I am genuinely so excited about how much more professional women’s cycling we can see these days, and how relatively fast the changes have been. We’ve been able to watch the full women’s BMX World Cups, from qualifying up to finals, on BMX Live TV for a while now. And the full Cross Country MTB and the top Downhill finals in the Shimano MTB World Cups have been streamed on Red Bull TV for years too. Tissot Track World Cups in the UK are shown live on TV, with a version for people who might know less about the sport on the main TV and fan-version on the Red Button, and the UCI have shown a mix of the final World Cup session live and replays of previous sessions on the UCI YouTube for a long time. And this season, cyclocross stepped up to become easily the most visible of all the women’s cycling disciplines.
Apart from the occasional Dutch race, the UCI really started the ball rolling in CX, showing all the women’s Telenet Cyclocross World Cups on their YouTube for a few years, now – and last year Sporza showed all the IJsboerke Ladies Trophy races from the DVV Trophee, the Soudal Classics and more races, and licensed them to TV in the UK and USA, while some smaller series and USA races streamed theirs live. Finally, for the 2016/7 season, the SuperPrestige series was shown on Belgian TV too, meaning that every major, and a whole swathe of minor races were all live. It’s glorious!
Of course, road cycling is the hardest discipline to broadcast, logistically speaking, so it’s not surprising we get to see less of the women’s racing. And this year it’s an unfortunate coincidence that three of the races that have been streamed live have been cancelled – the Tour Femenino de San Luis, Ladies Tour of Qatar, and the WorldTour race, the Philadelphia Classic.
But on the other hand, last year we saw a significant amount more of the racing live than ever before, and it’s got to the stage where over the summer, I can count on having being able to watch live women’s road racing on 6 consecutive weekends. This year we’ve already had three women’s races broadcast completely live for the first time – the Mitchelton Bay Crits (videos in here), and the women’s races at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, the Race Melbourne crit and the Deakin Women’s Race (videos in here), and I’m confident that we’ll continue to see more and more women’s races shown over the next few years.
So here’s my guide to which women’s road races I think we’ll be able to see live in 2017.
Of course, I’ll start with a caveat: these are guesses, based on what we’ve seen in previous years, so please don’t take it as set in stone, as I can’t promise they’ll all be shown. And of course, more might be added, and if they are, I’ll edit them in throughout the year. I’m focusing on road races, but I’ll put a guide to Crits in the USA and UK below – and you can find my tried-and-tested ways of staying in touch with races that aren’t being shown over here.
For some of these races, you’ll need a VPN set to the relevant country, or to find pirate streams to watch. I favour a VPN myself – I use Witopia, and ExpressVPN is recommended by a lot of people I trust but there are free VPNs like Betternet, Hola and Tunnelbear. If you’re not sure about VPNs, I highly recommend inrng’s explanation of what they are, and why they beat streams. When I have to, I look for streams in places like Steephill, sebn, ProCyclingLive and Cycling Fans, and if you go down that route I always recommend you install adblock and never ever click on any pop-ups or ads!
I’ll put up guides to watching the live races nearer their times in the Live Cycling section of the site. And if you’re wondering about what the race categories mean, I have a guide from last year here.
26th February – Spar Omloop van het Hageland (Tielt Winge) (1.1. Belgium) – LIVE
This is the first race in the Lotto Cycling Cup, a series of fantastic Belgian races with cumulative points that add to an overall prize. They’ve had great highlights by the MotoMedia team (check out their vimeo), but last year they showed Omloop van het Hageland completely live, and are doing the same this year.
Last year they didn’t have commentary for the race – but it was easy to pick up the gist via the commentweeters – and it’s a good example of a low-cost way to broadcast.
This year, the race will be shown on the race website and on the Motomedia livestream, and on the from 13:00 European CET (12pm UK GMT; 7am North American EST and 4am PST; 11pm Australian AEDT). There will be an hour of highlights on Eurosport NL as well, on 1st March at 18:00 – and make sure you follow the Lotto Cycling Cup twitter, to see if more races in their series will be live too.
UPDATE! Here’s my guide to watching the race, with more information
Update! Here’s my collection of videos from the 2017 race.
