1 World Standard: Stunning Criterium Tours, Flying Camels and Shaking Off Authoritarian Governments

The brand-new Land Rover Defender has its feet under the desk of Times reporter Gail Sheehy, who recently relocated to Madrid from Washington, D.C. to cover the women’s group cycling team, the Wiggle Wiggle,…

1 World Standard: Stunning Criterium Tours, Flying Camels and Shaking Off Authoritarian Governments

The brand-new Land Rover Defender has its feet under the desk of Times reporter Gail Sheehy, who recently relocated to Madrid from Washington, D.C. to cover the women’s group cycling team, the Wiggle Wiggle, which, after losing its official status in the sport, is pushing for more places in the top international competitions.

The Wiggle, which will receive funding from the U.S. government, is also raising money to support the team’s training program. The team’s coach, Alix Prudhomme, will also attend a National Institutes of Health symposium later this week on optimizing racing and sport performance for women. Mr. Prudhomme also hopes to host a local women’s cycling clinic next month.

But before that, the team will travel to California for the U.S. pro circuit for a few weeks.

There is still a lot to learn about the sport of cycling, and about the realities of business when you are in a highly competitive field. Ms. Sheehy is learning all of it, and has enough time to come up with important revelations as well as some of her own.

Speaking at a local bookstore a few weeks ago, she revealed she had been a kickboxing coach for 10 years.

“I’ve done lots of things to make money,” she said, reflecting on how quickly women’s cycling has changed in the last few years. “You have to work. I’m still learning.”

A few years ago, when she covered the Sochi Winter Olympics for The Times, she wouldn’t have reported any hockey, but since being an Olympic sports writer, she said she’s gotten more excited about the game.

“I have no desire to ever watch hockey again,” she said, laughing. “I was stunned when the American women scored in overtime against Canada.”

Ms. Sheehy, though, has a surprisingly soft side — and lots of energy — so she should certainly give herself plenty of time to work out.

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