiter Dakkapellen now that their main sponsor has gone bankrupt.
It's not the team management's fault, really. After all, in times when even high-profile squads such as the legendary HTC-Highroad can fall by the wayside when new backing can't be found, securing sponsorship for a relatively little-known men's team such as Ruiter is a task that would challenge Hercules. Doing the same for a women's team, when women's cycling is entirely ignored by the majority of the media and has suffered for years from what sometimes seems almost willful neglect at the hands of the UCI, would be enough to make Hercules throw his hands in the air and give up. Perhaps the managers will be fortunate and find a new company to sponsor the men. The chances of doing the same for the women is unlikely, so they're forced to release the riders so that they can seek contracts elsewhere.

Can the UCI help to prevent this happening? Almost certainly. They could provide more financial assistance to races - several have found themselves in difficulty recently, and races are what create exposure. They could also encourage more race organisers to run women's races alongside men's races, as has already been done at many of the Flanders Classics and at Britain's Halfords Tour Series - and in both cases has generated increased interest. They could create a dedicated women's cycling commission to look into what needs to be done if women's cycling is to be saved and listen more to the riders and managers, many of whom have some extremely interesting ideas. Will they? Past experiences suggest not.

Good luck Joan Boskamp, Ilona Hoeksma, Anne Heijkoop, Britt Jochems, Nathalie van Katwijk, Tessa van Nieuwpoort, Julia Soek, Lisanne Soemanta, Noortje Tabak, Annelies Visser, Hannah Welter and Melanie Woering. See you all on a parcours soon.

Scott-Contessa struck by thieves
Beth Crumpton completed the Czech
MTB World Cup round in a borrowed
bike - and still came ninth!
The Scott Contessa MTB team was targeted by thieves who stole all the junior riders' bikes last night, just a day and a half before the start of the Nove Mesto na Morave round of the World Cup in the Czech Republic...
Beth Crumpton ‏ @BethCrumptoncant believe all junior bikes were stolen last night at czech, thankyou so much to @tracy_moseley and Annie for letting me and Al borrow!
Other News
 "Cyclist Willow Rockwell gives up her Olympic dream" (ESPNW)

"Moyse mulling her sporting future" (The Guardian, Canada)

"BMX: Olympian Shanaze inspires young Jamie’s world bid" (This Is Wiltshire)

"Global women's cycling day celebration 13th of May" (Conway Daily Sun, NH, USA)

BBC Radio 4 to broadcast Burton play
Beryl Burton, Britain's most successful athlete
Those commemorating the anniversary of the birth of the legend that was Beryl Burton will be pleased to know that later this year a short play telling the story of her life and remarkable career is to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Titled La Yorkshire Dame a Bicyclette, the play will star Maxine Peake - who also wrote the script, her first - as the British cyclist who won numerous titles and set world records during the 1950s and 60s.

"Despite beating men and women in championships across the globe, Beryl received no support, training or sponsorship and in fact, very little acclaim in the UK and Maxine wanted to dramatise her story," says producer Justine Potter. No date has yet been set for the broadcast, but it is likely to go out in the station's 45-minute Afternoon Drama (formerly and popularly Afternoon Play) slot.

Radio 4 is available worldwide on the Internet.

Johnson HealthTech Women's GP

In 2011, the four-round Johnson HealthTech Women's GP Series was run alongside the Halfords Tour, using the same infrastructure and parcours. It too proved enormously successful and has been extended to five rounds this year as a result. Helped enormously by TV coverage (again provided as part of ITV4's Halfords Tour programmes for 2012), the series has done an excellent job of raising the profile of women's racing and the athletes who took part, so much so that Johnson HealthTech managing director Jon Johnston is proudly able to claim that the series encouraged the formation of several new teams. So there we go - proof that if men's and women's races work together, everyone wins. Get to it, Tour of Britain.

A full list of teams competing in the GP has yet to be published, thus far For Viored, Node4-Giordana and Matrix Fitness-Prendas are confirmed.

Johnson HealthTech GP Series
1. Tuesday, May 22 - Oxford
2. Tuesday, May 29 - Peterborough
3. Thursday, June 7 - Colchester
4. Tuesday, June 12 - Woking
5. Thursday, June 14 - Stoke-on-Trent

Tour of California to hold women's time trial
After a successful experiment in 2011, the organisers of the Amgen Tour of California have confirmed that they will again hold a women's time trial on the 17th of May - the same day and same 29.6km Bakersfield parcours as the men's Stage 5 race.

The event is by invite only and boasts a $10,000 prize fund, considerably greater than is on offer in most European women's races. After her stunning performance at the Tour of the Gila, last year's winner Krisitin Armstrong will be favourite for victory.

Provisional Start List
  1.   Alison Tetrick  Exergy Twenty12
  2.   Tayler Wiles  Exergy Twenty12
  3.   Kristin Armstrong  Exergy Twenty12
  4.   Emilia Fahlin  Specialized-Lululemon
  5.   Loren Rowney  Specialized-Lululemon
  6.   Bridie O'Donnell  Vanderkitten-Focus
  7.   Janel Holcomb  Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies
  8.   Jade Wilcoxson  Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies
  9.   Alison Powers  Now and Novatis for MS
  10.   Robin Farina  Now and Novatis for MS

Tchalykh wins Azerbaijan TT
Elena Tchalykh (Dolmans-Boels) won the Azerbeidzjan de Heydar Aliyev Anniversary Time Trial, the first UCI women's event in Azerbaijan and one that has been controversial, not least of all because police and government authorities reportedly regular use rape (and threats of rape) against defendants and defendants' families as a means of coercing confessions from prisoners.

In fact, since the country's human rights record is extremely questionable overall (political prisoners are routinely imprisoned without proof of wrongdoing, prisoners are tortured and beaten, the media is strictly controlled by the authoritarian government, religious minorities suffer persecution despite token equality laws and thousands of citizens have been illegally evicted to make way for urban renewal in capital city Baku - more of this in the news in the coming weeks, since Baku is hosting the Eurovision Song Contest this month), organisations from any democratic nation shouldn't really be promoting anything in Azerbaijan except for popular uprising. Anyway, that's enough of that. Back to cycling...

Top Ten
  1.   Elena Tchalykh  Dolmans-Boels  34'37"
  2.   Olena Pavlukhina  +34"  15
  3.   Aleksandra Sosenko  Vaiana-Tepso  +1'00"
  4.   Maria Mishina  +1'06"
  5.   Olena Sharpa  +1'16"
  6.   Nicole Hanselmann  +1'21"
  7.   Oksana Lesnyk  +1'26"
  8.   Katarína Hranaiova  +1'40"
  9.   Emma Trott  Dolmans-Boels  +1'48"
  10.   Katarzyna Sosna  Vaiana-Tepso  +2'10"
(Full result)

Knokke-Bredene video

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