Saturday 7 December 2013

Women's Cycling News 08-15.12.2013

ASO discuss women's TdF with Le Tour Entier - Women's Tour sponsorship difficulties - Holland Hills moves finish - Good weekend for Compton - Boot Out Breast Cancer's new sponsor - New French superteam - Interesting Links - More to come...

Le Tour Entier and ASO discuss women's TdF
Le Tour Entier, which is campaigning for a women's Tour de France, has confirmed that it is in discussions with Tour organisers the Amaury Sport Organisation. Emma Pooley, one of the cyclists who set up the campaign, says that the ASO is "not ruling it out, a women's race of some kind."

Brian Cookson, who made his support a key part of his successful campaign to be elected UCI president, played a pivotal role in setting up the discussions.

Read more at The Guardian.

Women's Tour sponsorship difficulties
Organisers of the Women's Tour have told The Independent that despite huge public enthusiasm for the race, they're having difficulty in finding sponsors - depressing news when the race has already served to encourage a feeling of optimism among fans and riders.

SweetSpot, who are organising the race, have declined to publish a list of corporate sponsors who won't get involved but say they're usually told that the companies they approach "don't believe anyone is interested in women's sport."  Why, then, the difficulty in securing backing?

Most companies, SweetSpot say, claim to love the concept of the race with only a small number making what director Guy Elliott calls "'stereotypical' adverse comments." The reason, then, is surely risk adversity - companies are simply not willing to get involved in something new, despite the likelihood of it being a success.

That they are wrong is evident - the women's road race at the Olympics drew a larger audience than anyone had predicted, and the women's events at televised track meets continue to do well despite often being broadcast on the Red Button digital channel. Companies that do get involved will reap the benefits - let's just hope that a sufficient number of them have the foresight to do so, so that the Women's Tour can become everything it has the potential to be.

Holland Hills moves finish
Organisers of the ever-evolving Boels Holland Hills Classic have announced that the finish line of the 2014 edition will be moved from Sittard (which hosted the start and finish in 2013) to Geulhemmerberg in Valkenburg. The hill, which climbs 58m in 1km at an average gradient of 5.8%, reaches 9% at its steepest point. Rgularly featured in the Amstel Gold Race, it is also famous for the cottages built into caves in the rockface running alongside the road.

Good weekend for Compton
Katie Compton enjoyed a fine weekend with Belgian cyclo cross victories on Saturday and Sunday. The first of the two was at the Soudal Scheldecross and the second at the Vlaamse Druivencross; she beat Sanne Cant and Nikki Harris into second and third place at both races.

Boot Out Breast Cancer takes on new sponsor
Sports clothing manufacturer Pearl Izumi have extended their support of women's cycling by signing a sponsorship deal with Sarah Storey's Boot Out Breast Cancer team, which will now be known as Pearl Izumi Boot Out Breast Cancer.

New French superteam
The Fédération Francaise de Cyclisme is seeking new backers for a cross-disciplinary superteam that has distinct similarities to Britain's Team Sky. The new team would include road race, cyclo cross, mountain biking and BMX riders to be based at the new St-Quentin en Yvelines national cycling centre near Paris and would include women's squads in addition to men's.

Interesting Links
Cycling World Cup: GB women smash own pursuit record – twice (Independent)
Anna Meares breaks own 500m world record at world cup event in Mexico (Guardian)
Moolman Pasio ends successful year (SuperSport)
Becky James wins Young Sportsperson of the Year award (Cycling Weekly)

More to come...

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