There were a whole load of races this weekend – here’s some video from road racing in Europe and MTB in the Czech Republic – and hopefully someone will find the video of the amazing racing in the USA!
On Friday, it was the Boels Rentals Hills Classic, aka Holland Hills – all around the hills of the Valkenberg region, including the Cauberg. This one is a hard race – last year Marianne Vos broke her collarbone in a fall here.
With a nice interview about the race with winner Ashleigh Moolman. This is her first big Euro win, and following on from her 3rd place in the Flèche Wallonne, she has to be a favourite for the Giro Rosa.
Then on Sunday, it was another hard race – Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik, part of the Lotto Cycling Cup series. Yes, *that* Geraardsbergen as in the cobbled hills of Flanders.
Here’s a little bit of video, focusing on the Vos fan club, with a little bit of race footage. Thanks Confusedspider!
EDIT! Here’s another little video, from the marvellous Motomedia team:
EDIT! And if you understand Dutch, here’s a half-hour programme on women’s cycling from Sunday, with interviews with Vos and Johansson, and footage from Gooik. Have a look!
In the Czech Republic, it was the second round of the Cross Country MTB World Cup, Nove Mesto. You can watch the women’s and men’s Eliminators and the women’s XCo race, all thanks to the marvellous Red Bull tv. As ever, there’s great commentary and fast racing. I really, really love how Red Bull works with MTB, it’s a fabulous model, and I’d love to see it extended to the women’s road race.
Finally, I haven’t seen any archived footage of it yet, but I absolutely loved watching the USA National Championships ITT and Road Race on Tour Tracker. That set-up is brilliant, and having double Olympic ITT champion Kristin Armstrong commentate was fabulous. She did a brilliant job of explaining women’s cycling, and the USA scene in particular, and was full of great stories about the riders. It was marvellous to be able to see the races from start to finish – a real luxury. The ITT was won by Carmen Small by just one second over Kristin McGrath, with Alison Powers in third (You can read Small’s post-race comments on the Specialized-lululemon website) – and the road race was non-stop explosions, with a super-strong final attack by Jade Wilcoxson winning the race, and her Optum p/b Kelly Benefits team-mate Lauren Hall racing a very canny race, to finish second just ahead of NOW & Novartis for MS‘ Alison Powers. I’m really hoping these will turn up online, because DAMN, that was scintillating racing!
EDIT! The races are re-playable on the Tour Tracker – apparently if you click the race, you’ll be able to replay each one. Ignore the “race not available”, you just need to wait for a while – maybe a long while – but after the coloured lines, it WILL appear! I really recommend this!
If you have any other videos you’ve seen, add them to the comments, and I’ll put them into the next podcast post. And watch out this week, for the Philadelphia Classic on 2nd June – more fantastic racing, USA-style!