4th March – Strade Bianche (WorldTour, Italy) – HIGHLIGHTS
This is the first round of the Women’s WorldTour, so we’re promised there should be short highlights which should be on the UCI Youtube, but last year there was also highlights on RAI Sport 2, the Italian channel we’ll be talking a lot about today. Check out their tv schedule nearer the time, because sometimes there are highlights we can watch on their livestream (though it’s geo-restricted to Italy, so you may need a VPN or a stream). Videos from the 2015 race are in this podcast post, and 2016 race in here.
Update! It turned out that the last hour was shown on Eurosport, without commentary – check out all the videos and highlights from 2017.
11th March – Ronde van Drenthe (WorldTour, Netherlands) – LIVE
This is probably the most reliably live-streamed women’s race, and was certainly the first race I saw a meaningful amount of live – and it’s wonderful, famously combining some of the most vicious cobbles on the circuit with a hill that grows every year, because it’s man-made, constructed from landfill. No, really!
For the last few years, the final hour has been shown on RTV Drenthe‘s livestream, and on RTV Oost, both of which are un-geo-restricted – check the RTV Drenthe schedule nearer the time (it pays to open the stream early) and it has also been shown restricted on NOS for the Netherlands too. They usually have highlights clips from the other women’s Drenthe race, the Drentse Acht on 12th March, on the RTV Drenthe YouTube as well. And as a WorldTour race, we’ll get the highlights on the UCI YouTube. Watch the videos from last year, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2011, and you’ll see why I love this race so much!
Update! My collection of videos and media from the 2017 race.
20th March – Trofeo Alfredo Binda (WorldTour, Italy) – SEMI-LIVE
It’s an exciting race in the Varese region, with a long first loop, and then laps of a technical circuit around Cittiglio, with a tough climb and vicious descent.
Last year there was a “semi-live” stream on the race website, where fixed cameras on the finish-line showed the end of each lap, with Italian commentary, and I did some English commentary for it on my Mixlr.
Update! This year the last 70km will be streamed live! I’ve got more in my guide to watching the 2017 race.
And as well as that, we’ve traditionally had an hour of post-race highlights later on the same day, with about the last half hour of the race “as live” on RAI Sport 1’s stream (again, you may need a VPN) – check the tv schedule nearer the time, and look out for the UCI highlights on their YouTube. Videos from last year, from 2015, and 2014.
UPDATE! Here’s what we saw this year, including livestreaming that included clips of race action right from the start!
26th March – Gent-Wevelgem (WorldTour, Belgium) – HIGHLIGHTS
It’s at the same time as the men’s race, which we know from the typically Flandrian cobbled climbs and pave sections, so and in the past they have cut to the women’s finish live during the men’s race
– and there are rumours that this year we may get more but it won’t be live. UPDATE! Here’s my guide to how to follow the race.
Whatever happens, there should be highlights on the UCI YouTube, as it’s part of the Women’s WorldTour.
UPDATE! And here’s what we got from 2016.
1st April – Volta Limburg Classic (domestic, Netherlands – LIVE
It’s a small Dutch race, but it’s in Limburg, and that means it’s live on L1, the local Dutch channel which is viewable everywhere in the world. The race starts at 12:20 CEST (11:30am UK BST; 6:30am EDT; 9:30pm Aussie AEDT) – the route is here, and startlist here. It’s mostly small teams, but some pro riders are racing.
2nd April – Ronde van Vlaanderen (WorldTour, Belgium) – LIVE
One of the things that was unfortunate about 2016 was how two women’s races were going to be streamed live for the first time – the Asda Tour de Yorkshire, and the women’s Tour of Flanders, aka Ronde van Vlaanderen. This was going to be game-changing, especially RvV, because it’s one of the most famous, and loved, cycling races in the world, and could prove that it is possible to show women’s races when their on at the same time as men’s – however, for both of these races, random technical issues meant the planned broadcasts didn’t go ahead.
Update! Initially Sporza said there was no budget for the women’s RvV to be shown live, but check this out!
The last hour will be on Belgian TV for Proximus customers, and there’ll be an international stream, which I’m co-commentating! All the information about that can be found here.
UPDATE! I got to commentate the race live, and you can see that, and a lot of other videos, in this collection.
5th-9th April – Healthy Ageing Tour (2.2, Netherlands) – Elite and Junior races LIVE
The race formerly know as the Energiewacht Tour is the first European stage race of the season, and it’s ALL about ‘Dutch style racing’ – wind, killer breaks that get away in the first 10k, endless attacks and catches, and a GC that can change every day – and with a junior stage race on the same days and roads as the elite women and is part of the UCI’s Junior Nations Cup.
