It has to be said, that the coverage we got from the Ardennes Week wasn’t the greatest, with such exciting racing that was effectively invisible. But this weekend, all that changes – there are SEVEN separate races streamed live, and we can watch them all. Strap in, and I’ll tell you how to watch the Festival Elsy Jacobs in Luxembourg, the Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire, and three separate rounds of Speed Week, the opening salvo of the USA Crits series. UPDATE! And I can’t believe I forgot, but there’s also the first round of the 2017 Downhill MTB World Cup, in Lourdes, which will be incredible, as well as live!
Before I start, however, this may be the best piece of race social media this year, if not ever… I love it!
Festival Elsy Jacobs, 28-30th April 2017
Named for local heroine Elsy Jacobs, the first ever woman to become Road World Champion, this race has long been seen as the end of the Classics season and the beginning of the stage racing part of the calendar. It’s a lovely race, with pretty countryside, thigh-biting hills and fantastic organisers, and although it’s only three stages long, we can watch significant chunks of all of them, on the apart TV livestream.
The race timings are in European CEST, one hour ahead of British BST, 6 hours ahead of North American EDT, and 8 hours behind Australian AEST.
- Prologue, Friday 28th April, 18:00-19:45 CEST (from 5pm BST, midday EDT, 2am AEST)
- Stage 1, Saturday 29th April, 15:30-17:30 CEST (from 2:20pm BST, 9:30am EDT, 11:30pm AEST)
- Stage 2, Monday 30th April, 15:00-17:00 CEST (from 2pm BST, 9am EDT, 11pm AEST)
USA Crits Speed Week, races 3-6 – 28th-30th April 2017
Speed Week is the crazy-fast series that opens the USA Crits programme, with 6 races over 8 days, and the last three streamed live, for both the women and men. If you’ve never seen a Criterium before, they’re super-fast races, multiple laps of very short courses, and in the USA, with cash prizes up for grabs at multiple points during the race. Each women’s race is around 45 minutes long – click through each link to find out more about the races.
- Friday 28th April, Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System Criterium – women’s race starts at 7pm USA EDT (midnight UK BST, 01:00 Euro CEST, 9am Saturday Australian AEST) – livestream here – & follow on the #FastestNight hashtag
- Saturday 29th April, Athens Orthopedic Clinic Twilight Criterium – women’s race starts at 7:15pm EDT (00:15 BST, 01:15 CEST, 9:15am Sunday AEST) – livestream here – and follow on the #AOCTwilight hashtag and with @AthensTwilight
- Sunday 30th April, Hennessy Historic Roswell Criterium – women’s race starts at 3:35pm EDT (8:35pm UK BST, 21:35 Euro CEST, 5:35am Monday Aussie AEST) – livestream here – and follow with #RoswellCrit and @BikeRoswell
Follow all the races on twitter with the #Speed_Week hashtag and the USA Crits account. Full course information for each race is in the Speed Week technical guide, and you can find the results of the first three Speed Week races here – and tons of information about the rest of the year’s USA Crits on their website.
Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire, 29th April 2017
The third time the women’s race has won, and the second as a UCI-ranked event, this is a pretty special race, as it’s on exactly the same course as the men’s Tour de Yorkshire Stage 2, on the same way. And while last year it was meant to be streamed live, until the debacle with a ‘plane prevented it, this year hopefully nothing will get in the way.
The women’s race starts at 9:10am UK BST (10:10 European CEST, 4:10am USA EDT, 6:10pm Australian AEST) and is due to finish between 12:18 and 12:37 (from 13:18 CEST, 7:18am EDT, 9:18pm AEST) – full timings are here.
The TV coverage will start 10 minutes before the race does, with Rochelle Gilmore and Ned Boulting on the free-to-air ITV4 (or watch on the ITV Hub from the UK or on via Filmon.com or with a VPN – but please watch the official stream if you can) where it will also be archived for 30 days after the race, and on the Eurosport Player with Iris Slappendel and Anthony McCrossan (check your local Eurosport schedule to see if it’s on TV in your area). If none of these options work for you, check for streams here, here or here. And if you’re in London, head to Look Mum No Hands! on Old Street to watch the race live with great coffee, beer, food and company!
You can also follow the race live on twitter, via the #WTDY hashtag, or the race twitter – and there’s lots of information on the great website, including route details. Just be aware, while the profile makes it look like a sprinters’ course, the reports coming from Yorkshire are that that’s deceptive, and it’s much tougher than it looks on paper.
Wiggle High5 get into the Yorkshire spirit, with some pronunciation lessons…
If you’re new to women’s cycling, I was on the Wheelsuckers Podcast, talking with Alex Davis of Look Mum No Hands! and Jenni Gwiazdowski of the London Bike Kitchen about why I think you should watch the Tour de Yorkshire and care about the sport.
2017 Downhill MTB World Cup #1, Lourdes, 27-30th May – live on Sunday 30th
DH MTB has pretty much the best media in cycling, and there’ll be TONS to watch out for.
The last 5-10 women in the final will be shown live at the start of the stream – watch here on RedBull TV, from 13:00 European CEST (Midday UK BST; 7am USA EDT; 9pm Australian AEST), and if you miss it, it’ll also be archived there. If you’re in the UK, you can also watch on actual TV, on the Bike Channel.
Lots of race information on the Lourdes World Cup website, and there’ll be all kinds of amazing media – I always look at Red Bull Bike, Dirt MTB, PinkBike and Vital MTB for daily photo galleries, slideshows, videos and much more. Here’s media from the Track Walk and before, but there’s even more on each of the sites!
- I adore Claudio Calouri’s GoPro track preview on Red Bull Bike
- Vital MTB’s slideshow of photos and audio interviews
- Pinkbike’s photo epic
- Dirt MTB’s practice video and photo gallery
Of course, I’ll put links to all the videos and media I see here, after the weekend – and if you want to chat about any of the races, please do tweet me at @PWcycling.