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Movistar Team is looking to make a major signing, according to team manager Sebastián Unzué. He has ruled out Pauline Ferrand-Prévot as the team doesn’t do MTB, as well as the idea of signing Demi Vollering, who will be out of contract at the end of the year. However, at this stage he is keeping his cards closed to his chest, commenting: “there are lots of interesting riders on the market, but we’ll see. I can’t discuss the names.”

Liane Lippert of Movistar has recovered well after suffering a hip fracture in December. The German champion has been training but has no immediate race plans. At this stage she is aiming to be ready for the big summer events.

Anna Kiesenhofer had a heavy crash at the Tour El Salvador and was taken to hospital by ambulance. Fortunately, there were no serious medical consequences. We wish her well in her recovery.

Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado of Fenix-Deceuninck will take three weeks off due to injury. We wish her a speedy recovery.

Ellen van Dijk returned to racing last week, six months after giving birth to her first child. The 37-year-old rider, who is a three-time world time trial champion, commenced her return to competition at the three-stage Vuelta Extremadura Féminas following an 18-month hiatus from racing. Her next races will be the Tour de Normandie and Gent-Wevelgem.

Ruth Edwards of Human Powered Health sprinted to third at the Trofeo Oro in Euro in Italy, claiming her first podium in her return to professional cycling, which also comes 902 days after her last one. She commented: “it feels really good, because I’ve had a couple of crashes in the last few weeks, so it was very encouraging to have a good race… the team rode so well and that was really motivating to have them up there encouraging me and putting me in the position to be strong on the climb.”

Megan Jastrab, who had some setbacks last year, is slowly on the mend. Suffering from crashes and anaemia, she was also almost hit by a car that came head on towards her during a training ride in December. Although she avoided the car, she was run off the road, crashing hard and fracturing her pelvis. Her focus is now on returning to racing. The dsm-firmenich PostNL rider hopes to return to competition in April, either on the road or in the velodrome with the ultimate aim of securing a place on the U.S. track team for the Olympics.

British multiple Olympic medallist and current Olympic Madison champion Laura Kenny may not be able to compete at this year’s Paris Olympics. Due to the birth of her second child, she has not competed since late 2022 and without the ranking points, she will have a lower chance of qualifying for the Games and defending her title.

Eight years after its first edition, the Tour de Pologne Women will return in 2024, with three stages. The race will take place from 28 to 30 June on a route that is still being finalised.

La Vuelta Femenina has revealed its course for the 2024 edition. There will be three flat stages, two hilly and two mountainous stages as well as an ITT, covering altogether 870km. In addition to the WWT teams, eight continental squads will also be participating in the event, held between 28 April and 5 May.

Human Powered Health has made some changes to their team over the off-season. The squad has signed nine new riders after letting go of the same number, they hired Giorgia Bronzini as a sports director and also have a new bike sponsor, as well as a mental coach on board. General manager Ro De Jonckere believes that having women at all levels of the squad is important, so for 2024 they will also have female soigneurs, a female nutritionist, and a female sports director and sports psychologist.

The Amy Gillett Foundation was established in 2006 after the passing of Australian rider Amy Gillett, an Olympic rower who switched to track and road cycling. The young Australian was training with the national team in Germany when she was hit and killed by a car. In addition to campaigning on safety issues for riders, the foundation also oversaw a scholarship program for emerging female cyclists. Recipients have included Sarah Gigante and Grace Brown. Despite all its success, but due to lack of funding, the foundation has now unfortunately been forced to wrap up its program.

Eleven-time former US track champion Christina Birch has graduated to NASA. After two years of training in spacewalking, robotics, space station systems and more, Birch is now officially a part of the NASA team. As a fully-fledged NASA astronaut, the 37-year-old is poised to head off to the International Space Station and launch on missions to the Moon.

The constant quest for improved performance and ever-increasing attention to detail is leading professional teams and equipment manufacturers to develop equipment with ever more radical designs, as exemplified by Visma-Lease a Bike’s TT helmet used at the men’s race Paris-Nice. We haven’t seen those helmets in the women’s peloton yet, but the UCI is now analysing the use of those helmets for all riders. More here.

 

Results

Trofeo Oro in Euro: Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) ahead of Karlijn Swinkels (UAE Team ADQ) and Ruth Edwards (Human Powered Health)

GP Oetingen: Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx-Protime) ahead of Thalita de Jong (Lotto DStny Ladies) and Josie Nelson (Team dsm-Firmenich PostNL)

Trofeo Ponente in Rosa
Stage 1:
Kim Cadzow ahead of Kristen Faulkner (both EF Education-Cannondale) and Linda Zanetti (Human Powered Health)
Stage 2: Kristen Faulkner ahead of Kim Cadzow and Leonie Laubig (Primeau Vélo – Groupe Abadie)
Stage 3: Kristen Faulkner ahead of Kim Cadzow and Ana Vitória Magalhães (Bepink Bongioanni
GC: Kim Cadzow ahead of Kristen Faulkner and Clara Edmond (EF Education-Cannondale)

Vuelta Extremadura Femeninas
Stage 1:
Oliva Baril (Movistar Team) ahead of Brodie Chapman (Lidl-Trek) and Mareille Meijering (Movistar Team)
Stage 2: Mareille Meijering ahead of Gaia Realini (Lidl-Trek) and Océane Mahé (Akea-B&B Hotels Women)

Drenthe Acht van Westerveld: Sofie van Rooijen (Volker Wessels Women’s Pro Cycling Team) ahead of Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADQ) and Rachele Barbieri (Team dsm-firmenich PostNL)

Voxwomen Ambassadors

We’re reaching out to our amazing fan base because we believe in the power of your passion for women’s cycling. Voxwomen is in search of dedicated ambassadors to help promote women’s cycling and support our mission. Join our team and continue to push women’s cycling into the spotlight! Applications close on 24 March. More information and how to apply here.

 

Zwift Blog

In her very first exclusive blog “Poor cyclists in Monte Pego”, Movistar Team’s Olivia Baril recounts tales of her early days in cycling. Read her enthralling recount here!

 

This week in cycling history

Helen Wyman

Born on 4 March 1981, British rider Helen Wyman grew up in a cycling family and began racing at the age of 14. Her career has spanned cyclocross, road and gravel, but with a main focus on cyclocross. After completing her studies in physiotherapy and working at the NHS, she took up the sport full-time. Ten National Championship and two European Championship wins were topped off by a World Championship Bronze medal in 2014. In addition to active competition, she was also engaged in making progress for the sport towards equality for female riders, which included four years on the UCI cyclocross commission. In 2018, she established the ‘Helen100’ to provide opportunities to young women in cyclocross with the aim of growing all categories of riders under the age of 23 through community events, support and education.

 

Elsy Jacobs

Born on 4 March 1933, the Luxembourgish road cyclist became the first ever women’s World Road Race Champion, taking out the inaugural race on 30 August 1958 in Reims. She finished almost three minutes ahead of the next two competitors. In the same year, she broke the women’s hour record in the Vigorelli velodrome in Milan, a record which stood for 14 years. Jacobs also held the national championship title 15 times. After 17 years in the sport, she retired in 1974, after having become one of the most dominant professional cyclists of her era and overcoming significant adversity towards women in sports. In 2008, the Grand Prix Elsy (now known as Ceratizit Festival Elsy Jacobs) that leads around her hometown of Garnich was established on the UCI race calendar.

 

WorldTour highlight videos

Catch up on all the action from the latest World Tour races. Watch the recap of Strade Bianche right here.

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