This year, both the elite and junior races will be streamed live, in full on Podium.tv, a regional Dutch online TV channel that’s watch-able from anywhere in the world, and on the race website. They did this before, in 2015, and I have a massive soft-spot for this race, and will be back with them for my third year working on their social media.
Here are highlights from last year:
UPDATE! You can find all the links to this year’s streams in my podcast post about the race. And the race already say they’ll have full coverage next year, too – look out for the helicopter!
8-9th April – Alabama Cycling Classic (CRT & Domestic, USA) – LIVE
USA races are known for lots of events over a weekend, with women and men racing on the same roads, alongside multiple categories, and childrens’ race, innovative TV coverage, and fantastic events that surround the bike racing – and this is no exception.
On Saturday 8th April, it’s the Sunny King Crit, and then on Sunday 9th, the McClellan Road Race – and all the races, from amateur right up to the pros – and they’ll all be streamed live on the race website. If you click the links below, you can find the details of each race, with timings, and watch the full replays from 2016:
- Women’s Sunny King Crit, 8th April, 6:30pm USA CDT (7:30pm USA EDT; 00:30 UK BST; 01:30 Euro CEST; 9:30am on 9th Australian AEST)
- Women’s McClellan Road Race, 9th April, 9am USA CDT (10am EDT; 3pm BST; 16:00 CEST; 2am AEST)
If you’re in the area, or fancy a weekend away, there’s so much going on, it would be an amazing trip – and great for us to watch live too!
16th April – Amstel Gold Race (WorldTour, Netherlands) – LIVE?
The Amstel Gold returns for the first time since 2003, and I am hoping we’ll get to see this one live, because not only are the Netherlands the world leaders in showing us women’s bike races, probably the major women’s cycling sponsor, Boels Rentals, is based in the region. We’ll have to cross our fingers – and at the least, we’ll get highlights, both from Dutch media and the UCI. We’re told there’ll be something live, we just don’t know what.
Although there hasn’t been an Amstel Gold race in the last few years, we’ve been able to watch the women race around the Limburg hills and finish on the legendary Cauberg, in the Boels Rental Hills Classic (which this race replaces – last year’s highlights here), Boels Rental Ladies Tour, and of course the 2012 Road World Championships.
UPDATE! We got to see around 20 minutes of the race live – here’s my collection of videos, photos and other media.
20th April – Flèche Wallonne Femmes (Belgium, WorldTour) – HIGHLIGHTS
It’s no secret that Flèche Wallonne makes fans frustrated. They used to show us the women’s finish live in the men’s coverage, and it’s pretty much the easiest race to do this in, as there are fixed cameras all the way up the Mur de Huy, and the timing is designed so that the women are on the Mur while the men are on some boring back part of the course and vice versa – and they show they can use split-screen technology by showing both the men’s breakaway and chase at the same time. Last year they did show a very short finish-line clip in the men’s race… 25 minutes after the women’s race was over, which was strange, as there wasn’t anything important happening at the actual finish time.
It’s always confusing why they stopped showing the women, as I’m pretty sure most cycling fans would rather watch pensioners, schoolkids and anyone else race up the Mur, as it’s one of the iconic climbs of the sport. In the worst year, the men’s coverage swapped to a shot from the commentary booth of commentators leaning out of the window watching the women finish, which was just trolling us! So we can cross our fingers that we’ll get the live finish this year, but it might be just be highlights on the UCI YouTube again. Here’s how we can ask the race organisers to show something live.
Here’s what we got in 2016 and 2015 – and the wonderful Karl Lima, boss of Hitec Products, took me to the race in 2013 – here are my stories, photos and interviews. We can always ask the race if they’ll show more this year on their twitter and facebook.
UPDATE! We didn’t get much, but here’s my collection of videos, photos and other media.
23rd April – Liège-Bastogne-Liège (Belgium, WorldTour) – HIGHLIGHTS
It’s really exciting that with Amstel Gold, and the brand new Liège-Bastogne-Liège, there are now women’s races at all three of the super-prestigious Ardennes Week Classics. This is a huge deal for the sport, and while there isn’t a website up yet for LBL, we should get highlights on the UCI YouTube and hopefully more. Here’s how we can ask the race organisers to show something live.
