Sunday 2nd April 2017
OK, this is exciting! The Ronde van Vlaanderen, the Tour of Flanders, is one of the high points of the women’s cycling calendar, and the end of a mini-cobbled classics season. It’s Round 5 of the Women’s WorldTour, but more importantly, it’s a legend of the sport. I’m not exaggerating when I say that 90% of the peloton dream of winning this – it’s up there with an Olympic Gold, a World Championships rainbow jersey, winning the Giro, because this is a race all cycling fans love, and being a winner of De Ronde is something that will bring kudos for all a rider’s life, in the key cycling country. And this year…. WE CAN WATCH LIVE! Not the whole race, but the last part – the fourth WorldTour race we’ve been able to see.
If you’re in Belgium, you can watch it on Belgian TV station Proximus, on channel 600 and their website, if you’re a subscriber. You’ll need to check the local TV guide to get the exact times – I think it’s 10:55, but it may start later. There may be feeds of this here, here or here.
If you’re NOT in Belgium, you can watch the last 35km, on the Flanders Classic facebook and on the Flanders Classic website. The stream will start at 13:30 European CEST (12:30pm UK BST; 7:30am USA EDT; 9:30pm Australian AEST). The stream will be commentated by ex-pro and Wiggle-High5 owner Rochelle Gilmore, and… me!
If you missed it live, you can watch a stream replay on the Flanders Classic facebook – and of course, I’ll put up a post of links to videos etc as soon as I see them.
In addition, the team presentation will be livestreamed on the Proximus facebook. on Saturday, between 16:20 and 18:00 CET (from 3:20pm UK BST, 10:20am EDT; 1:15am AEDT)
But that’s not all! We can also follow the race as it happens, on twitter – and read on for lots more race information.
The race starts on Sunday 1st April at 10:55 European CEST (9:55am UK BST; 4:55am, USA EDT and 6:55pm Aussie AEST) and it’s due to end between 14:50 and 15:15 CEST (from 1:50pm BST; 8:50am EDT; 00:50 AEST). The race timetable is here, and the timetable with route details here.
The best way to follow is on twitter – the official hashtag is #RVVwomen, and you can also use the #UCIWWT hashtag for all WorldTour races. I’ll be following using my list of live race tweeters as well – and I’ll be tweeting before the race as @PWCycling.
More race information
The course map is here, and I love the Flanders Classic innovation of a great page that describes each of the course features, with photos. It’s an especially exciting race this yer, because the UCI increasing the maximum distance for a WT day race to 160km means there’s room to let the women race over the iconic Muur at Geraardsbergen – the legendary Kapelmuur.
The race website has lots of information (usually more on the Dutch site than the English). The page with course details has the startlist – this one is likely to be updated before the race, so check on the day (look for “deelnemers”) or use the Cycling Fever startlist that is updated as soon as they know anything. And you can also read the full technical guide.
There are race previews on Velorooms, on CiclismoFem, on Cyclingnews, on Ella CyclingTips, by Sharon Laws on Voxwomen, and from Canyon-SRAM, ORICA-Scott and Wiggle High5 – I’ll add in more as I see them.
Some videos – the Flanders Classics caught up with Sunweb riders, and VeloNews with WiggleHigh5 – and you can see some RVV recon clips in this Wiggle High5 film talking to Emma Johansson about her role in the team
and more preview videos from Wiggle and VéloConcept:
If you want to find out what happened in previous races, I have collections of videos and media from 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012. And more pro riders’ views on the race, check out my interviews with Martine Bras and Loes Gunnewijk from 2016, with Ellen van Dijk just before she won in 2014, and Emma Johansson the same year.
If you see anything else you like, share it, in the comments here, or on twitter, and I’ll edit it in – and if you have questions, just ask!
Huge thanks to my wonderful Patreon supporters, who fund me to do my women’s cycling work. You can join them from at least £/€/$2 a month over here.