Most of the images and words we see of cycling are of the men – you know, struggling heroically up a mountainside in France or Italy…sweat dripping from furrowed brows, every sinew strained to breaking point etc etc.
Too often cyclists seem like little more than whip-stick thin weird-looking creatures with strange habits and shaven bodies.
There is much about cycling – not least its deep undercurrents of homo-eroticism and the continued troubles it has with drugs and all manner of sophisticated medical technology – that seems just a bit too weird for a lot of us. What is it that is so attractive about watching a hundred blokes or more bobbing their skinny arses in the air?
But after spending a few days in the rust-belt city of Geelong attending the pre-events for the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) 2010 World Road Cycling Championships (the 2010 Worlds) I have reviewed my appreciation for the sport.
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Well, at least I’ve reviewed my appreciation of one cohort of its competitors.
The women only get two big races at the 2010 Worlds – the 23km Time Trial race later today and the 127 km Road Race on Saturday.
And because Collingwood and St Kilda have apparently arranged for a repeat of last weekend’s AFL Grand Final, the crowd for the womens’ big event of the week – the Road Race from Melbourne to Geelong – looks like it will be watched by a couple of blokes and their dogs.
But for mine they deserve greater exposure than that…
So here is my small contribution to the long overdue increased exposure for the women of cycling…for mine a far more attractive proposition than watching a few skinny blokes…
These are some of my shots from the few hours of course familiarisation the riders were given on Tuesday afternoon.
As you can see there was a fair bit of rain about but the sun peeked its face out from time to time…
I was out on the Time Trial section of the course at the eastern end of town and was able to stick my head out of the car a few times to grab some shots between squalls.
Hope you like them.
And, while I can put a name and a country to a few of the cyclists here, if you can identify those that I haven’t been able to I’d appreciate that assistance…
And if you do have any names etc that I’ve missed above please register, log on (it only takes a few seconds) and leave any information and thoughts you might have.
* The Women’s Elite Time Trial race (22.9km) is on Wednesday 29th September, starting at 3pm.
* The Women’s Elite Road Race from Melbourne to Geelong (127.2km) is on Saturday 2 October, staring at 1pm.