Oh Flèche Wallonne! It’s one of the absolute best races in the world to see in real life from the Mur de Huy, and always super-exciting. The Flèche Wallonne Femmes course has 11 classified climbs, finishing on the iconic Mur, but between them there’s hardly any flat at all. It’s a glorious race, the last of the Classics section of the 2016 Women’s World Tour, and every rider with serious Olympic ambitions will have her eye on this one. I loved it anyway, and when Karl Lima of Hitec Products took me to the race in 2013 (read about my adventures!) it became one of my favourite racing days ever. It’s wonderful… which is why it’s disappointing we can’t watch it live. We can hope that the men’s TV coverage includes the women’s finish live (look for streams here and here) but don’t expect it to happen… BUT! We can still follow it, and live the excitement in real time!
The race starts at 11:20 Euro CEST (10:20am UK BST; 8:20pm Aussie AEST; 5:20am USA EDT) and is due to finish between 15:00 and 15:26 CEST (from 2pm BST; midnight AEST; 9am EDT)
Twitter is the way forward. There’s the FlecheWallonne twitter account, but as always, my twitterlist will be updated with the best accounts following the race live. There’s a separate women’s hashtag, #FWF2016, and #FlecheWallonne may cover both women’s and men’s races – but I’ll update if that changes. And #UCIWWT has the women’s world tour updates – but I find my list is the easiest way to follow a race, which is why I keep it updated.
I’ll be doing live race commentary on my Mixlr, based off twitter, for the second half of the race, so starting at 14:00 CEST (1pm UK BST/10pm AEST/8am EDT).
There’s a sporadically-updated race ticker on Direct Velo.
There are previews on Ella Cycling Tips, on Velorooms and Road & Mud, and you can catch up with all the World Tour action on the UCI’s World Tour Chronicle – and read team previews from Rabo-liv (don’t get confused, Waalse Pijl is the Dutch name!), ORICA-AIS, Boels-Dolmans, and more to follow.
Oh Flèche! If this is just whetting your appetite and you want MUR! NOW! then head over to my collections of videos from last year, 2014 and 2013, to re-live the beauty – and here’s 2010 winner Emma Pooley about the race in 2014 (listen or read it), and Martine Bras talking about why it’s the best race to see in real life….. and my all-time favourite Flèche videos, Aussie superstar, Road Worlds silver medallist and ex-T-Mobile DS Anna Wilson (Millward) being interviewed climbing the Mur, and Vale Scandolara‘s idiosyncratic take (come back, Vale videos!)
Of course I’ll be back with any videos and more media after the race, and we’ll podcast all about it on Thursday.