Get your week started with the latest news in women’s cycling
Team Arkéa Samsic (Arkéa – B&B Hotels in 2024) has revealed its new kit for 2024, a red and black design inspired by Excalibur, the legendary sword of King Arthur.
Team Cofidis has revealed its 2024 kit with the colours red and white featuring in the jersey.
Dutch rider Anouska Koster has extended with Uno-X Pro Cycling Team until the end of 2026. She previously won the Lotto Belgium Tour, was national road champion, and this year took third place on a stage at the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.
Kim Le Court, a 27-year-old rider from Mauritius who impressed at the African Games, will sport the colours of AG Insurance – Soudal Quick-Step next season. Specialising in gravel and MTB, she will primarily take on the role of a domestique.
Although she hasn’t raced since the Chrono des Nations in 2022 and will be 37 next February, Ellen van Dijk is still motivated to race following the birth of her child in October, eyeing an Olympic medal next year and also considering an attempt to regain the Hour Record.
UAE Team ADQ’s Silvia Persico has her sights firmly set on competing at the Olympic Games. She decided to not do any CX races and put less emphasis on competing for the GC at the Grand Tours, but rather concentrate on preparing for Paris 2024.
Mid-week racing will return to the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, with a women’s criterium being added to the calendar. The event will be held Wednesday 24 January ahead of the Deakin University Elite women’s race on Saturday.
The UCI has announced the dates and hosts of the first two rounds of the 2024 UCI BMX Freestyle World Cup. The first round of the series will take place in February in Enoshima, Japan, a town around fifty kilometres south-west of Tokyo. The second round will take place two and a half months later, in May, in Montpellier, in the south of France.
Some of the world’s top cyclocross riders have expressed concern with the suggestions by UCI President David Lappartient that not participating in World Cup races could lead to being blocked from riding the World Championships. Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado, the current World Cup leader, Lucinda Brand and U23 champion Zoe Bäckstedt noted that the short season with quite a number of races is difficult to juggle for the riders, and they are hoping a compromise can be worked out with the UCI.
The Tour de Normandie Femmes revealed the course for its second edition in 2024. The race starts with a 10.3km time trial followed by three more stages.
The race organiser of the Flamanville UCI World Cup cyclocross race in Normandy, France, has reacted angrily to claims that the region’s dairy products could have caused two riders to return positive doping tests. The alleged issue was brought up by the sports management agency for Belgian road and track rider Shari Bossuyt and another male rider, who both tested positive for Letrozole during the race. The substance is claimed to be given to cows by some farmers in the area.
Internationale Cyclocross Rucphen: Laura Verdonschot (BEL) ahead of Julia Kopecky (CZE) and Lauren Molengraaf (NED)
Elisa Longo Borghini reflects on her 2023 campaign and gives us some insights into what a rider’s off-season looks like in her latest exclusive blog. Check it out here!
This week in cycling history
Born on 6 December 1987, Atherton is a British professional downhill MTB racer. She is a multiple time UCI World Champion and has become a dominant force in downhill racing. Atherton began BMX at the age of 8 and MTB at the age of 11, alongside her brothers. In June 2016, she became the first female rider to win ten rounds of the World Cup in a row. In September of the same year, she also achieved the unprecedented feat of winning every round in a World Cup season. After having raced only once since 2019 when she suffered an achilles injury and after the birth of her daughter, she won the UCI Downhill World Cup again. She also keeps her rainbow jerseys in a birdcage, so that she can “take them out, touch them and remember the race.”
Armaindo became the dominant bike racer of her time and one of Canada’s very first pro female athletes. Born into a circus family in 1861, she started out under the big top, switched to the very popular but gruelling sport of marathon walking and then became a successful high wheel racer. This week in 1879, the first women’s race was held on a wooden track in San Francisco. Armaindo broke every record there was, and for her time earned considerable money through racing. But when in the late 1890’s the new safety bikes became popular, and at almost 40 years old and unwilling to change to the new bikes, her star faded, and the Canadian sport pioneer died shortly after due to injuries sustained in a hotel fire.
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