This week marks the beginning of the Ovo Energy Women’s Tour, the United Kingdom’s best known (only) women’s UCI stage race. We run through a full preview of each stage, the riders that are likely to do well and the teams who have very clearly come prepared for this year’s contest. Following that we also take a quick look at the recent downhill mountain bike event at Fort William, with a bit of a surprise result. (52.14 MIN / 47.77 MB)
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How to watch the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, 7-11th June 2017
The race stage information is on the excellent race website, including the start times. The UK is in he BST timezone, one hour behind European CEST and 9 hours behind Australian AEST, and 5 hours ahead of USA EDT. So if a stage starts at 11am BST, that’s 12:00 CEST, 8pm AEST and 6am EDT.
Follow me on twitter to see the things I like from the race, and my own updates – and I’ll put up daily posts here with stage video, media and more, including each #RiderResults rider…. which reminds me…
Join in the Look Mum No Hands! daily #RiderResults game
Every day, excellent London cycling café chain Look Mum No Hands! will be offering prizes in their #RiderResults competition. I’ll be picking a rider for every stage, and telling you a bit more about them, and you need to tell Look Mum where you think they’ll place in that particular stage, on their fantastic twitter, with the #RiderResults hashtag – if you’re right and they pick your name out of their hat, you’ll win something great from their shop (which you should check out, there are gorgeous things). The cutoff point is 5km to go in each stage.
For Stage 1, I’m picking Marianne Vos, who has the most interesting race history. In the first year, she won 3 stages and the overall GC; in 2015, she couldn’t race as she was having injury issues, but presented the TV highlights (I interviewed her about that here); then last year, she “only” won one stage and came 4th in the GC.
This year she had a great cyclocross mini-season, winning the first race of the year on New Year’s Day, and coming second in the most thrilling World Championships we’ve ever seen – but her Spring Classics were disappointing to her, and her best result was 7th in Ronde van Drenthe WorldTour race, as she was injured again. She was especially disappointed to miss two of the first ever women’s Ardennes Week races, especially Amstel Gold. She seems to be feeling better in May, winning a couple of smaller day races, and then winning Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik in a classic, exhilarating Vos style. But is she back?
In her time, she’s won, well…..practically everything! Olympic golds on the track and road, and 13 World Championships across road, track and CX. But more than that, she lives for cycling, and loves it passionately. She has run her own team for years – this year as WM3 Procycling – and the scariest thing about her is that as good as she is at winning, she’ll also work her heart out for her team-mates as well, as in the Rio Olympics.
Fans are desperate to see her back on top – but is she? Where do YOU think she’ll finish Stage 1?
Find out more about Marianne on her website, and follow her on twitter and instagram.