UPDATE! Nothing will be live, sadly, but here’s my guide to following the race.
UPDATE! Once more, we didn’t get much video from this race, but what there was is collected here.
28th April – 1st May – Festival Elsy Jacobs (Luxembourg, 1.1) – LIVE
I always think Elsy Jacobs is the race that signifies the end of the Spring Classics and the start of the stage racing season. It’s a lovely race that started as a day race, in honour of Elsy Jacobs, who was the first woman to ever become Road World Champion, back in 1958, then added a second day race, in honour of another local hero, Nicolas Frantz – then they added a time trial, and merged them all three into a stage race.
I have a huge soft spot for this race, as it was the first race I ever went to (thanks to Stefan Wyman and the Matrix Fitness team, who took me!) but it’s always hard-fought, with a superb peloton, so I’m really excited that this year it will be streamed live and broadcast on Luxembourg TV.
UPDATE! Here’s my guide to watching the last hour, and more, of each stage
UPDATE! Videos from the two road race stages, and highlights, are in this podcast post.
29th April – Asda Tour de Yorkshire (Great Britain, 1.1) – LIVE?
Last year, it was planned that the race would be streamed, and this was a huge deal, as the women’s race was on the same day and exactly the same course as the men’s Tour de Yorkshire Stage 2, with a huge £50,000 prize pot. It was going to be live in full on Eurosport (I was commentating!) and the last 3 hours shown live on ITV4. However, like RvV, huge bad luck hit the race, as the ‘plane that should have sent the signal from the race motos to the broadcasters had a mechanical problem, and we could only see the final sprint from the fixed cameras. SO disappointing – and such a random piece of bad luck for the race organisers, who were innovative in so many ways.
Luckily, it’ll be streamed live this year, because once again, the women race the same roads and same day as the men’s Stage 2, from Tadcaster to Harrogate – and if you want to, you can send positive questions/messages to the race organisers on their excellent twitter, facebook and website.
UPDATE! Here’s my guide to watching the entire race.
UPDATE! My collection of videos and media, including the full race replay
3rd-7th May – Redlands Bicycle Classic (USA, National) – NOT LIVE
While the Dutch lead the way in showing women’s cycling on their mainstream media, the USA scene is famous for using new technologies to produce creative streams from all kinds of races – and last year, the fantastic Redlands Classic joined in. It may be a domestic level race, rather than UCI, but it is a great example of USA racing, with men and women racing on the same courses, including some massively fast crit stages, and a huge festival of cycling, with races for para-cyclists, lower Cat riders and all ages of children, under the California sun – a real community affair.
I really hope this is live again, because it’s such a good race.
5-7th May – Tour of ChongMing Island (WorldTour, China) – LIVE
One of only two rounds of the Women’s WorldTour that take place outside Europe, last year we got this race live in full for the first time, on a Chinese stream that needed a VPN access, or on streams that came with virus warnings. Luckily for us, it also turned up on YouTube shortly after – you see what was shown here. Hopefully it will be streamed again this year – and as it’s WorldTour, we should get highlights on the UCI YouTube as well.
11-14th May – Amgen Tour of California (WorldTour, USA) – TourTracker & highlights
The other non-European WorldTour race, last year we had
text updates by the wonderful Clara Beard, graphics and GPS updates on the Tour Tracker, via their apps and specific webpage, and lots of video highlights, including on the UCI YouTube.
17th-21st May – Euskal Emakumeen Bira (Spain, 2.1) – Final stage LIVE
I really feel for the Emakumeen Bira organisers, as over the last few years, the UCI has asked them to move from their slot on the calendar for bigger races – this year because of the new Liège-Bastogne-Liège. I think it was the right decision for the sport overall, but at the same time, it’s a real issue that it always seems to happen to Bira, because it has a long history, and something the calendar really needs – mountains.
We lost a lot of races in the 2000s, and a lot of them in the countries with mountains, especially France, which lost two of the only three races allowed to run for more than a week. And at the same time, races like the Giro Trentino, which used to be Alpine, have been reduced and become much flatter. While we’ve made up the numbers of the races, they’ve tended to be in much flatter countries, like the Netherlands, Belgium and the UK, and the pure climbers have suffered disproportionately, as they only have a few races where they can really use their skills. So the Emakumeen Bira being in the Basque mountains makes it very special, and needs as much support as possible.
