On Saturday 15th March it’s the Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe, the first round of the 2014 Road Cycling World Cup, one of the biggest competitions in women’s cycling. The World Cup is 9 races across the year, with a series winner, and this year, a Best Young Rider, Mountains and Sprint prize. Here’s the trailer for this year’s series:
The Ronde van Drenthe is a lovely race – in the Netherlands, with one of my very favourite climbs the peloton face, the VAM-berg, a man-made hill created from rubbish. The course has changed this year, so as well as going over the VAM three times, they also take in stretches of “cobbles” that are much rougher than the Belgian versions, and this year, more sections have been added. It’s a fantastic course, with lots of opportunities for attacking, and all kinds of ways it can be won, from solo attack to big bunch sprint, but most often small group action. It’s always an exciting race, the start of the real Spring Classics for women. Here’s the highlights from last year
But the best thing is, you can see it on tv and on streams!
The race is shown on local tv channel RTV Drenthe, and you can watch it here, completely un-geo-restricted.
The coverage starts at 15:00 CET (2pm UK; 11am USA EDT; 7am USA PDT; and 1am Aus AEDT) BUT, there is a catch! The race is due to finish at 15:30, and in previous years, the RTV coverage hasn’t been live, it’s been delayed, so if you want to watch how the race ends on tv with no spoilers, keep off twitter
UPDATE! The race is now apparently going to be shown live on tv from 14:00 CET (1pm UK; 9am USA EST; 6am PST; midnight Aus AEDT). This could be on the tv only, so it might be on the stream from 15:00 – but I would recommend checking the live stream at 14:00 if you want to be sure.
UPDATE!!! The RTV Drenthe feed is having problems, but this feed was live from 14:00
I need to warn you – this is women’s cycling, and sometimes the information can be a little be ropey. So if you tune in at 14:00 and there’s no cycling, and it turns out it IS a delayed stream from 15:00, I can only apologise. I’ll post any updates here, and on my twitter, so as soon as I know what’s happening for certain, I’ll share it.
(Last year we crashed the tv server, so my advice is fire up that stream a little bit early…)
If you want to follow the race as it happens before the video starts, turn to twitter. The race twitter, @RondevDrenthe, gives updates, and of course there are the team mechanics, @RichieSteege for Boels-Dolmans and @SemVersteeg for Rab0-Liv, who tweet from the race. This year Sean Velofocus will be there, so follow his twitter from the roadside – you can find all the accounts that are live updating in my twitter list.
I interviewed Annemiek van Vleuten for Podium Café, and she gave us the inside view on what it’s like to race. We’ll have a live thread on Podium Café, where we’ll be talking about the race, and of course, any questions, ask me here or as @_pigeons_. But there’s more!
Ronde van Drenthe is just one of three women’s races at Drenthe – there’s also the Molecaten Drentse 8 on Thursday 13th March, and the Novilon Eurocup on Sunday 16th – and there’s also a men’s race. They all have the same great field, and there’s usually great video highlights on the RTV Drenthe youtube, and there’ll be a short World Cup video on the UCI youtube very soon after the race is over, and apparently an hour of highlights on there a week or so after the race.
There’s a ton of great information on the race website, and because they have good wifi, there are always lots of blogs and photos and tweets from riders and teams, and I follow that on my twitter list. It really is a fun week of women’s cycling, and I can’t wait to watch it!
- Molecaten Drentse 8 – on Velofocus, and by ORICA-AIS, startlist on Cycling Fever
- Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe – by Annemiek van Vleuten, on Velofocus, by Amanda Spratt & Jessie Maclean – with sheep! on ORICA-AIS, & startlist on Cycling Fever
- Novilon Eurocup – on Velofocus and ORICA-AIS, startlist on Cycling Fever
I’ll edit in more as I find them – and come back here for all the videos, blogs and photos after the races!