This is the second year of the Lotto Tour – the final event in the season-long Lotto Cycling Cup, a series of Belgian races. Last year it was the three-stage Lotto Decca Tour – this year we’re up to four stages, with a new sponsor and name, the Lotto-Belisol Belgium Tour! And like all the Lotto Cup races, there are videos. Don’t scroll down too far below the videos, there are spoilers.
Before you start, read Jessie Maclean’s race preview on the ORICA-AIS website.
Stage 1: The Team Time Trial, 19.75km
I wonder what happens when the women’s peloton race a TTT?
Stage 2: Omloop Angreau, 110.16km
9 laps of a 12.24km circuit – with 2 “climbs” of no more than 40m each. So basically, sprinty! It’s so good to see Kirsten Wild back on top form.
Stage 3: Omloop Nijlen, 115.12km
1 loop of 13.69km followed by 17x 14.49km laps – all flat…. and Wild isn’t just back, she’s back with a vengeance! Nice to see Lisa Brennauer in the yellow leader’s jersey after the stage, too.
This was the Queen Stage, and a beautiful, difficult parcours, the perfect end for a race. 1 lap of 26.19, then 1 of 19.17 and 2 of 19.57 – with Oude Steenweg in the first lap and that icon of the Belgian Classics, the Kapelmuur and Oude Steenweg again in those last two.
The photos show how hard it was – and huge congratulations to Nettie Edmondson, winning her first European stage on such a day! Look how happy she is, in the ORICA race report photos, and in the English interview at the end of the interview. Massive congratulations, too, to Ellen van Dijk, who rode hard to win the overall GC – if Brennauer had to surrender the GC jersey to anyone, I know she’ll be genuinely happy to hand it to a team-mate.
Van Dijk really has upped her climbing skills this year, and is having an amazing season…. will she finish it with a gold in the ITT World Championships?
Update! I can’t imagine what it’s like when the first European race a rider’s experienced is something like this race – but luckily I don’t have to, because there’s a great blog by Canadian Anika Todd, all about how that feels. Here’s to it being the first of many, Anika tells a great story! Follow her blog and twitter.
The Lotto Cycling Cup races are all filmed by the excellent Motomedia Team – to see other races in the series, visit their vimeo account, or their youtube – and for all the information about the other races in the Lotto Cycling Cup, look on their excellent website, in Dutch, French and English.