Last year, for the first time, the final stage was streamed live, on an open stream from Basque TV station EITB, and this is going to happen again this year – so worth watching! You can see the excellent highlights video, and that full final stage, running around beautiful Basque coastline in pouring race, in here.
28th May – Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik (1.1, Belgium) – LIVE
This is a typical Classic, all over the famous Flandrian cobbles and climbs, including the legendary Muur van Geraardsbergen – and this year it will be streamed live for the first time, with commentary from Rochelle Gilmore and José Been, maybe on the Motomedia Team livestream. On top of this, there will definitely be significant highlights on Eurosport NL on 30th May. There’s no race website at the moment, but as with all the races, I’ll update when I know more.
28th May – Winston-Salem Crit (CRT, USA) – LIVE
39th May – Winston Salem Cycling Classic (1.2, USA) – LIVE
Another great example of the USA cycling culture, with an amazing festival of bikes in every aspect, community and a huge music concert – with races live streamed around the world! They show the crit and the UCI-ranked road race, on their livestream – here’s what we saw last year, including the USA Road Championships, which were part of the same weekend.
7-11th June – the OVO Energy Women’s Tour (WorldTour, UK) – HIGHLIGHTS
You probably know that I worked on the social media team for the first two editions of The Friends Life/Aviva and now OVO Energy Women’s Tour, and commentated last year’s highlights with Hugh Porter, but believe me, that doesn’t mean I exaggerate about this race, which is universally acknowledged as having set a new bar for women’s races. It has phenomenal crowds, demonstrating beyond doubt that there IS an audience for women’s cycling in the UK!
We don’t get to see it live, but there are always an hour of highlights on ITV4 on TV and online every day, that are also available to watch for 30 days on the ITV Player (UK, or use a streaming site or a VPN). And there is fantastic race media, including their superb videos. It’s always an amazing race, and I can’t wait to see what they do for 2017.
Check out the media from the first year, and my interviews with Guy Elliot, the race controller, about 2015, and with Marianne Vos about being at the 2015 race as a TV commentator and spectator – and the race’s own highlights from 2016.
21st-25th June – National Championships (various)
Traditionally, most of the National Road Cycling Championships are held in the same week, and the road races are usually in the same weekend. There are some exceptions, of course – Australia and New Zealand, for example, have theirs during their summer season (check out their 2017 highlights in this post).
What we get to see varies from year to year, but traditionally we’ve been able to watch the Italian and Dutch Champs live, which are by far the most competitive races, and the USA, which usually have a really strong field, but this year may have a smaller peloton, as they’ve been moved back in the year, and the top pros will have to decide between possibly being jet-lagged for the Giro/TdF, and going for the National Champs title. We also often get to see the French races live, and various others. Here’s what we saw in 2014 from the ITTs and the Road Races and in 2015 and 2016 (both full races and highlights) – and of course I’ll do a round up of what to watch where, nearer the time, and another post-weekend collection.
30th June- 8th July – Giro Rosa (WorldTour, Italy) – HIGHLIGHTS
This is the only women’s stage race that’s allowed to run for 10 days – it used to be one of three, so it’s so incredibly important for the sport. It’s a major goal, for the GC riders, who can claim they’re the best stage racer of the season if they win this, as well as for the sprinters targeting the flat days, and for the climbers, who look forward to the race getting into the mountains. In fact, running for ten days allows it to have something for everyone – climbing, sprint, Classics, Prologue, ITT riders and escape artists – and being in Italy, we get daily highlights every day from RAI Sport 2 (usually from 30mins to an hour, albeit geo-restricted, so via VPNs or streams), and more highlights, from the race and on the UCI YouTube.
20th July – La Course by Le Tour de France (WorldTour, France) – LIVE
This is a race of contradictions for me – it’s fantastic that the women get to ride at the Tour de France, but this year, while it’s a much-needed mountain top finish on the Col d’Izoard (the same day and finish as the men’s TdF Stage 18), it’s under 70km, which is even shorter than the last two years, and not a length riders train for – and it’s a huge shame that it hasn’t expanded from a single day race, as the organisers implied it might, in the first year.
At least the second hour should be shown everywhere that shows the Tour de France, with hundreds of different options if it’s not on TV in your area. Here’s what it looked like in 2015, and from Marianne Vos‘ bike in 2014:
UPDATE! There will be a second day, a strange Pursuit-event on 21st April, but no news about whether it will be televised on not.
