The Ronde van Vlaanderen is such an important race on the women’s calendar – and it’s one of the races pretty much every woman in the peloton wants to win. It’s iconic, historic, super-difficult, and very, very special. It’s also the 10th edition of the women’s race and the third round of the Road World Cup – so teams and riders will be planning and preparing and dreaming of their Flanders ride, right now.
People have been asking me how they can watch this race, and I’ve got some bad news to start with – there’s no live tv, and if past years are anything to go by, it’ll be very, very limited video coverage. Belgian tv station Sporza should show some short highlights of it after the men’s race (maybe before the men’s podium ceremony, maybe afterwards) – and this will be on their videozone after the race. In some years, they’ve cut to the women’s finish-line live in the men’s coverage, but don’t get your hopes up too much.
There will be a 5-minute highlights video in English going up on the UCI’s youtube account on the night of the race, and a few weeks later, there will be a 25 minute World Cup film, that will have RvV and another race (this might turn up on tv channels like Europsport, too). There may be short highlights on various European tv channels soon after the race – Dutch NOS, for example – and depending on how Marianne Vos does, there could be something about the race on the Rabosport youtube.
Yes, I know – there should be a lot more than this – so if you want to take 5 minutes and email or tweet the tv station who shows cycling, the race, the UCI, or anyone you want, and tell them you want more, I’m sure it can only do good.
So, how DO I follow the race?
That doesn’t help you follow the race in real time, though – for this, we turn to twitter. TIBCO DS Manel Lacambra will be in Miami, but the Boels-Dolmans mechanic, Richie Steege, and the Hitec Products UCK manager, Karl Lima, are very good at live-tweeting in-race action (seriously, these three deserve some kind of medal) – as is cycling photographer/journalist Bart Hazen. This time, too, lovely Aussies @crazycyclefan and @TeganCox will be at the race, and they say they’ll be tweeting updates. More people might turn up, too – feel free to use my twitter live racing list, which I update with any accounts who tweet about each major race.
There’ll be a race preview on Podium Café
sometime before the race, EDIT! part 1 of the Podium Café preview focussing on contenders, by Jens, is here, and you can discuss his predictions in the comments – and there are some great previews on Les Déesses de la Route (a narrative preview), on Velofocus (with more maps and stats and streetview) and a preview and chat on Velorooms. There’s a startlist on CyclingFever – and of course, there’s the official website – with the route, the timings and the startlist too.
EDIT! Tiffany Cromwell – who last year attacked hard on the cobbles, forcing the major break of the day that helped her ORICA-AIS team-mate Judith Arndt on her way to the win – has written a really great preview of the race, that gives this excellent insight into what it’s like for the riders. I highly recommend this one, Cromwell’s passion shines through it. Click and read!
Anything else I find, I’ll add here – and if you see anything, add it to the comments, or tell me on twitter – and of course, if you have any questions, just ask!