Get your week started with the latest news in women’s cycling
Australians Georgia Baker and Alex Manly have extended with Jayco-AlUla until the end of 2024. Both riders recently won a World Championships silver medal together in the Madison event on the track and will focus on the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 as they once again look to represent Australia.
Following a serious accident and time away from the sport, former Irish champion Imogen Cotter has signed with Hess Cycling Team for the new season. After a period of competing in triathlons, it was in 2017 when Imogen turned to cycling full-time, starting on the track for the first 18 months before making the switch to road cycling in 2019. In her first year of road racing, Imogen finished runner-up, before later becoming the Irish National Road Champion in 2021.
Cotter’s former Fenix Deceuninck teammate German rider Laura Süßemilch, the 2021 European and World Champion (Team Pursuit) will also be continuing her journey with Hess Cycling through to the end of 2025. Australian former road champion Nicole Frain and Swedish road and gravel rider Clara Lundmark will further strengthen the new British team. Marjolein van T’Geloof will also be part of the team. The Dutch rider has shown strong results in the classics and is a powerful sprinter. 2022 Junior Madison World Champion Grace Lister will join the team as well. The British rider was previously with DAS Handsling.
Powerhouse Silvia Zanardi and second-placed Paris-Roubaix Femmes finisher Katia Ragusa will join Swiss rider Linda Zanetti as new teammates at Human Powered Health.
Katie Archibald has been awarded the Helen Rollason Award for Inspiration. This award recognises an inspirational endeavour in honour of the late sports presenter Helen Rollason. After a very difficult 2022, Katie returned to competition in October the same year. She won a silver medal in the team pursuit at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships. This was followed by three more European titles in the team pursuit, omnium and women’s Madison.
According to the UCI ranking of the top three Elite Road Teams, Team SD Worx leads the ranking with 19571.25 points ahead of Lidl-Trek with 9255.53 and Canyon//SRAM with 9169.22 points.
The Zwift Academy will reopen for 2023, with a professional contract for CANYON//SRAM Generation on the line. The six-ride two-race series will run from 6 November to 17 December. Several previous Zwift Academy participants have gone on to race on the WorldTour, including Ella Harris, Neve Bradbury and Tanja Erath who all raced for Canyon//SRAM. More information can be found here.
Human Powered Health will be partnering with Factor Bikes for 2024 and beyond.
Pauline Ferrand-Prevot of Ineos Grenadiers has indicated that she would like to one day compete in the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, and her return to the road might be as soon as after the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Ferrand-Prévot is the reigning World Champion in both short track and cross-country Olympic mountain biking, but has also enjoyed a successful career on the road, winning the road race world title in 2014 and competing in the discipline up until 2021.
USA Cycling has published the schedule for the 2024 National Championships featuring 16 cities and 18 races.
Leading British junior cycling team, Tofauti Everyone Active, has established a new development pathway collaboration with Team dsm-firmenich across its men’s and women’s WorldTour teams, as well as its development team, ahead of the 2024 season. The new partnership will also support Tofauti Everyone Active’s plans to create a British and Irish development pathway from junior to U23 to WWT, over the coming years.
As the season of 2023 comes to a close, here is some statistical trivia: Demi Vollering won the most races in the women’s peloton with 17, Lotte Kopecky claimed 14 wins including the coveted rainbow jersey in Glasgow, and Charlotte Kool scored 13 wins. Team SD Worx dominated the season with 60 wins, FDJ-Suez were next at 19 and Movistar Team at 18. The longest solo victory belonged to Ricarda Bauerfeind, with 35.2km achieved on stage 5 of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. Demi Vollering, Lotte Kopecky, and Puck Pieterse had the highest quality seasons: Vollering raced 46 days and earned an average of 131.6 points per day. Kopecky was not far behind with 129 points average across her 34 days of racing.
Superprestige Ruddervoorde: Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado ahead of Annemarie Worst and Marion Norbert Riberolle
CX World Cup Maasmechelen: Fem van Empel ahead of Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado and Aniek van Alphen
Pan American Games Road race: Lauren Stephens (USA) ahead of Miryam Maritza Nunez (ECU) and Aqua Marina Espinola (PRY)
X20badkamersTrofee Oudenaarde: Fem van Empel (NED) ahead of Denise Betsema (NED) and Anna Kay (GBR)
Eurocross 2023 – Mixed team relay: France ahead of Great Britain and Belgium
Check out Abi Smith’s review of her 2023 season in her exclusive blog for Voxwomen – from injury, recovery and returning to her best, to riding for a new team next year. Read it here!
This week in cycling history
Marianne Martin, born on 1 November 1957, started racing for fun in college. She became the winner of the inaugural Tour de France Féminin in 1984. An injury forced her to change from running to cycling early in her sporting career but she encountered further health problems which impeded her cycling. It was not until after her father, a doctor, diagnosed her with anaemia and she adapted her training regime that her form improved. However, getting to the Tour posed several logistical and financial problems as she had to fund it by herself, paying for flights, buying her bikes and taking on debt to finance it all. Martin retired from the sport in 1986 after struggling with health issues. She worked two jobs for a couple of years in order to pay off the debt she incurred during her racing days. However, her achievements had a great impact on the growth of U.S. women’s cycling as she inspired several others to get involved in the sport. These days, she is a professional photographer and manages her own business, while in her free time she enjoys riding horses.
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