29th July – Prudential Ride London Classique (WorldTour, UK) – LIVE
Like La Course, this is one of the unusually-short, city centre WorldTour races. It takes in some of the highlights of London tourism, starting and finishing in St James’ Park, past Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Downing Street and Trafalgar Square. It’s a lovely event to visit, with a gigantic FreeRide for any kind of cyclist, and a big cycling festival in Green Park (I did TV commentary for the last two years, and the atmosphere is fantastic). On the Sunday, there are the big sportifs, and the men’s Olympic Legacy race that runs through Surrey, and over Box Hill (I always wish the women could have the same course, but it seems like it’s not to be). It has always been shown on the BBC and streamed on the BBC website, so it should be again this year (people outside the UK may need a VPN), and could be on Eurosport too. Highlights, and the podcast where I talk about my experiences commentating last year, are in this post.
31st July – 6th August – Tour of Utah (domestic USA) – LIVE
This isn’t UCI, but it has a history of livestreaming, with the women’s and men’s races shown together on Tour Tracker. It was excellent, and I hope we get that again!
2nd-6th August – European Road Championships (Herning, Denmark) – LIVE?
Last year’s European Championships were hurriedly moved from Nice-Monaco to Plumelec, after the attack in Nice, so there wasn’t great TV, but this year it’s in Scandinavia, which traditionally has been a fantastic for women’s races to be streamed live, so cross your fingers!
The Junior women’s ITTs will be on 2nd, U23 and ITTs on the 3rd – the road races will be on 4th for the Juniors and the combined U23 and Elite women’s on 5th August.
17-20th August – Ladies Tour of Norway (WorldTour) – LIVE
It’s the fourth edition of this race, and this time it’s been promoted to the WorldTour!
This race was wonderful the first year, where it had brilliant highlights, and then in 2015 they stepped up, showing the race live on Procycling.no, the race site and the race youtube, which I didn’t watch it because Karl Lima and Hitec Products generously took me to the race, and I had the most incredible time – listen to me talk about it, and watch the videos, in this podcast post. It was live again last year – and will be again this year, which is likely to have helped it get that WorldTour status.
I can’t recommend this race enough, everyone was so lovely when I visited, the sun shone continually (which apparently isn’t normal for the Scandinavian summer!), Norway and Sweden are beautiful, and of course the racing was brilliant.
UPDATE! There’s going to be mainstream TV coverage of this year’s race too:
11th August – Crescent Vårgårda Team Time Trial (WorldTour, Sweden) – Highlights
13th August – Crescent Vårgårda Road Race (WorldTour, Sweden) – LIVE
Vårgårda are famous for their innovations in bringing live women’s racing to fans. The road race coverage started with a live-ticker combined with Swedish radio commentary, then added finish-line video each time the riders crossed the lap line, and then added cameras from the hill on every lap, and finally it was streamed, live, and unrestricted, on Swedish TV and last year on Eurosport as well. It’s such a fantastic success story, and really interesting use of evolving technologies – and as it can be won in every way from bunch sprint to solo break, it’s a brilliant showcase for the peloton as they start their campaign for the Road World Championships.
The Team Time Trial only usually gets highlights, but it’s important as the only real indication of what might happen in the TTT Worlds, and the Road Race should be live again, on SVT, if nowhere else. Videos from 2013, the 2014 TTT and road race, from 2015’s TTT and road race, and from 2016 – the TTT, and the road race Part 1 and Part 2.
26th August – GP de Plouay (WorldTour, France) – LIVE
It’s part of a huge 4 day festival of cycling in Brittany, with great multi-media, and we’ve got to see the last section of the race live for many years, on French TV and sometimes in Eurosport. It’s great that it’s consistently broadcast, as it’s such a good race, and especially important for the Classics riders with eyes on winning the World Champs, and who hit that hill hard – for example, that classic Emma Pooley attack from 2010, is still one of my favourite cycling moments ever – after sandbagging every time they went over the climb, she ended up in a break with Marianne Vos, Judith Arndt and Emma Johansson – and then on the final climb, under 5k from the finish, as Vos looked back over her left shoulder, Pooley attacked up the right hand side….
29th August – 3rd September – Boels Rental Ladies Tour (WorldTour, Netherlands) – maybe some LIVE?
