I was recently interviewed by the Sacramento Bee newspaper. Here is the full article to read through where the author discusses the issue of how “Women’s professional cyclists pursue parity with men’s sport”:
I would like to expound on the things I said in the interview here. First, my primary thought is that “I want to be paid fairly, not equally.” Currently there is a serious gap in the level and depth of competition between the men’s and women’s pro fields. In most races our fields are half the size of the Men’s race, not to mention the amateur ranks have an even more dramatic difference. This means the quality is spread thin as well and so there are very few riders capable of winning a race in the women’s events. That gap IS getting closer all the time as more women get into the sport and take it more seriously. I believe that when the level of competition and exposure rises, so will our pay. The competition will grow over time through support and viability. I have seen it grow a lot even in my short career so far. The question of what money will do to competition is a complex sociology debate that I’m not prepared to undertake! The exposure part is difficult. We as women cyclists are providing a lot of the same product as the men, an exciting race with personal elements and stories. We have to get media and sponsors to respect us as being equal to men in that regard. That we are interesting to their ‘customers’ or good for their brand image as the case may be. That’s where the money comes from anyway. The media provides coverage that the sponsors see as a good investment. When that happens there will be equal pay. At the Tour of California NBCSN is covering the men’s race fully every day. Sponsors want that exposure. For NBCSN to cover some highlights of the women’s races is NOT as big of a draw and that is a perfect example of why there is less money in women’s cycling.
One week after returning from Europe I was in Colorado Springs to stay at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) for a two week long women’s team pursuit camp. I was super excited to be going to this camp. Team USA has been putting on a series of women’s team pursuit camps to begin their prep for Rio 2016. I missed out on the first camp because it conflicted with Cascade Stage Race. The second camp was going to conflict with my Europe trip so I was invited to come a few days early to get some one on one practice time in and then attend a few days of the second camp before heading off to Europe. This third camp was perfect for me, I could focus on the camp and not be worried about the training time I need to get in to maintain my road fitness. So what is a typical day at team pursuit camp?
5:45am eat some yogurt and cereal you snatched from the cafeteria the night before
5:55am walk over in the below freezing temperatures to the gym
6:00am start some warm-up and stretching drills
6:15am let boot camp begin (box jumps, burpees, push-ups and more… but don’t forget the 3 minute minimum plank-off at the end)
9:00am sport psychology
10:00am ride to the track
10:15am ultrasound on quads and calves to check glycogen levels pre-workout
11:00am track session
20 minute warm-up
2x half lap team starts
3x 3k team pursuit efforts
1:00pm ultrasound on quads and calves to check glycogen levels post-workout
1:15pm ride back to the OTC
3:30pm afternoon spin
9:00pm get in bed to do it all again
Some times you wonder where did the day go. To be continued…
After Norway we headed to Vara, Sweden to spend a few days before the Sweden World Cup. We are just under 60k by bike to our next hotel so we are going to make this transfer by bike it’ll be nice to be on the bike instead of sitting in the car.
We ran into some unexpected obstacles along the way. A couple dirt roads in the rain and one road closure because of flooding (it seems to always be raining here so no surprise) that forced to ride on the highway for about 7k.
Safe and dry in our hotel now.
Well the Prologue did not stay dry. At least it rains here all the time so in theory the roads shouldn’t be as slick 🙂 At least that’s what I told my self. But I still found my self sprinting out of every turn to get back up to speed.
Jo and I just before the start of stage 1 of Ladies Tour of Norway.
This race was three laps with a challenging climb each lap. The last time over the climb the race exploded and with only 15k to go to the finish the race was on. I was in a group of seven along with a teammate. The group had some of the top GC contenders but it was missing the yellow jersey. Our group stayed away and I finished 2nd which put me on the podium for the day and moved me to 3rd in GC.
Although most teams have already had quite a few races together here in the US and other countries Redlands is seen to many as the first “big” team race of the season. Redlands is the start of the National Racing Calendar (NRC). This year Redlands was a 5 day race with 5 stages. The night before we started racing we had a team meeting. We were each asked what our goal was for the weekend. Many riders said things like help the team however they can or win a stage. As I sat there and listened to each rider’s personal goals I got more and more nervous because I knew what I was going to say and I didn’t want to sound arrogant. But I knew go big or go home and when it was my turn I calmly said, “I want to win Redlands.” So that’s what we set out to do.
The week started out great with a new stage. The circuit was a challenging 2.8 mile loop with a sharp climb up Baseline street each lap.. Imagine a roller coaster, the long steep climb to the top with a fast downhill and twisty turns to follow. Now go on the roller coaster over and over. The finish was at the top of the long steep hill and after fourteen laps, I patiently waited and trusted my teammates’ wheels to victory. The first NRC stage of 2014 was mine. Not only did I win the stage, I was in the yellow jersey.