Get your week started with the latest news in women’s cycling
The Tour Series, Britain’s biggest cycle race series, will take a one-year hiatus in 2023. This decision was made in light of the most challenging economic climate the series has faced. Since its launch in 2009, it has enjoyed several successes, including providing teams and their sponsors with coverage, offering a platform for the sport’s rising stars and paying equal prize money. The organisers are working on plans for the return of the series in 2024, possibly in a new format.
The organisers of the inaugural Tour de Normandie Femmes have revealed the course and the teams which will be participating from 17 to 19 March. 22 teams, including four WorldTour teams and 16 Continental squads, will be at the start.
The Tour of Scandinavia has released some details of its stages for this year. The six-day event will be run in cooperation between Denmark, Sweden and Norway, with the start on 22 August in Norway and finish on 27 August in Denmark.
The Vuelta Feminina will start this year in Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca. The host city has stated that: “If we have one of the three most important races in men’s cycling, it is essential to have one of the three greats in women’s cycling.” The race will be held from 1 to 7 May with a seven-stage route. The complete course will be revealed next Tuesday, 28 February. More information can be found here.
Four days after capping off a great week of racing at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana by winning the general classification, the AG Insurance–Soudal Quick-Step team was officially presented to the media at the AG Campus in Brussels. The squad is comprised of sixteen riders from ten different countries and has already gained four victories in the past two weeks.
The UCI has released its cyclocross calendar for the next season. Troyes, France is the only new host city in the 14 rounds of the 2023-2024 UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup. The season will begin on 15 October in Waterloo, Wisconsin and conclude on 28 January 2024 in Hoogerheide, the Netherlands. Fayetteville, Beekse Bergen in the Netherlands, Bensançon in France and Tábor in the Czech Republic will not be returning as hosts. Five rounds will include dedicated races for the UCI World Cup youth categories, including Women Juniors.
The Closing the Gap project by Flanders Classics and KPMG have announced that the prize pool for men and women will be the same for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Gent-Wevelgem, Dwars door Vlaanderen, the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Scheldeprijs and Brabantse Pijl. The Closing the Gap project was launched in 2020 and aims to eliminate the inequality between men and women in cycling step by step. Flanders Classics Women is also heavily invested in young people. In this context, U17 and U19 female riders have a chance to compete in the Tour of Flanders Youth Day, on 21 May.
Ronde van Vlaanderen has announced the teams that will participate in this year’s edition. All WT teams, nine continental teams and seven wild cards will be at the start.
The Lotto Thüringen Ladies Tour, the only UCI women’s stage race in Germany, which had a difficult last year, has so far been able to attract five WorldTour teams and two German UCI continental teams, despite clashing with the WorldTour Ride London Classique. The six-stage event will be held between 23 and 28 May.
Former pro-rider Julia Soek, who rode for Team DSM for eight years, has taken on the role of team leader at the Dutch continental team Tour de Tietema – Unibet.
The UCI has granted special permission for U23 women riders from Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Luxembourg to compete in the four nations championships. The event will be held on 2 July in Switzerland.
2023 Track Nations Cup Jakarta:
Team pursuit: New Zealand ahead of France and Great Britain
Team sprint: Germany ahead of China and Great Britain
Elimination: Ally Wollaston (NZL) ahead of Neah Evans (GBR) and Marit Raaijmakers (NDL)
Sprint: Mathilde Gros (FRA) ahead of Lea Sophie Freidrich (GER) and Emma Finucane (GBR)
Madison: Denmark ahead of France and Italy
Omloop het Niewsblad: Lotte Kopecky (SD Worx) ahead of Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx) and Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team ADQ)
Omloop van het Hageland: Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx) ahead of Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team ADQ) and Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Zaaf Cycling)
Vox Performance Project
Have a read of Jemma McConville-Roe’s first blog. After a tough two years, she talks about how the project is helping her get back to her best and achieve her sporting goals. Read all about it here.
Our new blogger Amanda Spratt has written her first blog about racing during the Australian summer of cycling with her new team Trek-Segafredo. Have a read here!
This week in cycling history
Born on 21 February 1964, Clignet grew up in the USA with dual French and US citizenship. The now 59 year-old was diagnosed with epilepsy at the age of 22, lost her driving licence and took to the bike to commute. She was told that having epilepsy could make her a risk, and as such she was shunned by the cycling federation. However, this motivated her even more to want to compete and she subsequently raced successfully for France. She was twice national French road champion and helped France win at the 1991 World Championships in the team time trial. But it was on the track where she had her greatest success. In addition to her Olympic medals, Clignet won five gold medals and seven other medals on the track at the Worlds. She has been active in the French Association of Female Cyclists, an organisation of retired and active riders that aims to promote the sport and improve conditions and recognition for women riders and worked in support of epilepsy charities and research organisation. Recently she was appointed as a Sports Director of the U.S. continental team Cynisca Cycling. In her autobiography she writes about her early years on the bike at the University of Maryland, her work as a cycling courier, being caught between two cultures, and life in the niche world of competitive road and track cycling.
Petra de Bruin
Born on 22 February 1962, the Dutch sprinter is a four-time national champion in the road and track disciplines. She also won the World Championships in 1979 in her home country.
The British rider passed away on 22 February 2011 at the age of 93. During her life, she did much to achieve acceptance for women in cycling. Ethel’s first race was in 1933, and her final appearance was in 2000. During her career she had to overcome the strong prejudice that existed in the 1930’s against women riding competitively. The start of her time trial career, which was her strongest discipline, was in the men’s events. However, the Road Racing Council quickly banned this practice, declaring that women were only to ride against women. Brambleby was not only active in the competitive side of cycling, holding several records, but also organised events including national championships, held committee positions and wrote for various cycling publications. She was present at the inaugural Women’s Road Record Association in 1934, an organisation that was founded in response to the Road Records Association refusing to recognise women’s records. Although fame and money may have eluded her, she was a lifelong campaigner for women’s participation in the sport of cycling.
How to train your gut (to consume more carb).
The carb per hour recommendations for athletes are often significantly higher than many are used to taking in. Use our Fuel & Hydration Planner to get advice on how much you might need for your next big ride and, if it’s more than you’re used to, read our guide on training your gut. Learn more here!
Zwift Rides of the week
The Voxwomen Club
Join, ride, share, and be inspired! A club for women cycling fans looking to ride together and share in the development of women’s cycling. Join others and celebrate women’s cycling through a new women’s cycling fan club on Zwift. Be part of the journey and complete rides that cater to our busy lives, and find motivation and enjoyment through riding!
The rides will vary between being open to everyone and women-only rides. The rides will be held every other Tuesday @ 7 am/11 am/1 pm PST (3 pm/7 pm/9 pm GMT), where the first and third (7 am and 1 pm PST) are women only, and then the middle time (11 am PST) slot is open to all fans. The rides will range from 30-45min and feature special guests leading the rides! The pace will be set to open, but “rubberbanding” will be turned on, which keeps everyone together regardless of how hard they are pedaling – so it is a no-drop ride as long as you keep pedaling.
Find out more info about the Club and the at Home Cycling & Running Virtual Training App.
Take advantage of the club chat and be a part of the women’s cycling community also – there will be some giveaways from time to time, so be on the lookout!