The Holland Ladies Tour has been around for years, but this year steps up to WorldTour level, and I hope we get to see some of it live. The race usually has some really brilliant media, with lots of racing clips, and some years it has culminated in the final stage streamed live and unrestricted on Dutch local channel L1 or on NOS.nl, showing us the race roaming all over the hills of the Valkenburg region, including the iconic Cauberg. Will we be able to see any of it live again this year? I really hope so. Here’s the media from 2015 and 2016.
11th September – Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta (WorldTour, Spain) – LIVE
Like La Course, this should be shown everywhere La Vuelta is shown, with tons of streams. And like La Course, it’s not the most exciting course, being the the third short, crit-like race at 89km, but it’s important for what it represents – the women riding the same roads as the men, in one of the three Grand Tours. And of course, Madrid is a gorgeous city, and it’s very easy to watch. Here’s what we saw last year.
11th September – Chrono Champenois (France, 1.1) – LIVE?
It’s a standalone ITT that is often full of favourites for the Worlds ITT having one last race. It’s been live on the race site in previous years, showing at least the starts and finishes, so hopefully we can see it this year too.
17-24th September – 2017 Road World Championships (Bergen, Norway) – LIVE
Last year we had such great coverage of the Road Worlds, with the highlights of the Team Time Trials, the full Junior and Elite Individual Individual Time Trials, and Junior and Women’s Road Races – and wow, we should thank the UCI for that. There’ll be TV coverage from various countries, and livestreams on the UCI YouTube as well. Bergen is going to be hilly, and Scandinavian racing always tough (and usually rainy), so definitely mark this one in your calendars!
30th September – Giro dell’Emilia (Italy 1.1) – HIGHLIGHTS
1st October – GP Bruno Beghelli (Italy 1.1) – HIGHLIGHTS
Like all the Italian races, the Giro dell’Emilia has had half-hour highlights on RAI Sport 2 (restricted to Italy, but VPN-able). It’s part of a weekend of racing with men’s races as well – the highlights from last year’s races are in here.
Wow, that’s a lot of racing! I’ll edit more in as I see them, and I’ll put up guides to watching races nearer the time – keep an eye on the Live Cycling section of the site. And as always, I’ll put up posts of videos that I see throughout the year here, and I’ll post them on my Women’s Cycling Tumblr as I see them.
But that’s not all the women’s road cycling we can watch – there’s also a whole load of Crits!
Want more? USA Crits and the Tour Series
There are two crit series that we can watch live as well – the USA Crits are crazy fast, and one of the few series riders can make serious money from, as there are CASH PREEEEMS! in tons of intermediate laps, funded by local businesses. They’re announced by the very excitable race announcer, American stereotype x 100, which can make them a bit of a culture shock to watch if you’re not American (“PREEM! PREEM! PREEEEEEM!!! We’re coming to the OAKVIEW FUNERAL HOME 300 DOLLAR CASH PREEEEEEEM!”) but it adds to the charm, and the fun of the races.
The series website, with the details of all their races, is here, and the women’s and men’s races will be streamed live, on UltraSport TV. Follow the @USCrits twitter for reminders and live race tweeting. If you want to see what you missed last year, check out their series highlights.
In the UK we don’t have PREEMS! – we have the Tour Series, city centre Crits that run throughout May. There are usually ten men’s races, and six of these also have women’s Matrix Fitness GPs, with an hour of post-race highlights for each race on ITV4, free to view in the UK, and available to watch for 30 days afterwards, on the ITV Hub. The coverage can vary about how much they show of the women, but usually it’s pretty good at introducing the riders and the teams. And as you’d expect from a series organised by SweetSpot, who run the Women’s Tour and the men’s Tour of Britain, the media and social media are fantastic – the full information is on their website. Follow their twitter for live race updates, and check out their highlights videos from the last few years.
If you’ve got any questions about all of this, please do ask me in the comments or on twitter – and definitely share any other races that we might get to see live, or significant highlights.
If you, like me, love women’s cycling and want to do your bit to help the sport, I’ve got 10 very simple ways fans can make a real difference in this post here – just take 5 minutes a week to do one of these, and you too can directly support the racing.
I’m able to make women’s cycling media because my wonderful Patreon supporters fund me from as little as £/$/€ 2 a month – I’m so grateful to them, thank you! If you’d like to join them, all the information is here.