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Lotte Kopecky and Lorena Wiebes showed remarkable resilience and determination to bounce back from a hard crash and secure first and second place respectively at Danilith Nokere Koerse last Wednesday.

The 2024 Women’s National Road Series kicked off yesterday, with the 8th ANEXO CAMS Women’s CiCLE Classic, marking the start of one of the most exciting events in the UK’s domestic road racing scene. This year’s series includes six rounds for women and five for the open category, as well as a ‘yet-to-be-confirmed’ stage race at the end of September.

It sounds like the lineup for Ford RideLondon is going to be quite exciting! With riders like World Champion Lotte Kopecky, British star Lizzy Deignan, previous winners Charlotte Kool and Lorena Wiebes at the start, the competition promises to be fierce.

In a bid to secure a spot on the U.S. Olympic team, Lauren Stephens, the recent winner at Clasica de Almeria, is shifting her focus to the time trial discipline. Stephens, representing the U.S. continental team Cynisca Cycling, is the sole rider in her 30s on the squad and has embraced the role of both leader and mentor. Having already completed a Sports Director course two years ago, Stephens harbors aspirations of becoming a Sports Director in the future.

Sarah Gigante only raced once in Europe in 2023 with health problems derailing several campaigns before her switch from Movistar Team to AG Insurance-Soudal. Despite these setbacks, her victory at the Tour Down Under earlier this year showcased her talent and determination. Her European season debut at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda indicates her readiness to compete at a higher level, and her upcoming participation in the Vuelta marks a significant milestone in her career, being her first Grand Tour appearance.

The detailed schedule for the 2024 Road and Para-cycling World Championships in Zurich, has been revealed by the UCI, with an exciting line-up of events spanning from 21 to 29 September. For the elite women, the action kicks off with the Individual Time Trial on September 22. More information can be found right here.

Patrick Lefevere, the General Manager of the UCI WorldTeam Soudal Quick-Step, now faces consequences for making disparaging comments towards women. The UCI has imposed a fine of CHF 20,000 on him. However, this fine has been suspended under certain conditions. Lefevere must issue a public statement acknowledging the inappropriateness of his comments, issue a formal apology, and agree not to violate the UCI Code of Ethics in a similar manner for the next three years.

A midweek one-day Classic in Belgium on 21 March signals that we are in the thick of spring in Northern Europe, and following on from a series of other one-day races in the Women’s WorldTour, the seventh edition of the Classic Brugge-De Panne sees the fastest women on two wheels go head-to-head for glory. Read our preview here.

Gear up for the excitement of Gent-Wevelgem, which promises thrilling moments on the cobbles and hellingen. Will we see a sprint showdown or perhaps a daring breakaway victory? ⁠Find out all about the route, top contenders, and more in our preview right here.

 

Results

Trofeo Alfredo Binda: Elisa Balsamo (Lidl-Trek) ahead of Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx-Protime) and Puck Pieterse (Fenix-Deceuninck)

Danilith Nokere Koerse: Lotte Kopecky ahead of Lorena Wiebes (both Team SD Worx-Protime) and Lily Williams (Human Powered Health)

Tour de Normandie
Stage 1: Ellen van Dijk (Lidl-Trek) ahead of Riejanne Markus and Nooijen Lieke (both Team Visma | Lease a Bike)
Stage 2: Sandra Alonso (CERATIZIT-WNT Pro Cycling Team) ahead of Thalita de Jong (Lotto Dstny Ladies) and Maria Giulia Confalonieri (UNO-X Mobility)
Stage 3: Lauren Stephens (Cynisca Cycling) ahead of Victoire Berteau (Cofidis Women Team) and Gladys Verhulst-Wild (FDJ-SUEZ)
Stage 4: Josie Nelson (Team dsm-firmenich PostNL) ahead of Ava Holmgren (Lidl-Trek) and Mie Ottestad (Uno-X Mobility)
GC: Mie Ottestad ahead of Josie Nelson and Ellen van Dijk

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 Abi Smith’s latest blog, she delves into the experience of settling into her new squad. Embracing change in a professional sports environment like cycling can be both challenging and rewarding. Abi’s insights provide valuable perspectives on adapting to new surroundings, forging connections with teammates, and navigating the early season races. Check out her blog post here.

 

This week in cycling history

Susanne Ljungskog

The Swedish rider celebrated her 48th birthday on 16 March. She is a multiple-time national champion, four-time Olympian, and won the Road World Championship title in 2002 in Belgium and in 2003 in Canada. Addtionally, she was victorious at two world cups and several stage races. Starting her cycling journey at the age of 12, she quickly became one of Sweden’s most accomplished riders. Despite facing the challenge of a hemochromatosis diagnosis, she continued to excel until her retirement from active competition in 2010. Since then, she has transitioned into a role as a consultant with Pema, a company specialising in staffing solutions. In her leisure time, Ljungskog dedicates herself to inspiring others to take up cycling. She has established a popular cycling network and coaches groups of girls, imparting not only racing skills, but also fostering an appreciation for exploring the landscape on two wheels.

Alfonsina Strada

Alfonsina Strada was born on 16 March 1891 near Modena in Northern Italy. At an early age, she developed a passion for cycling and competing at races. Known locally as the “Devil in a Dress,” she fearlessly navigated the dirt roads of her surroundings. Despite her parents’ attempts to dissuade her from bike racing, her determination remained unshakable, and she pursued her dream relentlessly. She entered the Giro d’Italia under the guise of a male rider, using the false first name of Alfonso. Though organisers eventually uncovered her true identity, they permitted her to continue riding. In 1924, she accomplished a remarkable feat by completing the Italian Grand Tour, covering the arduous 3,610km journey. Her tenacity and courage inspired many, leaving an indelible mark on the cycling world.

 

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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