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Can't she live? Why Sanne Cant's bitchface helps women's cycling

Elite Women’s CX World Championship race itself was unpredictable and exciting, but on a symbolic level, it ended up as a predictable female rivalry narrative: a bubbly blonde versus a brooding brunette. As Sanne Cant sulked her way through the podium ceremony and post-race interviews, her expression was a bitchface that launched a hundred tweets. Many called her “emo,” referring to her blunt, asymmetrical haircut. One compared her to Adam Sandler in Little Nicky. Cycling insiders publicly called out Cant for her attitude as well as her comments. But is public sulking and hot-off-the-course critical comments to the press really that bad? Under the veneer of professionalism, we’re all human beings, soft and vulnerable after a crushing defeat. All the social media tut-tutting crowned Sanne Cant the sore loser of CX Worlds, but the contrarian in me says moping and complaining, however negative, are ingredients women’s pro cycling needs desperately to keep its story interesting.

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Marianne Vos is a champion, but also a great teammate. In her first race after a long break, she didn’t feel her best for la Flèche Wallonne (maybe she felt she’s won it enough already to ‘gift’ one?) so the World Champion set out to work for current U23 World Cup leader Pauline Ferrand Prevot, offering her the most luxurious wheel of the peloton to follow, setting her up perfectly at the bottom of the Mur de Huy, even letting her know when to attack (not before you see the finish she said). The french youngster obliged, executed the plan perfectly and bagged the biggest win of her carreer (even considering she has rainbow and national champion jerseys on and off the road herself too).