When you write and then put your words out there into the ether, you set yourself up.
Whilst there’s nothing better than someone taking the time to say that they like your work.
On the other side of that coin is that there will always be folks who have a real go at you. I understand and accept that, but what’s difficult to accept is uninformed criticism, where people don’t really understand the situation.
A gentleman wrote in to us to complain because I didn’t report on the Ladies’ and Junior Ladies’ time trials, and saying that the piece I wrote on time trial bikes was boring – and I can understand that it would be to many folks.
Whilst Martin and I get ourselves on a ‘plane and get to as many races as we can for VeloVeritas, the fact is that it’s another cycling site which is bankrolling this particular trip to the Worlds. I’m here to write feature pieces for them, not race reports – those are done by others. Of course, whilst here I also try to produce solid copy for VeloVeritas, duplicating as little as I can.
For reasons I don’t quite understand, there was no live TV coverage of the two races in question – making it impossible to do live reports. Everyone does their live reporting off TV coverage; whether that’s in the Press Room, beside the parcours or in Spain or the US it’s all done the same way – someone sits in front of a monitor and talks or writes about what they see.
With no race report possible for the site I decided that I’d be better to focus on other aspects of the Worlds.
I decided on a piece on the TT bikes and an article about MTN Qhubeka – Africa’s first Pro Continental team.
With the Elite time trial next day I felt that these choices made sense. Whilst some folks are bored by ‘bike porn’ – as I believe some people refer to it – many readers do like to see pictures of Tony Martin’s chainring, Marco Pinotti’s tri-bars and Di2 battery locations.
And I must also add that I’m no expert on ladies’ racing – there are so many facets to our sport that it’s impossible to have full knowledge of them all.
[pullquote]The market pays what the commodity is worth.[/pullquote]
As we keep saying here on VeloVeritas, if someone would like to submit regular informed copy on ladies’ racing to us – we’d be delighted to run it.
We also have to consider market forces; I was informed by a usually reliable German source that when Nicole Cooke was Olympic and world champion she was on €50,000 per annum. In the male branch of the sport, there are numerous riders who are annually paid into seven figures – Bradley Wiggins can command €40,000 for an afternoon Derny-paced criterium.
The market pays what the commodity is worth.
I also have a friend who raced for the Rabobank ladies squad – she confirmed to me that only very best girls get paid. Many race for a bike, jersey and race programme but no money – as she did.
But stung by the criticism I got myself along to the junior ladies road race, today.
If I’m no expert on senior female athletes, I know even less about junior ladies. I was aware that GB’s Lucy Garner was defending champion – and that she had decent support from the GB team.
There weren’t a lot of spectators when the 82 riders set off but we took up position in the grandstand – conveniently situated so as you can’t see the finish line.
‘Never mind’ we thought ‘we’ll watch the race on these nice TV monitors.’
Unfortunately, the TV coverage extended to the start/finish line but not another inch of the circuit.
‘We’ll have to rely on the commentary, then’ said us.
But because there was no TV coverage, the commentators didn’t know what was happening either, except for updates from the time checks when the race passed.
And then for two laps there were unintelligible presentations going on so the only commentary we got was when the peloton passed the start/finish line.
And the fact is, at no stage did we see a breakaway, we believe there were some, but we didn’t see them.
All we saw was a peloton which got a wee bit thinner, each lap.
The finish was cool, Lucy Garner winning again, one of her team mates crashing at my feet and all the hubbub of a big race finish.
I think we’ve covered enough Scottish time trials to be able to be able to make an event which isn’t spectacular sound at least interesting.
But finish apart, the junior ladies road race was a tough race to ‘big up’ – especially with no TV coverage.
But as Kris said; ‘maybe it wasn’t the best race in the world, but the girls have to start somewhere.’
Tomorrow is the U23 road champs, I’ll be covering that – I hope to walk the parcours, but I won’t have enough time to work the ladies races in the afternoon, too.
But if someone else would like to cover the race and submit a report . . .
