You’d think 6 major road races in 6 weeks is more than enough, but of course it’s not – we dive headfirst from the Ronde van Vlaanderen for the first women’s European stage race of 2016, with junior teams running alongside them, while in North Carolina, the longest continuous-running North American race, the Redlands Classic, will possibly be streamed live. Of course I’m here to tell you how to follow them both.
Energiewacht Tour, 6-10 April
I’ve always been a fan of Energiewacht, because although the profiles are completely flat, the wind and small roads make it an incredibly tough race. And now I have an added bias because I worked on the race last year, and this year I’m here again, sitting behind the race twitter. I had a great time, and sitting in the Pagedal holiday park, watching teams everywhere, I’m sure this year will be just as great.
There’s no live TV this year, but there will be daily video highlights, a liveblog on RTV Noord, lots of tweets, and photos on instagram and facebook – and lots more to follow on the #EWT16 hashtag. It’s 6 stages over 5 days, starting with one of the few Team Time Trials on the calendar, as well as having an Individual Time Trial, and finishing on the German Wadden Island, Borkum.
Junior Energiewacht Tour, 6-9 April
One of the things that’s extra special about Energiewacht is their junior race, which this year is part of the brand-new UCI Junior Nations Cup,with 23 teams. It uses the same courses as the elite women, and it’s a fantastic opportunity to spot future talent, as well as to help young riders get valuable experience of stage races and racing against international riders. There are 4 stages, and you can follow along with the #EWTJun hashtag.
Redlands Bicycle Classic, 6-10 April
Starting in 1985, Redlands has a stage racing for women and men, alongside para-cycling, racing for tons of age groups, sportifs and a huge festival of cycling – and this year apparently it’s going to have live streaming too (although I can’t find links etc). All the information is on the race website, which I’m assuming where the livestreams will be. All timings are in North American EDT (UK BST -5, Euro CEST -6, Aussie AEST -16 hours – so when Stage 1 starts on 6th April at 8:45am EDT, that’s 1:45pm BST, 14:45 CEST, 10:45am Thursday AEST)