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Transfer rumours have been swirling over the past week. It appears that after six season with Lidl-Trek, Elisa Longo Borghini may be set to join UAE Team ADQ for next season. This move would see the Italian rider take on a leadership role within the new squad. UAE Team ADQ is aiming to bolster their team with the goal of becoming the top WorldTour outfit in the future. In addition, according to a French newspaper report, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig could be likely to race for SD Worx-Protime next year, while it appears that Kasia Niewiadoma is expected to join her. Meawhile, Riejanne Markus is rumoured to be leaving Visma-Lease a Bike alongside Anna Henderson, with Lidl-Trek hoping to add both riders to its roster. The FDJ-SUEZ team manager has revealed plans to increase the team’s budget by 20% for each of the next four years, with the current budget hovering around 4 million Euros, but would not confirm the signing of Demi Vollering.

Pauline Ferrand-Prevot of Ineos Grenadiers, one of the most successful multi-discipline athletes, has hinted that this will be her last season in mountain biking. This announcement opens the door for a possible return to road racing after she competes in the MTB event at the upcoming 2024 Paris Olympics. Despite being a five-time Cross-Country World Champion, an Olympic medal has eluded her so far, and she is keen to add to her medal tally at her home games in Paris.

As the Olympics draw nearer, national teams are starting to be announced. Last week the Fédération Française de Cyclisme revealed the selection of Audrey Cordon-Ragot (ITT and RR), Juliette Labous (ITT and RR) and Victoire Berteau (RR). Meanwhile, Taylor Knibb (ITT) and Chloe Dygert (ITT) have been nominated for the U.S. time trial team so far.

British Anna Shackley, who formerly rode with SD Worx-Protime and was forced to retire at the young age of 22 due to a diagnosis of cardiac arrhythmia, had some good news. Despite the setback, she has found a new role in the cycling world, taking on the position of Sports Director for the Scotland-based continental team, Alba Development Road Team. This new chapter will allow her to continue contributing to the sport, now bringing her experience and passion to a leadership role.

Elisa Balsamo is still uncertain when she will be able to return to racing as she continues her recovery from injuries sustained in a high-speed crash two weeks ago at La Vuelta a Burgos Féminas. However, she has confirmed that the worst is over. The former World Champion began this season aiming for both road race and track events at the Olympic Games and remains hopeful of joining the Italian National Team for these events.

Last year’s winner of the Tour de Suisse, Marlen Reusser, along with teammate Demi Vollering, Marianne Vos, Elisa Longo Borghini, and Katarzyna Niewiadoma, are all on the provisional start list for the upcoming race. The peloton will face over 6,600 metres of climbing over 330 kilometres. Sunday’s time trial will be followed by two hilly stages, making it a challenging event for sprinters. The final 90 minutes of each day’s race will be broadcast live.

Italian Eleonora Gasparrini, one of the most promising young talents in the world of cycling, has decided to continue racing for UAE Team ADQ during the 2025-2026 seasons. This year, the rider from Turin already secured victories at the Trofeo Binissalem-Andratx in Mallorca and La Classique Morbihan. Additionally, just very recently, she finished the RideLondon Classique wearing the white jersey as the best young rider for the second consecutive year.

British Cycling and Lloyds Bank have announced a long-term partnership in which the British bank will support the organisation’s new major events vision and serve as the title sponsor for both the men’s and women’s editions of the Tour of Britain. The partnership will begin with the Tour of Britain Women next month and will also involve the development of a new national track league concept.

The Dutch Cycling Federation has announced its road squad for the Olympics: Ellen van Dijk (RR and ITT), Demi Vollering (RR and ITT), Marianne Vos (RR) and Lorena Wiebes (RR).

Georgia Howe of the Jayco-AlUla Cycling Team was the focus of a recently published study by researchers from the U.K., Australia, and the U.S. Scientists examined the energy requirements of a WorldTour rider during a multistage race. The study revealed an energy deficit, evidenced by a 2.2kg decrease in body mass. Despite a high carbohydrate intake, Howe was unable to meet the energy demands of the competition. However, her performance remained on par with other WorldTour riders. Researchers hope this study will pave the way for future research supporting gender equality in sports science and providing much-needed support for female athletes. The full article can be found here.

