Last week I told you about all the women’s road cycling races we should be able to watch live in 2016, and it’s fantastic – looking like over 20 live races, before we even get to National Championships and domestic-level crits. But it’s still a minority of the UCI-ranked races, so I’ve also got my tips on following women’s cycling races live as they happen, whether it’s before the livestream starts, or because it’s the only way to “watch”…
Social media has totally transformed women’s road racing, and we can generally follow most races live as they happen, even if we can’t see them.
Most races have a twitter account, and should post a hashtag which we can follow (should). Because not everyone uses them, I curate a twitter list of accounts that are at the races and tweet live from team cars. I try to update this to keep it as up-to-date as possible, and I take out the accounts that tweet “as live” using information already posted, in order to keep repetitions down. It’s a labour of love, but I do it because I find it the easiest way to make sense of all the races. And I have huge love for Boels-Dolmans and Rabo-liv mechanics Richard Steege and Sem Versteeg, who keep us up to date with the action around their day jobs of keeping the bikes going. You should all follow them if you’re not going so already!
The UCI have a specific women’s cycling twitter account that is 95% Women’s World Cup/Tour races and their events, but sometimes posts other things. I also have a twitter list of riders and teams, and there are some great riders and teams on instagram too – the best cross-post between the two, which makes life 100% easier!
Obviously the UCI YouTube will show the Women’s World Tour clips, but there’s so much more than that. I love the Wiggle High5 YouTube – there have been some races where their videos are the only moving pictures we see from the races – and I’ve got high hopes about the new Canyon-SRAM and Cervélo-Bigla YT accounts too. The Lotto Cycling Cup races are filmed by the Motomedia team, and highlights show up on their Vimeo after the races, and Cycling Australia’s YouTube has great videos from their Subaru National Road Series. My favourite account for video interviews from races is Felix Mattis’ superb RadReporter YouTube. Voxwomen also post interview videos, and have video diaries sent to them by riders.
I collect videos and media from races as I see them on my women’s cycling Tumblr and put up post-race collections on this blog (either in podcast posts or as stand-alone posts). I’ll also put up posts in the “Live Cycling” section of the site about how to watch the big races, and live ones.
Now Velofocus is only about photography, the first place I’ll look for race preview posts is Velorooms, and I think Ella Cycling Tips will be doing more race previews this year too, among their great content. The UCI cycling calendar has links to each UCI race website, but I usually look on Cycling Fever first as it’s easier to navigate, and updated more often.
I also always get my startlists from Cycling Fever, and I tend to get my results from Cycling Fever and CQ Ranking, but of course there are lots of other sites. I especially like Cycling Fever for their layout, and their excellent archives, and they’re really good people too. Peter van de Veen’s twitter is great for adding incisive commentary to the race action, & getting all the results up as soon as he can. I’m a little bit worried I’ll miss people off the “twitter women’s cycling detectives” list, but I also rely on Yolanda Álvarez, Marcos Marín (who both write in Spanish on El Pelotón’s Ciclismofem pages), Saul Thonolan, Jeanine Laudy, and for French cycling, Clo (& her Velonova twitter & site) and Gwéna (& Cyclisme Féminin site). For Italian cycling, and finding videos, Bidone Jack is amazing, as is the Italian forum Il Nuovo Ciclismo. Sean Robinson, Velofocus, and British journo Owen Rogers are there at races so has tons of info too. (Apologies to anyone I’ve missed off, it was an accident!).
More of my stuff
During the season, Dan and I aim for weekly women’s cycling podcasts, where we talk about the races and other news from the previous week in the sport, and anything that takes our fancy, with the posts full of links, and I also try to do regular podcast interviews with riders and people involved with women’s cycling throughout the year. They get posted here, and you can subscribe to our RSS, iTunes page and our Soundcloud too. I tend to try to ramp up my coverage of big races like the Aviva Women’s Tour, Giro Rosa and Road World Championships, with rider Q&As and more coverage (my favourite game is to help new fans enjoy the Olympics & Worlds by giving them equivalents of their favourite male rider, or kind of rider, from the women’s peloton, so they have someone to cheer for).
If you’ve got any more advice on how to follow races, please do share it – and I’m always up for talking about women’s cycling, especially to people who are new to the sport, because I remember how that felt. You can always ask me anything in the comments here, or on twitter.
I’m able to make women’s cycling media because my wonderful Patreon supporters fund me from as little as £1.50/$2/€2 a month – I’m so grateful to them, thank you! If you’d like to join them, all the information is here.