Follow and watch the 2017 Tour Series

9-29th May 2017

The Tour Series is the British summer series of races that’s intensive, adrenaline-filled and fantastic to watch, whether in real life or on the highlights.  There are ten races for the men, and eight of them alos have Matrix Fitness GP races for women in three weeks, from Motherwell in Scotland down to Bath in the South-West of England.

If you’re new to crits, they’re very fast races, LOTS of laps of very short courses – the race length is decided by number of laps to fit into the hour, rather than by distance, so on a cold, windy and rainy day, it will be a shorter distance than on a sunnier, calm day – but they always race for the same amount of time.

Crits are very spectator-friendly, as you get to see the riders pass over and over and over again,  and can easily walk the whole course and see them from different angles, and still get back to the finish, where there’s a commentator explaining it all.  On top of that, the Tour Series put on entertainment and stalls, including lots to eat and drink alongside the racing, so they’re really fun afternoon/evenings for everyone, whether you’re a hardcore fan or a complete newbie.  I really recommend getting to one of the rounds, if you’re near one.  I’ll be in Bath on 20th May, and if you want to hang out, leave me a comment or tweet me, and we can watch together!

There’s more on crit racing on wikipedia, and more about how the Tour Series specifically works on their website.

TV and social media

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Live women’s racing – watch the 2017 Tour of Chong Ming Island, Papendal BMX Supercross World Cup Live and follow the Redlands Classic

Two women’s cycling races to watch live, and one to follow!

The Tour of Chong Ming Island, 5-7th May

This is the ninth round of the Women’s WorldTour, and the first to leave Europe.  Three stages on ChongMing Island, in the Yangtze River, connected to Shanghai by tunnel and bridge.  It’s definitely one for the sprinters, completely flat, and with the Island being 80km long and 18km wide, there’s not much variety in the course – but the nature reserves on the island make it really interesting to watch.

It’s live on Chinese TV station CCTV5, with streams popping up, posted by ProCyclingStats and Peter van der Veen, but be aware, my virus guards won’t let me into the streams because of malware.

You can also get very occasional updates on twitter, with the results and a couple of photos, on the UCI WorldTour twitter, and the #UCIWWT and #ChongMingIsland hashtags.   I can’t find a website with timings on it, but the UCI twitter is helpfully posting things like start times and route maps.  There will be daily highlights on the UCI YouTube as well, like this, from Stage 1, and on the Wiggle High5 YouTube.

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2017 BMX Supercross World Cup #1, Papendal

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Podcast 2017, Episode 15 – the octuplets

If last week was the treble, with three big races, this week it was octuplets!

Dan has been in Tokyo for the last week, and missed out on all the racing, so I catch him up on the action from the USA Crits Speed Week, the Festival Elsy Jacobs in Luxembourg, the Tour de Yorkshire in the UK, and over in France, the first round of the 2017 Downhill MTB World Cup in Lourdes.  Along the way we talk mindgames in racing, the implications of having eight different women’s cycling livestreams over three days, and a lot more.  And I told him about my adventures on BBC Woman’s Hour, and recording with the Wheel Suckers Podcast.

We didn’t get around to talking about everything from last week, so the post below is packed with links, videos, and other things I’ve seen around the internet in the last week.  Of course I recommend it!

Listen to us here, or download directly from Soundcloud.

You can sign up for automatic downloads via the iTunes store here or via our RSS feed here.

This week’s women’s cycling news, videos and links

I was really honoured to be a part of the BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour that was dedicated to women’s cycling.  Usually the show features multiple topics, but because it’s such a big subject, they had a whole programme dedicated to it, recorded as-live in the London Bike Kitchen.   It includes MTB with Tracey Moseley, road racing with Rochelle Gilmore and Grace Garner, the history of women and cycling with Dr Astrid Swenson, saddle sores with vulval health expert Dr Jane Sterling, and Jenni Gwiadowski, the Director of the LBK, talks everyday cycling, and teaches presenter Jane Garvey to mend a puncture (which you can also watch as a video).  It should be archived here for all time, so please do listen!

This week’s racing

Videos, media and more from:

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The Festival Elsy Jacobs

Short highlights, and full video from Stage 1 and Stage 2:

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Videos, media and more from the 2017 Lourdes Downhill MTB World Cup

The MTB season has started, and Lourdes was action-filled, not just because of the amazing racing (and it WAS amazing), but also because of the truly epic weather, as they arrived in snow that cleared up over the first few days, and then the elite men were hit with an incredible storm to ride though during the finals, that left a surprise winner.

On the women’s side, despite the fact that the UCI have reduced the number of women eligible to race, the skill levels just keep going up and up and up, and it was a dramatic race – could Rachel Atherton keep up her unbeaten run of wins, or would this be the time a rival knocks her off her throne?

You can watch the full race replay on Red Bull TV, but that’s just the tip of the media iceberg.  Scroll down for tons more videos, amazing photo galleries, interviews and more.

Highlights from the UCI, Red Bull Bike, Shimano and Vital MTB

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Videos and media from the 2017 Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire

It was a fantastic weekend of women’s racing, with 8 or 9 different race streams, but the biggest was the 2017 Asda Women’s Tour de Yorkshire, with the huge crowds and non-stop action from the gun.  What had looked like a sprinters’ course on the race profile turned out to be FAR tougher, with only one categorised climb, but barely any actual flat – and of course the peloton made it even harder, which is why it was so good to be able to see it right from the start.

If you missed it, or want to re-live the glory, I’m here to help, with lots of videos, photos, and more media.

The FULL ITV4 STREAM and HIGHLIGHTS, commentated by Rochelle Gilmore and Ned Boulting, are on the ITV Hub, if you’re in the UK or have a VPN.  Now, these often only run for 30 days, so it might disappear after 28th April, but if you come after that, keep reading!

If you’re in the USA, or via VPN, you can watch the full coverage, 30 minute highlights, short highlights and rider reactions all on Cycling TV, but this may be pay-per-view.  I think this is commentated by Iris Slappendel and Anthony McCrossan.

The race’s own mini-highlights:

And there’s more!

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Watch live women’s cycling this weekend! 2017 Festival Elsy Jacobs, Tour de Yorkshire, some USA Crits – AND the Lourdes Downhill MTB World Cup!

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!

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Festival Elsy Jacobs, 28-30th April 2017

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Videos, photos and media from the 2017 women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège

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.

More highlights on Sporza (Dutch) and on host broadcaster RTBF (French, may be geo-restricted) and 1:46 on Australia’s Cycling Central.

Wiggle High5’s team video:

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