More details of the LOTTO Thüringen Ladies Tour, taking place from June 25 to 30, have been revealed. The race spans 631km. In total, riders will face around 12,000m of climbing, 13 mountain classifications, and five sprint classifications. The high-profile stages around Jena, Gera, and Mühlhausen will likely allow the classics riders to showcase their skills. The longest section in Erfurt and the final stage finishing at the “Viba World” in Schmalkalden are expected to favour the sprinters. Additionally, there is a time trial in Altenburg, which closely matches the length of the Olympic individual time trial in Paris.

This year, the women’s field at the 200-mile race, the marquee event of the Life Time Unbound Gravel, was one of the most competitive in the race’s history. The organisers notably adjusted the start of the Unbound 200, providing the elite women with a longer gap from the amateur riders behind them on the starting grid.

Visma – Lease a Bike was denied entry to the Alpes Gresivaudan Classic on Sunday. The organisers cited that the Dutch squad had only four riders in their team, while the roadbook required a minimum of five riders to participate in the race.

Results

Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia: 

Stage 1: Silke Smulders ahead of Marvi Garcia and Ella Wyllie (all Liv AlUla Jayco)
Stage 2: Mavi Garcia ahead of Silke Smulders and Mie Bjørndal Ottestad (Uno-X Mobility)
Stage 3: Ella Wyllie ahead of Mavi Garcia and Silke Smulders
Stage 4: Arlenis Sierra (Movistar Team) ahead of Quinty Ton (Liv AlUla Jayco) and Alena Amialliusik (UAE Team ADQ)
GC: Mavi Garcia ahead of Silke Smulders and Ella Wyllie

Unbound Gravel 200: Rosa Klöser ahead of Geerike Schreurs and Paige Onweller

 

The Women’s Cycling Podcast p/b Liv

Did you catch this month’s episode? Powered by Liv, it’s now available on your favorite podcast platforms! In this first episode, Rebecca Charlton is joined by Olympian and Team DSM-Firmenich PostNL pro rider Megan Jastrab as her co-presenter. They chat with Abi Smith about life on the road and her impressive art skills, meet photographer Becky Mursell, who is working on an exciting project showcasing personalities who ride bikes, and talk with Liv AlUla Jayco DS Shawn Clarke to gain insight into preparations for the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. Catch it here on Apple Music or here on Spotify!

Zwift Blog

Dive into the world of a pro rider with Franziska Koch’s latest blog! Discover how she balances intense training and racing with smart habits for nutrition, recovery and mental happiness. From delicious homemade ride food to perfect recovery meals, Franzi shares the secrets that keep her at the top of her game! Be sure to have a read right here!

 

This week in cycling history

Diana Žiliūtė

Žiliūtė is a renowned Lithuanian professional cyclist known for her impressive achievements in road racing. Born on 28 May 1976 in Rietavas, Lithuania, she has had a distinguished career, marked by numerous victories and accolades. Žiliūtė emerged on the international cycling scene in the late 1990s, quickly establishing herself as a formidable competitor. One of her most significant career highlights came in 1998 when she won the UCI Road World Championships. The same year, she also took out the women’s Tour de France, known as La Grande Boucle Féminin. She was a strong all-rounder, excelling in both one-day races and stage races. Her palmarès include victories in several classics and top finishes in Grand Tours, as well as a bronze medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. She won the World Cup series in 1998 and 2000, underscoring her dominance in the sport during that period. After retiring from professional cycling, she continued to be involved in cycling, contributing her expertise and experience to the next generation of riders. Her legacy in women’s cycling is marked by her numerous victories, her role as a trailblazer for Lithuanian cyclists, and her enduring impact on the sport.

Lady Florence Harberton

Lady Florence Harberton was a trailblazer in advocating for women’s cycling in the late 19th century. On 25 May 1881, she co-founded the “Rational Dress Society”. She championed practical and comfortable attire for women, which was essential for riding. Harberton famously wore and promoted bloomers and shorter skirts, challenging the traditional long dresses that were impractical and hazardous for cycling. At a time when societal norms restricted women’s physical activities, Lady Harberton promoted cycling as a means of independence and mobility for women. Her advocacy helped to popularise cycling among women and was pivotal in making cycling a socially acceptable and empowering activity for other women at the time.

 

WorldTour highlight videos

Catch up on all the action from the latest WorldTour races. Watch highlights of Ford RideLondon here!

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