from professional cyclist to AFL player

Emma Mackie’s marvelous move from professional cyclist to AFL player

The Australian Football League (AFL) has done a great job of launching and promoting its AFL Women’s competition, so I was intrigued to read about a former rider who made the move from professional cyclist to AFL player. I actually met Emma Mackie a few years ago when she worked for Specialized and I was on a training course. We rode side-by-side and I asked her about her professional riding career. Since that time, it has all changed for her so this time I asked her about her new sporting career as an AFL player. Q: You reached the highest level

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Will cycling make my thighs bigger

Help – Will cycling make my thighs bigger?

This seems to be one of those recurring questions that I get asked – Will cycling make my thighs bigger? You’ll be pleased to know that the answer is an emphatic no. In my own case I’ve slimmed down in my thigh and bottom area since I took up cycling, even though I actually weigh more than I previously did. Here’s a few reasons why your legs are not going to expand: Muscle is leaner than fat Muscle weighs a lot more than fat. Cycling will change the shape of your legs, but unless you’re doing a lot of squats,

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International Women's Day

Celebrate International Women’s Day by reflecting on the plight of girls in developing nations

Happy International Women’s Day everyone. Today is a day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. And while I’m walking around my comfortable house singing “I am woman, hear me roar”, I think it’s important to reflect on the lives of women and girls around the world, who have so many challenges for even their basic needs. Last week I met up with the fabulous Dagmar who is charged with the responsibility of starting the work of the amazing charity World Bicycle Relief in Australia. And this is where the International Women’s Day tie-in comes. World

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Women's Tour Down Under

Women gain equal prize money for Women’s Tour Down Under

Congratulations to the South Australian Government on its inspired decision to offer equal prize money for the Women’s Tour Down Under pro cycling race. As the men’s edition of the race was wrapping up on the weekend, the Sports Minister announced that his Government would add extra cash to the prize pool. I believe this is a first for women’s professional road cycling, where the women usually earn way less in prize money even for similar races. In last year’s Tour of Flanders race, the women’s prize money was reportedly 1,100 euros, compared to about 20,000 euros for the men.

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The Cyclists’ Alliance is a huge leap forward for women’s professional cycling

I almost missed the news that slipped out just before Christmas that a fantastic new initiative for women’s professional cycling, The Cyclists’ Alliance was here. Formed and backed by some of women’s cycling’s biggest names, the new international cycling union aims to be a resource and a cohesive voice for professional cyclists in order to promote and protect athlete safety and enhance professionalism within the sport. “We will work as a partner with the UCI and the UCI-registered women’s teams to help them form the first women’s teams association in global cycling,” says founder Iris Slappendel. “The Alliance is here to

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Aussie pro cyclist Rachel Neylan

Amazing persistence and focus pays off for Aussie Pro Cyclist Rachel Neylan

Two months ago, I attended a women’s cycling event at a local bike shop and was thrilled to meet Aussie pro cyclist Rachel Neylan. I was really impressed when I heard Rachel recount her story of determination to reach the top echelons of Australian women’s cycling. I was also impressed to find out that she was the driving force behind the event I was attending, and she was leaving Australia the very next day to begin her European season. On the night Rachel agreed to an interview and here’s the result….. Q: How did you get into cycling? I was

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Giro Rosa 2017

Get behind the Aussie riders in the Giro Rosa 2017

Each year I promote the women’s pro cycling race, Italy’s Giro Rosa 2017, and each time I also lament the fact that it’s held at the same time as the very high profile Tour de France. As a consequence it passes by almost unnoticed by most sports fans. Up until a few years ago it was considered the biggest stage race on the women’s calendar, but I’d argue that the much newer stage races – the Women’s Tour of Britain and the Women’s Tour of California – have now got a higher profile. Nonetheless I’d like to play my part

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2017 Women’s Tour cycle race

Get out and support the 2017 Women’s Tour cycle race

I love to see women’s pro cycling develop, and one race that’s growing nicely is the 2017 Women’s Tour cycle race, previously known as the Women’s Tour of Britain which starts in England tomorrow. It’s a five stage race covering the areas of Northamptonshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire Derbyshire, and a final criterium race in London on 11 June 2017. This year is the fourth edition of the race, and the first time the race has finished in the capital, using the same six-kilometre circuit around central London as the men’s Tour of Britain. Speaking at the launch of the route, race director

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Pro Cyclist Amanda Spratt

Meet Aussie Pro Cyclist Amanda Spratt who started 2017 in style

This week we hear from European-based Aussie pro cyclist Amanda Spratt, who hails from my home state of NSW. Amanda, or Spratty as I believe she’s known, has had a solid start to 2017 with a few great results. She was the overall winner of the Women’s Tour Down Under series and second in the Australian National Road Race, a title which she won in 2012 and 2016. Q: You started this year well with a win in the Women’s Tour Down Under series on home soil, how has the year continued for you? My first goal for 2017 was

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Specialized Women's Racing

Specialized Women’s Racing, raising the profile of women’s pro racing on the domestic scene

One thing I’m really keen to do with this blog is to promote women’s professional road racing, so this week you can read about Australian team Specialized Women’s Racing. I caught up via email with team manager Liz Phillipou recently: Q: How many years has your team been in existence? First race was Noosa 2011, we are now in our 6th year of existence. Q: You’ve had a few sponsor changes over the years, is it difficult to be constantly looking for new ones? We have been extremely lucky to have the support of Specialized Australia since day one. We have had

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