Your Monday Briefing

Your news

Get your week started with the latest news in women’s cycling

The route maps for the start of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift in and around Rotterdam on 12 and 13 August have been revealed at a special event, which was attended by Lorena Wiebes and Demi Vollering. More information can be found here. Beginning in Rotterdam for the Grand Départ and ending with a first-time visit to Alpe d’Huez on Stage 8, the race promises some challenging terrain and stunning scenery along the way. Want to know which teams will be participating? Find out here.

At the upcoming Itzulia Women from 10 to 12 May, 10 WorldTour teams and 10 Continental teams will be at the start. The opening stage, stretching over 140 kilometers, features the highest cumulative elevation gain. Day two offers a shorter distance of 104 kilometers but includes a challenging finish marked by multiple climbs and descents. Stage three will confront riders with a challenging ascent to Jaizkibel and is anticipated to be a pivotal stage of the competition.

The UCI and Flanders Classics have published the calendar for the 2024-2025 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Cup. The 2024-2025 edition will feature 12 rounds in six countries. A new venue will be added to the series – Oristano, in Sardinia. Six rounds will include, in addition to the elite women’s category, races dedicated to the UCI World Cup youth categories including Junior Women. The first round starts on 24 November in Antwerp and the CX World Cup will finish on 26 January 2025 in Hoogerheide. However, there are no U.S. rounds, Tabor, U.K. expansion or Val Di Sole. More details can be found here.

The Tour of Britain will return this season. The event’s financial support will primarily come from fees from start and finish locations, broadcasting revenue, and commercial and sponsorship deals. Jon Dutton, CEO of British Cycling, acknowledges the increasing costs of ensuring event safety, stating, “We understand that this year, the race may operate at a loss, but our focus is on its long-term sustainability, prioritising quality over quantity.” Notably, the women’s race will be classified as WorldTour, and all six British UCI Continental teams have secured wildcards for the race, alongside Team GB. This year’s event promises to be a real celebration of British women’s and international elite road racing.

Both SD Worx and Protime, the title sponsors of the WorldTour cycling team, have prolonged their partnerships with the Dutch squad until 2028. SD Worx had initially committed as the main sponsor until 2026, but has now extended its support for an additional two years. The company aims to foster the growth of young talent, believing in the potential for additional strides in development. Erwin Janssen, the team’s manager, reflects on the squad’s journey, stating: “Since joining this team in 2014, we’ve transformed from a modest talent pool into the world’s leading team. For eight consecutive years, we’ve maintained the top position in the UCI rankings. It’s fantastic to have SD Worx and Protime as partners who share our ambition to uphold our global supremacy at least until 2028.”

Lorena Wiebes already had a commitment with Team SD Worx – Protime through 2025 but the team has agreed to a contract extension. The Dutch rider commented: “It is a big compliment for me that the team wants to work with me as far into the future as 2028. I didn’t hesitate for long. I feel completely at home in this team and I also feel that in this environment I can make the necessary steps in the coming years.” Sports Manager Danny Stam, who also extended his contract with Team SD Worx – Protime through 2028, is very pleased that Wiebes will remain on the squad for the next four years as well.

Lotte Kopecky will not be competing in the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift this summer. The World Champion wants to focus fully on the Olympic Games in Paris. Combining the two events seems almost an impossible mission with the Omnium event, her main goal in Paris, finishing only a day before the start of the French stage race. The World Champion will, however, pin on her jersey number at the Giro. After the Games, Kopecky will set her sights on the World Cup in Zurich on 28 September.

Leonie Bentveld, who has had a good cyclocross season, will join AG Insurance – Soudal on the road this year, combining both disciplines.

Italian RAI TV has announced that the organisers of Milan-Sanremo are looking to have a women’s edition in 2025. The addition of a women’s race would not only offer female cyclists the opportunity to compete in a historic race, but also contribute to the ongoing efforts to promote gender equality and diversity within the sport. Hopefully, more concrete details will emerge in the coming months.

Despite the disparity in prize money between male and female riders, top female riders have been taking home increased earnings. Elisa Longo Borghini from Lidl-Trek secured victories at Flanders and Brabantse Pijl, thereby earning 20,000 Euros for each and, by coming second at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, earned 3,000 euros. World Champion Lotte Kopecky of SD Worx – Protime earned 20,000 Euros for her win at Paris-Roubaix Femmes avec Zwift, while Grace Brown from FDJ-Suez took home 12,500 Euros for her victory at Liège – Bastogne – Liège. The top female earner overall in the spring classics was Marianne Vos with 38,173 Euros in total.

At the recent Sea Otter Classic in the U.S.A., Kate Veronneau from Zwift, Cassondra Spring from Liv, and Sasha Castling from Ribble provided insights into opportunities for women in the bike industry. While strides have been made with brands diversifying their hiring practices, there’s a pressing need for companies to fulfill their commitments to career advancement, nurturing inclusive environments, ensuring fair compensation, and actively enhancing cycling culture. Data corroborates the notion that elevating women to leadership positions and prioritising female athletes is not just advantageous, but vital for the industry’s expansion. Gender equality in cycling remains a significant goal, both within cycling firms and in broader support for female riders, particularly in the women’s pro peloton.

Lizzy Deignan’s contract with Trek-Lidl will conclude at the end of this season. The British rider has been a fundamental part of the team’s success since its inception in 2019. She won the first women’s edition of Paris-Roubaix in 2021 and claimed Liège-Bastogne-Liège the year prior. The 35-year-old rider has indicated that she would like to continue racing and the team is keen to extend her contract for the next few years. Other riders out of contract at the end of this year are Elisa Longo Borghini, Emma Norsgaard, Elynor Bäckstedt, Chiara Consonni, Anna Henderson, Letizia Paternoster, Alexandra Manly, Urška Žigart and Demi Vollering. Regarding Vollering, SD Worx-Protime general manager Erwin Janssen expressed in an interview his belief that the Dutch rider is on her way to FDJ-SUEZ in 2025, and is convinced that Vollering will win more races throughout the year.

