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British road and track rider Anna Shackley of Team SD Worx – Protime has been forced to step down from top-level sport based on the results of medical tests. She was diagnosed with cardiac arrhythmia in January, with the latest results concluding that her heart problem is not compatible with a top-level sports career. Team manager Danny Stam: “[Anna] was one of the bigger talents in the women’s peloton. We saw in recent years that she was making good progress and we believed she could grow to the world top. It is especially unfortunate for her that she is now forced to stop.” We wish Anna all the best in this challenging time.

Former U.S. champion Ruth Edwards has signed a contract extension with Human Powered Health through 2026. The now 30-year-old is a former winner of the Tour Down Under, Brabantse Pijl and a stage of the Giro Donne, but stepped away from professional road racing at the end of 2021. After a hiatus, she joined the U.S. squad in 2024 and in that time has already taken out a podium finish at Trofeo Oro in Euro and fourth in the Deakin University Road Race, as well as a top ten placing on stage 2 of the Tour Down Under. Edwards now intends to race all three Grand Tours.

At last Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race, during race supervision, a police motorbike rider suffered severe injuries in a collision with a car, necessitating immediate hospitalisation. As a result, the race was temporarily halted after just 45km. However, it resumed after an hour on a shortened course.

Richard Plugge, Team Visa-Lease a Bike manager is advocating for a fresh approach to race safety. Following the severe injuries sustained by two of his male riders in a recent crash, he voiced frustration over the slow progress in enhancing safety measures for both male and female cyclists.

In another matter related to safety, the SafeR – Safe Road cycling initiative, dedicated to enhancing safety standards in both men’s and women’s races, faces upheaval. Following a vote from professional cycling stakeholders, Chief Executive Officer Jaap Van Hulten, who served for less than a year, has been removed from his position. SafeR receives funding from various entities within the sport, including the UCI, AIOCC, AIGCP, and the men’s and women’s CPA riders’ association.

The Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift has organised a social program whereby 154 women will learn to ride a bike before riding the ITT stage in August during the race. This initiative is a great way to promote inclusivity and diversity in the sport in addition to getting more women to enjoy riding bikes.

Consumer credit company Cofidis, who has been sponsoring the French men’s team since 1997, has committed to title sponsorship of the squad through 2028. The company hopes that its women’s outfit, which has continued to grow and develop since its inception in 2022, will be able to join the UCI WorldTour at the next cycle of promotion and relegation at the end of 2025.

If you didn’t catch the conclusion of the Women’s Amstel Gold race, Marianne Vos demonstrated her exceptional bike racing prowess. With a well-timed bike throw, she edged out Lorena Wiebes, who prematurely celebrated at the finish line. This victory marked Vos’s 251st win, highlighting her truly remarkable career. All the details of the race can be found in our report.

In challenging weather conditions at La Flèche Wallonne Féminin, Kasia Niewiadoma triumphed to end a long dry spell, claiming her first road race victory since 2019. Approaching the finish line, the Polish cyclist positioned herself alongside Demi Vollering, biding her time until Elisa Longo Borghini surged forwards on the opposite side. Seizing the moment, Niewiadoma accelerated, outpacing her rivals and securing the win. Reflecting on her triumph at the finish, she remarked: “It means a lot, I really hope that with that victory I inspired a lot of people who are pursuing their dreams for so long because I have experienced a lot of failures, a lot of second and third places and I never stopped believing, stopped dreaming that as a team we can win another race for us.” You can find out how the day’s racing unfolded in our report.

Trhas Teklehaimanot Tesfay, the national champion of Ethiopia who fled her home country and has been living in a refugee hotel in London, has been helped by a crowdfunding campaign. The young rider has been gifted a bike and provided further support in restarting her cycling career. Her first competition will be the Ford RideLondon race in a month’s time.

The hosts for the 2024 Women’s Tour of Britain stages have been unveiled. This event aims to showcase the world’s best riders and teams as they tackle four demanding stages. Commencing on June 6th in Welshpool, the race continues with stage two remaining in Wales, featuring both the start and finish lines in Wrexham. The peloton will then venture across the Welsh border into the northwest of England, with Warrington hosting both the start and finish of stage three on June 8th. The grand finale awaits in Greater Manchester on June 9th. Detailed routes for each stage, as well as the participating teams and riders, will be disclosed in the forthcoming weeks. More information can be found here.

The Tour de Suisse 2024 will definitely put all riders to the test with plenty of altitude to conquer in the hilly Romandie region. One ITT, one mountain-top finish and two hilly stages await the peloton from 15 to 18 June.

The National Cycling League in the USA has encountered some setbacks, with plans for the co-ed teams Miami Nights, Denver Disruptors, and Atlanta Rise to compete on the national circuit being put on hold. Organisers have announced a hiatus for the event, focusing on rebuilding for the 2025 season. They intend to revamp the league’s business model in light of the economic challenges confronting both the domestic and international cycling industries.

Uno-X Mobility is ramping up its efforts to elevate both its men’s and women’s professional teams to the WorldTour level by 2026. As part of this initiative, a comprehensive review of all cycling projects has been undertaken. Consequently, the Uno-X Development Weekend, which has been held since 2018, will be discontinued. However, the team has entered into a three-year agreement with the Norwegian Cycling Federation. This agreement pertains to the Norwegian road cup races, which will serve as a type of replacement for the Uno-X Development Weekend.

After navigating setbacks and recovering from a serious accident, Imogen Cotter has chosen to retire from professional cycling. With the onset of the current season, the former Irish national champion realised that competitive racing no longer brought her joy and satisfaction. She candidly shared her thoughts: “Many training sessions have concluded with the onset of a panic attack, and I’ve found myself in tears at the roadside on numerous occasions.” We extend our best wishes to Imogen as she begins a new chapter.

In 2022, Llori Sharpe made history as the first Jamaican cyclist, regardless of gender, to join a UCI-registered team, after she signed with Canyon-SRAM Generation. Sharpe’s achievements have sparked interest among young Jamaicans in cycling, though the sport’s popularity remains limited, particularly among women. The Jamaica International Cycling Classic (for men), the country’s inaugural UCI road cycling event, is now aiming to boost cycling participation among both men and women in Jamaica. Organisers are determined to introduce a women’s cycling event next year to encourage more female riders to compete professionally.

 

Results

La Flèche Wallonne Féminin: Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM) ahead of Demi Vollering (Team SD Worx – Protime) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek)

Amstel Gold Ladies: Marianne Vos (Team Visma – Lease a Bike) ahead of Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx – Protime) and Ingvild Gaskjenn (Liv AlUla Jayco)

 

Zwift Blog

Meet our newest blogger! From Chile to the European pro cycling circuit, Catalina Soto Campos has had an incredible journey so far. In her first exclusive blog, she recounts how she chased her dream across several continents – taking several impressive results – to eventually find her place in the peloton. Check out her story here!

 

Race Preview

Discover the ins and outs of each stage of La Vuelta Femenina, from the opening TTT in Valencia, to the nail-biting summit finishes, and learn about the top contenders as well as their strategies as they battle it out for victory! Get the inside scoop in our comprehensive race preview right here!

 

This week in cycling history

Anthony McCrossan

April 16th marks the birthday of the commentator and presenter, Anthony McCrossan. An advocate for women’s cycling, McCrossan founded Voxwomen with the aim of promoting and elevating the sport through the creation of a platform dedicated to showcasing the talents, stories, and achievements of female cyclists around the world. Happy birthday Anthony!

 

WorldTour highlight videos

Catch up on all the action from the latest WorldTour races. Watch La Flèche – Wallonne highlights here!

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