Results - The “World Road Championships 2012 - Junior Womens' Road Race
2 Eline Gleditsch Brustad (Norway)
3 Anna Zita Maria Stricker (Italy)
4 Sophie Williamson (New Zealand)
5 Jessy Druyts (Belgium)
6 Rasa Pocyte (Lithuania)
7 Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spain)
8 Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Denmark)
9 Emily Roper (Australia)
10 Alicja Ratajczak (Poland)
11 Kirsten Coppens (Netherlands)
12 Kaat Van Der Meulen (Belgium)
13 Eider Merino Cortazar (Spain)
14 Lucja Pietrzak (Poland)
15 Urska Kalan (Slovenia)
16 Christina Siggaard (Denmark)
17 Alexandra Nessmar (Sweden)
18 Anastasiia Iakovenko (Russian Federation)
19 Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Poland)
20 Elinor Barker (Great Britain) 0:00:03
21 Yao Pang (Hong Kong, China) 0:00:08
22 Katarzyna Kirchenstein (Poland) 0:00:18
23 Lourdes Oyarbide Jimenez (Spain)
24 Milda Jankauskaite (Lithuania)
25 Segolene Leberon (France)
26 Kelly Van Den Steen (Belgium)
27 Corinna Lechner (Germany)
28 Alice Maria Arzuffi (Italy)
29 Jessica Mundy (Australia)
30 Claudia Buitrago Calderon (Colombia)
31 Jessie Walker (Great Britain)
32 Madelaine Ortmueller (Germany)
33 Ilaria Sanguineti (Italy) 0:00:21
34 Asja Paladin (Italy)
35 Addyson Albershardt (United States Of America) 0:00:28
36 Katsiaryna Piatrouskaya (Belarus)
37 Anna Knauer (Germany) 0:00:32
38 Olha Shekel (Ukraine)
39 Reda Kaulinskaite (Lithuania)
40 Caroline Baur (Switzerland)
41 Ann-Leonie Weichmann (Germany)
42 Elisabeth Riegler (Austria)
43 Audrey Labrie (Canada)
44 Felicia Ferner (Sweden)
45 Molly Weaver (Great Britain)
46 Manon Bourdiaux (France)
47 Demi De Jong (Netherlands) 0:00:36
48 Antonela Ferencic (Croatia) 0:00:43
49 Lotte Kopecky (Belgium) 0:00:45
50 Stefanie Bochsler (Switzerland) 0:00:59
51 Corine Van Der Zijden (Netherlands) 0:01:06
52 Janine Van Der Meer (Netherlands) 0:01:21
53 Olena Demydova (Ukraine) 0:01:33
54 Louise Marie Olsen (Denmark) 0:01:46
55 Severine Eraud (France) 0:03:04
56 Larisa Kristiansen (Norway) 0:03:09
57 Ramona Forchini (Switzerland) 0:03:20
58 Hanna Helamb (Sweden) 0:03:27
59 Allison Rice (Australia)
60 Alicia Gonzalez Blanco (Spain) 0:03:34
61 Georgia Baker (Australia) 0:04:37
62 Svetlana Vasilieva (Russian Federation) 0:05:26
63 Emily Kay (Great Britain) 0:06:15
64 Vira Shvarchuk (Ukraine) 0:08:41
65 Alexis Ryan (United States Of America) 0:08:46
66 Gulnaz Badykova (Russian Federation)
67 Grace Alexander (United States Of America) 0:08:48
68 Allyson Gillard (Canada) 0:09:02
69 Ariane Bonhomme (Canada)
70 Nikola Hlubinkova (Czech Republic) 0:09:15
71 Aliaksandra Kazlova (Belarus) 0:18:04
72 Cindi Magali Dinatale (Argentina) 0:18:19
73 Erin Donohue (United States Of America) 0:20:18
74 Aranza Villalon (Chile)
75 Kristina Savelieva (Russian Federation) 0:20:20
76 Heidi Dalton (South Africa) 0:20:46
77 Regisleyne Dos Santos Rodrigues W. (Brazil) 0:32:02
DNF Erika Varela Huerta (Mexico)
DNF Kseniya Tuhai (Belarus)
DNF Zavinta Titenyte (Lithuania)
DNF Eva Mottet (France)
DNS Saskia Kowalchuk (Canada)