Get your week started with the latest news in women’s cycling
The Norwegian women’s squad Team Hitec Products and the men’s UCI continental outfit, Team Coop, are merging. Under the change, Team Hitec Products becomes Team Coop – Hitec Products. Both teams will be able to share resources and pool their skills.
Liv Cyling, a brand that is dedicated to getting more women to ride bikes, has introduced its Liv Committed women-focused global brand campaign. The company is building on growing the community of female cyclists by providing weekly Zwift rides, interactive and digital content, as well as skills development, maintenance, and resources for riders of all disciplines and skill levels.
The longest-running stage race in the U.S., the Redlands Classic, has been postponed for a second consecutive year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organisers are now aiming to go ahead with the event in April 2022.
The UCI World Ranking is led by Elisa Longo Borghini ahead of Anna van der Breggen and Lisa Brennauer. Emma Norsgaard currently leads the young rider rankings.
Due to the new lockdown in northern France, the ASO will decide on the fate of the inaugural Paris Roubaix Femmes next week after having conducted a recon of the course.
Team Mundial Ciclismo has become Plantur – Pura Cycling. The team, consisting of 14 riders, features several cyclo-cross stars, including Sanne Cant, Yara Kasteljn and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado. The squad will race on the road during the spring and summer.
New Zealand rider Ella Harris has penned her first piece for us this year, in which she shares the events surrounding her crash, the excitement of working with a new coach, and how she’s looking forward to getting back to Europe after spending the off-season in New Zealand.
In her exclusive blog, Megan Jastrab of Team DSM reflects on how the year got off to a disappointing start due to a COVID diagnosis. You can read about her experience here.
This week in cycling history
Leontien Zijlaard-van Moorsel
Having celebrated her birthday on 22 March, the achievements of this Dutch cyclist – considered one of the best riders to have ever ridden in the peloton – are quite extraordinary. The now 51-year old is a two-time World Road and Time Trial champion. At the Sydney Olympics in 2000, she had the most successful Olympics ever for a female cyclist. She won the individual pursuit in world record time, won the road race and the individual time trial, and added a silver medal on the track in the points race to her achievements. At the Athens Olympics in 2004, she won a gold medal in the individual time trial and a bronze medal in the individual pursuit. Van Moorsel has also two Tour de France and several more wins at the Classics to her name. She also held the World Hour Record from 2003 until 2015. But all was not smooth sailing. For eight years during the 1990s, she battled anorexia, yet was eventually able to overcome the illness. After retiring from the sport, she now runs Leontien huis, a place where survivors of anorexia and sufferers of the illness come together to learn from and support each other.
Twigg was born on 26 March 1963, in Honolulu, Hawaii. A six-time world champion in the 3,000-meter individual pursuit, she began racing while still in her teens, earning her first national championship at 18 and her first world title a year later. This gifted athlete is also the holder of 16 US championships and two Olympic medals. Twigg is one of the most successful riders in the history of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships. Graduating with a computer science degree, she later worked as a programmer but found the transition from professional sport to another career rather challenging to the point of becoming homeless. She slipped into anonymity on the streets of Seattle and only more recently has her plight surfaced in the media.
Rides of the week
Tour of Watopia
Tour of Watopia starts this week and lasts all month. It is a multi-stage journey, just like a real-life fondo. A giant party on wheels where we’ll push watts and unlock rewards together. The Tour brings riders from different countries together with the same goal: visiting Watopia’s must-see destinations and hitting fast forward on the +XP button.
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Be Part of the Journey long sleeved tee
Join us on the path to changing the profile of women’s cycling. We ask teams, fans and riders to ‘Be Part of the Journey’ towards this goal. Made from organic cotton and ethically sourced, our products, such as this long-sleeved tee, are printed in the U.K. in a renewable energy-powered factory. Through the purchase of our slogan hoodie, you’ll be supporting us to bring the great sport of women’s cycling to more fans. Get shopping here!