The women’s cycling road season starts with a bang this weekend, and we have three big races on – the Omloop van Nieuwsblad, Evelyn Steven’s Hour Record attempt and the Omloop van het Hageland (aka Tielt-Winge) – and starting the 2016 season the way we mean to go on, two of them are live!
Omloop het Nieuwsblad, 27th February, 123.8km, 1.1
It’s kind of sad we won’t see the first race live, but maybe next year? And we can always hope this year we’ll be able to see the end of the women’s race live in the men’s coverage, and maybe highlights on Sporza after the men’s race is done (check your local broadcasters, or look for streams here and here). But we can still follow it live – the Omloop het Nieuwsblad will be tweeting live, there’ll be updates on the #OhN hashtag used by the race for both men & women, and also #OhN2016 and I’ll update my live women’s tweeting list with accounts that are at the race. There’s also an app for the Flanders Classics races.
The women’s race starts at 11:30 Euro CET (10:30am UK GMT, 9:30pm Aus AEDT, 5:30am USA EST) and it should finish between 14:21 & 14:41 CET (1:21pm GMT, 00:21 AEDT; 8:21 EST) – the timings for various points are here. The route details are here, there’s a draft startlist and more information on the race website and photos on instagram, and previews on Velorooms and Ella Cycling Tips, and Cyclingnews’ riders to watch.
I talked to Classics star Martine Bras about the race, including her predictions, and tons more, including how riders will be feeling, and her transition from pro cyclist to mother – you can listen to that and read it here. I’ve got a short interview with Boels-Dolmans rider Romy Kasper about wanting terrible weather for the race, which you can read and listen to here. And if you want last year’s videos, they’re in here.
Evelyn Stevens’ Hour Record attempt, 27th February
The second 2016 attempt on the Hour, after Bridie O’Donnell beat it in January, this time by two-time World ITT Championships medalist Evelyn Stevens – and it’ll be streamed live on the USA Cycling livestream, and also be embedded on various sites, including USA Cycling and the UCI – streams will go up there on the day.
Evie’s Hour starts at 12pm USA MST (2pm EST; 7pm UK GMT; 20:00 Euro CET; 6am Sunday Aus AEDT) but the stream is scheduled to start earlier. If you can’t watch, the #UCIHourRecord hashtag should give live updates. Follow Evie’s twitter in the lead-up, and there’s more information in this Cycling Tips article, and their little video above, which is like a lovely little mini-documentary about her training. There’s a training gallery on VeloNews.
SPAR Omloop van het Hageland/Tielt-Winge, 28th February, 129.1km, 1.1
It’s the first round of the 2016 Lotto Cycling Cup, a series of all-Belgian races that are all TOUGH racing – and we can watch this one live! The race will start at 13:30 Euro CET (12:30 UK GMT; 11:30pm Aussie AEDT; 7:30am USA EST) and is estimated to finish between 16:54-17:08 CET (around 4pm GMT; 3am AEDT, 11am EST) – and the livestream is here.
If you can’t watch, follow with the @LottoCyclingCup twitter, #OmloopHageland hashtag and my live-twitter list. The map is here (it’s 1 loop of 53.1km, followed by 5 laps of 15.2km), and start list here.
Dan and I talked about all these race on our most recent women’s cycling podcast, if you’d like to hear us rhapsodise about them! I’ll collect the videos and media from all three races in a post after the weekend – and if you want to know what else we can watch this road season, and how to follow the other women’s cycling races live, click through to my guides.
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.