The 2025 Tissot UCI Track World Championships, which were initially scheduled to take place in San Juan, Argentina, will now be held from 15 to 19 October in Santiago de Chile.

After a four-year partnership, Trek, the U.S. bicycle manufacturer, will cease its role as the title sponsor of the Baloise Trek Lions cyclocross team – the squad of Lucinda Brand and Shirin van Anrooij. The team currently sits at the top of the UCI rankings. Trek’s departure is not expected to significantly disrupt the team’s operations, and hopes are that additional financial resources can be secured to maintain the squad’s standing.

Last Sunday marked a historic moment for Australian women’s cycling, with Grace Brown of FDJ-SUEZ securing a remarkable victory at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and becoming the first Australian woman to win a Monument. Having finished as the runner-up in 2020 and 2022, she entered this year’s race with a clear strategy: to position herself in the breakaway to maximise her chances of success. This strategy proved decisive. Brown’s triumph was the culmination of a determined effort, sprinting to the finish line from an elite group after spending a significant portion of the race in a daring breakaway.

After a nine-year run of UCI Cyclocross World Cup rounds in the United States, the news came on Friday that the 2024-2025 calendar would forego any travel outside Europe. A revised 12-race schedule also does not include a stop in the rural countryside of Waterloo, Wisconsin, and elite riders have responded with mixed emotions, including that it could be seen as a step back in the progression of the sport. However, it does not in any way mean cyclocross is gone from the North American landscape, as plans for UCI registered races and a U.S. national series supported by local organisers are still in the works. Initiatives also exist to refashion the Trek CX Cup this fall, a highly popular national event.

 

Results

Vuelta España Femenina by Carrefour.es
TTT: Lidl-Trek ahead of Visma-Lease a Bike Women and Team SD Worx-Protime

GP della Liberazione: Chiara Consonni ahead of Eleonora Gasparrini and Silvia Persico (all Team UAE – ADQ)

Tour of the Gila
Stage 1: Lauren Stephens (Cynisca Cycling) ahead of Nadia Gontova (DNA Pro Cycling) and Marcela Elizabeth Prieto (PAS – Steve Tilford Foundation)
Stage 2: Marlis Meijas (Virginia’s Blue Ridge) ahead of Yanina Koskova (Tashkent City Women Pro Cycling) and Lauren Stephens
Stage 3: Lauren Stephens ahead of Alia Shafi (Fount Cycling Guild) and Cecile Lejeune (PAS – Steve Tilford Foundation)
Stage 4: Chloe Patrick (Cynisca Cycling) ahead of Marlies Mejias (Virginia’s Blue Ridge – Twenty24) and Lauren Stephens

Gracia
Stage 1: Corinna Lechner (Wheel Divas) ahead of Lore de Schepper (AG Insurance Soudal NXTG) and Urska Pintar (Slovenia)
Stage 2: Mirre Knaven (AG Insurance Soudal NXTG) ahead of Xaydee van Sinaey (Fenix-Deceuninck Development Team) and Corinna Lechner
Stage 3: Tabea Huys (Maxx-Solar Women Racing) ahead of Corinna Lechner and Marion Norbert Riberolle (Fenix-Deceuninck Development Team)
Stage 4: Emma Jeffers (Liv AlUla Jayco Women’s Continental Team) ahead of Mirre Knaven and Olga Wankiewicz (MAT Atom Deweloper Wroclaw)
GC: Corinna Lechner ahead of Mirre Knaven and Urška Žigart (Liv AlUla Jayco Jayco Women’s Continental Team)

CERATIZIT Festival Elsy Jacobs à Garnich: Marta Lach (CERATIZIT-WNT Pro Cycling Team) ahead of Christine Majerus (Team SD Worx – Protime) and Katrine Aalerud (Uno-X Mobility)

CERATIZIT Festital Elsy Jacobs à Luxembourg: Marta Lach (CERATIZIT-WNT Pro Cycling Team) ahead of Scarlett Souren (VolkerWessels Women’s Pro Cycling Team) and Anouska Koster (Uno-X Mobility)

 

Zwift Blog

Gearing up for the Traka 360! From thrilling races in Girona to conquering trails in the USA, our blogger Geerike Schreurs reports on her gravel adventure so far!⁠ Read all about her experience right here.

 

Race Preview

Discover the ins and outs of each stage of La Vuelta Femenina, which got underway just yesterday. 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

Paola Scotti

Born in Piacenza on 25 April, 1944, Italian Paola Scotti, the daughter of a farmer, pedalled her bike to school every day, nurturing a secret ambition to become a bike racer. Fate intervened when a local resident invited her to join a women’s cycling team affiliated with the Italian Cycling Federation. In an era when competitive sports were largely off-limits to young women, obtaining her family’s blessing to pursue her passion wasn’t easy. Nonetheless, in 1952, Scotti made history by becoming the first Italian female road champion. Though her racing career was curtailed by health issues, her love for the sport endured. Years later, she transitioned to the role of a competition judge, contributing to the Italian Timekeepers Federation. Sadly, she passed away in 1990 at the age of 46. As a tribute to her legacy, the Italian Cycling Federation honoured her by naming a race in her native Emilia-Romagna after her: the Trofeo Paola Scotti.

 

WorldTour highlight videos

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

More news

Share this post