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Behind the scenes: the Tour de Suisse Womens

I was on the phone with one of the organizers of the 2024 Tour de Suisse Women's and I said "I know it's kinda crazy, but do you think I could come and do some behind the scenes coverage during the women's race?!"... He said "umm let me get back to you" and we ended the call.

Fast forward to June 15th and I found myself in a rainy Villars-sur-Ollon at the start line with a media badge around my neck, a camera and microphone in my hand-- feeling some adrenaline mix of nervous-excitement and asking myself "what the heck am I doing here?"

My goal in going behind the scenes of the racing was to create a bridge between the world of professional cycling and our women's cycling community made up of a beautiful mix of cyclists, from beginners, to explorers, to veterans. I wanted to make pro-cycling relatable but seeing these women heading to the riders check-in, kitted out in their aero gear, team radios taped to their ears and covered in sponsors I suddenly wasn't sure how I would make that happen...

Demi Vollering ride rawr interview at Tour de Suisse Womens

So I started small, I headed into the mixed zone and made eye contact with girls as they came through. I spoke with anyone who would stop for an interview. I got rejected a bunch but after the first few chats, I felt a wave of beautiful relief that turned into a wave of emotion over the next four days of racing....

I'm not exaggerating when I say I cried multiple times during those days; I often had to step away for a few breathers after speaking with my heroes, or should I say sheroes, of women's cycling. The adrenaline of it all may have been responsible and I was right in the emotional peak of my menstrual rollercoaster, I mean-- cycle but when I look back I know exactly what did it to me...

It was the realization that even though these women are faster than the rest of us, incredibly talented and brave they are just like us! It sounds cliche but I watched these girls dance and sing their favourite songs, be silly, hug their friends and family and laugh and cry...I saw that they're strong but they suffer, they struggle in the heat and like us, their legs hurt when it's steep!

That's why, without a doubt, my favourite part of this 4-day journey into women's professional cycling was to see the fiercely human side of this sport. To see women SO HAPPY to be there racing, rain or shine (and this was in stark contrast to the men's racing which seemed much more routine like "I'm just here to do my job"). To see women having FUN together, to see them supporting each other and looking up to each other was so inspiring. Here are some of my fav interviews

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig talks about emotions and how to enjoy climbing ( was literally shaking so aggressively so please excuse the trembling footage)

Here is my interview with Demi Vollering, she was so poised during the entire race, it was so impressive

Simply put, watching these racers, speaking with them and feeling their absolutely electric energy made me so proud to be a woman. I felt an overwhelming sense of pride in how far I've come with riderawr, proud of myself for not being afraid to pick up the phone and ask for this opportunity, proud to call producers and say - we want to make pee-friendly bib shorts, proud to talk to sponsors and say "please support us"... the list goes on...

It feels so good to be a part of this momentum.

Won't you join me?!

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