Sunday 27th March 2016
The 2016 Women’s World Tour charges on, with the 4th round in four weeks – and the first round in Belgium, Gent-Wevelgem. This used to run at the same time as the Trofeo Binda, so never had the full complement of stars racing it – but this year’s different. It’s World Tour, and this is a step up, and they’ve celebrated by adding two Junior Women’s races as well, and joining the brand new Junior Nations Cup. In fact there will be seven races on the same course and same day, which has to be the most impressive organisational feat on the calendar – and the race organisers have put together this great little video to show you when the different pelotons will get to key points:
The World Tour race sadly doesn’t have as many of the classic Flandrian hills of the men’s course, but it takes in the same little loop with the Kemmelberg, Monteberg and Baneberg, with the same run-up via Ieper, so the women will have the great atmosphere that only Belgian Classics can provide. Update! Have a look at those climbs in this great Wiggle High5 video:
So how can we follow the races?
NB:The clocks will have changed overnight in Europe!
The race starts at 11:20 Euro CEST (10:20am BST; 8:20pm Aussie AEDT; 5:20am USA EDT) and is due to finish between 14:10 and 14:27 CEST (from 1:10pm BST; 11:20pm AEDT; 8:10am EDT).
There isn’t any live-streaming planned for this race, but we can hope that maybe the end will be shown live or there’ll be highlights shown either before or after the men’s race, which will be streamed on Sporza from 13:30 CEST (check your local TV stations to see if they’re showing the men too, or look for livefeeds here and here).
But don’t worry, we can always use twitter to follow the race – and I’ll be doing live commentary based on twitter, with my friend Clara Beard, from 12:45 CEST (11:45am BST; 9:45pm AEDT; 6:45am EDT) which you can listen to on my Mixlr.
Twitter is the most fantastic resource, and the race will be tweeting live, and there should be a race hashtag which I’ll update later – possibly #GWE? – but there’ll be updates on the World Tour’s #UCIWWT. Of course I’ve updated my live women’s tweeting list with accounts that are at the race and giving updates from the team cars, which I still find the easiest way to follow most races.
Update! There’ll also be a liveticker on DirectVelo, in French and Dutch.
Update! Here’s the Cyclepieces streetview video:
There are race previews on Velorooms, Ella Cycling Tips, ORICA-AIS, and Cervélo-Bigla. In Boels-Dolmans’ preview, Ellen van Dijk talks about returning to the World Tour after breaking her ribs, and in Wiggle High5’s, Jolien D’hoore talks about racing in tribute to the people of Brussels. I’ll edit more in as I see them (if you find more, share them on twitter). And don’t forget to check out the latest World Tour Chronicle on the UCI website.
If you want to re-live previous years’ races, I’ve got collections of media from the races from 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012 (scroll down for G-W in each one). Of course I’ll make a 2016 equivalent collection here, and will add video and photos to my women’s cycling Tumblr as I see them.
There are two Junior women’s races on the Sunday in Boezinge – starting with one for u17 women, 8 laps of a 5.5 circuit (course from page 1 here) that starts at 10:15 CEST (9:15am BST; 7:15pm AEDT; 4:15am EST) and then the Nations Cup u19 race, 6 laps of an 11.8km course, starting at 12:00 CEST (11pm BST; 9pm AEDT; 7am EDT) – and the startlist will be here. Hopefully we can find updates on the race twitter, but it might just be looking for information on the race site afterwards.
If you see any more information, of course, please do share it. I’ll edit more in as I see it too, and as always, big thanks to my Patreon supporters, who fund me to do this kind of women’s cycling work.