It was a doubly historic women’s cycling day – the climax of the first ever women’s Ardennes Week, the first ever Liège-Bastogne-Liège (or if you’re a Dutch-speaker, Luik-Bastenken-Luik). It’s pretty much impossible to stress how important this week is – it really is a pivotal moment for women’s cycling, the first time they’ve had the same opportunities as the men to ride this, the oldest monument of them all.
The start of the Ardennes, the Amstel Gold Race, had signaled a major shift in dynamics of the Women’s WorldTour. After the first five rounds had been shared around the peloton, Boels-Dolmans, who had dominated the peloton last year, with an unprecedented 40 UCI wins, had shaken off their early-season bad luck, as Anna van der Breggen had won the first two Ardennes races, Amstel Gold and Flèche Wallonne. But could that luck last? Could the reigning Olympic champion make even more history and do what only two men have done before her, and win the triple?
Sadly, just like the women’s Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday, we couldn’t watch the race live, to see the answer, and had to rely on twitter. There was 20 seconds of highlights during the men’s coverage, and there have been a few sets of highlights (of course, if you click through, be careful, as the titles will give away the winner).
Here’s what I’ve found, in terms of videos, photo galleries, race reports and other media. As always, if you see any more, please do share it in the comments below, or let me know on twitter, and I’ll edit it in. Please do click the official highlights, to demonstrate the audience, because it’s a huge shame we got so little.
The longest video is 8 mins from the UCI (just a warning – the quality of the footage InCycle were given is not the best…)
Highlights on NOS.nl, including a winner’s interview if you scroll down.
Wiggle High5’s team video:
OK, so that’s what we got of the videos… Check out the results
1. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans, 3:42:17
2. Lizzie Deignan (GBr) Boels Dolmans, + 00:17
3. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) WM3 Procycling, + 00:19
4. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Sunweb, + 00:31
5. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) ORICA-Scott, s.t.
6. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervélo-Bigla, s.t.
7. Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope, s.t.
8. Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) BePink, s.t.
9. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle-High5, + 00:34
10. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervélo-Bigla, + 00:41
Here’s the other side:
Anna van der Breggen made history, winning all three of the races in the inaugural women’s Ardennes Week
That’s the exact same podium as Amstel Gold race (well, that had Van Vleuten in joint third) and Flèche Wallonne – spooky!
So that’s Kasia Niewiadoma’s third WorldTour podium in eight days…
Such a perfect Ellen van Dijk face – she’s so strong!
You know I love the photos of Balint Hamvas and Sean Robinson – here’s their gallery on their Vélofocus shared site and more on the Boels-Dolmans facebook gallery and on the Cylance Procycling gallery (if you, like me, love their work, remember you can buy prints from them here). More lovely photos from Thomas Maheux, on the race website (click “la course en images”) or on the race facebook.
UPDATE! Video from VéloConcept, and more media below…
Of course, it’s not all roses and clover – it’s a huge shame that while we had live streaming of five of the eight WorldTour Spring Classics, we didn’t get any from the ASO, the biggest race organiser in the world. If you want to contact them to ask if we can see Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège live next year, I’ve got some contact details here, for multiple platforms, including a suggested hashtag. Send them a positive note, in whichever way you want, and it will really help demonstrate an audience.
If the lack of video makes you sad, remember that we’ve had more live women’s racing in 2017 than ever before, and you can watch around an hour of video from Strade Bianche and Ronde van Vlaanderen, around 40 minutes from Amstel Gold, and the most from the Ronde van Drenthe and Trofeo Alfredo Binda. On top of this, we’ve had the entire Healthy Ageing Tour stage race and Omloop van het Hageland day race. Click those links and you can watch the full feeds and highlights. And here’s my guide to which other races we can watch live – including THREE next weekend!
Big thanks to my Patreon supporters – it’s because of them that I’m able to do this kind of women’s cycling work. You can join them from as little as £/€/$ 2 a month, over here.