Follow the 2017 Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Omloop van Borsele live

It’s the last full Spring Classics weekend, and it goes out with a bang!  There’s the first ever women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the climax of the first ever women’s Ardennes Week, but before that, the EPZ Omloop van Borsele: a cobbley sprinters’ Classic, with an ITT for the elite women, and a three-stage Junior women’s race, the last round of the UCI’s Nations Cup.

Of course, Liège is the biggest race, but sadly we can’t expect a livestream.  We can hope for highlights to be shown in the men’s race coverage, and a Periscope view of the finishline, but I’ll tell you how we can follow the race live… But first, Borsele.

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Follow the 2017 women’s Flèche Wallonne live

Wednesday 19th April 2017

2017 has been an incredible year for live women’s cycling, with more racing to watch than ever before.  In the first five rounds of the 2017 Women’s WorldTour, we have had 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 streamed fully live, which is even more impressive as they’ve both very small race organisations.  And it seems like finally, after years of fan frustration, we’ll also get to see more of the Flèche Wallonne than every before.

Now, before you get too excited, it doesn’t look like the race will be streamed live, as the timings don’t match exactly, but we can hope.  SBS Cycling Central say their Flèche coverage will start with 50 minutes of the women, so I’m crossing my fingers that at least we will see the final sprint up the Mur de Huy, one of those perfectly Classics icons that transforms from an ordinary (albeit very steep) street in a small town into something out of legend.  It’s not just the gradient, it’s that it’s narrow, and full of twisting corners – and lined with ecstatic fans leaning over the barriers to cheer their hearts out.   Karl Lima took me to the race with his team Hitec Products took me to the race in 2013, and it’s one of the best races you can experience live, anywhere in the world.

So how do we watch?

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Watch the 2017 women’s Amstel Gold Race live

Sunday 16th April 2017

We haven’t had a women’s Amstel Gold for 14 years, and then it only ran for a few iterations, so having a women’s Amstel Gold Race is an enormous deal, especially for the Dutch riders – and we all know that the Netherlands is the superpower of women’s cycling, so this will be a toughly-fought race.

It’s also the start of the first ever women’s Ardennes week – Amstel on Sunday 16th April, then the only women’s Ardennes race of recent times, Flèche Wallonne, on Wednesday 19th, finishing on Sunday 23rd, with the first ever women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège.  This makes it one of the most important weeks in the cycling calendar, and with major races having run every weekend since the Omloop het Nieuwsblad opened the season on 26th April, it’s been the toughest Classics season in modern women’s cycling. 2017 truly is the year everything’s changed – and in a season where one of the best things has been the increase in televised women’s races, it’s good that we get to see the 40 minutes at least.

It’s going to be a fantastic race, full of climbs – 17 in total, in the 121km route, including 4 times over the legendary Cauberg, the last ascent just 1.1km from the finish-line.  It’ll be tough, and beautiful, the course lined with ecstatic Dutch fans hoping one of their countrywomen can win.

So how do we watch?

The race starts at 10:40 European CEST (9:40am UK BST; 4:40am North American EDT; 6:40pm Australian AEST) and the TV stream should start at 13:25 CEST (12:25 BST; 7:25am EDT; 9:25pm AEST) – you can watch on TV in the Netherlands, on NOS Studio Sport, on France 3 in France, on the pay-to-watch Eurosport Player, and on Australian Eurosport from 9:30pm AEST)

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How to watch the 2017 women’s Ronde van Vlaanderen – LIVE!

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 websiteThe 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.

The women’s race finish may also be shown live during the men’s race TV coverage – if that’s not on your local TV, try the feeds here, here or here.

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.

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Let’s change women’s cycling – the 2017 Ardennes Week edition

The 2017 Women’s World Tour and season in general have already shown us an increase in live women’s racing – from streams from the Australian 2017 openers, the Mitchelton Bay Crits and Deakin Women’s Race at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, to the entirely live Omloop van het Hageland, and the live last parts of the WorldTour races Strade Bianche, Ronde van Drenthe and Trofeo Aldredo Binda, we’ve been able to watch some amazing racing.

But the season won’t continue like that.  There will be some fantastic live racing at the Healthy Ageing Tour and maybe at the Ronde van Vlaanderen, but what about at the Ardennes Week?

Just having an Ardennes Week is fantastic.  The three races, Amstel Gold on 16th April, Flèche Wallonne Femmes on 19th, and the first ever Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes on 23rd, will each have a women’s race that’s part of the Women’s WorldTour – but as yet, we’ve had no news about whether we’ll be able to see them live, or even a good length of highlights, beyond 10 minutes on the UCI YouTube.

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Follow the 2017 women’s Gent-Wevelgem and junior race

Sunday 26th March 2017

So far, the 2017 Women’s WorldTour has been fantastic for fans, with the first three rounds, Strade Bianche, the Ronde van Drenthe and Trofeo Alfredo Binda all being streamed live.   But all good things must come to an end, and the run of live racing stops here.  No stream for Gent-Wevelgem, I’m afraid.  But we can still follow the race live on twitter, and hopefully there will be highlights too.  I’ll tell you all about that, as well as how to follow the women’s Junior Nations Cup and U17 races as well.  But first, a little bit about the race.

Women’s WorldTour #4, Gent-Wevelgem

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The 2017 Absa Cape Epic – truly epic South African MTB – watch live!

19-26 March 2017

I try to avoid the word “epic”, as it’s so over-used in cycling…  but this time, it’s warranted!

The Absa Cape Epic is an 8-stage MTB race in South Africa, contested by teams of two riders in three categories: women’s and men’s teams, mixed pairs, Masters and Grand Masters.  The race is 691km in total, with 15,400m of climbing, in some of the most incredible landscapes.  Riders sleep in tent villages, provided for them, and have to contend with extreme conditions.  It’s glorious, and it’s especially great for fans of women’s cycling, because it’s exactly the same course for the women as for the men, and really shows up anyone who think women are physically lesser.  You can check out the route video, and on the website.  And the race is so supportive of women – they say they were the first major cycling race to offer equal prize money for the women and men.

We can follow the race live, and watch on the race livestream, as well as watch on TV!  You can find where and when it will be shown on TV here, and the details of the livestream timing here. The stream will be on the race homepage, and live timings are in South African SAST, which is 1 hour ahead of European CET, 2 hours ahead of UK GMT, 6 hours ahead of North American EDT, and 9 hours behind Australian AEDT – so a 9am start would be 08:00 CET, 7am GMT, 3am EDT and 6pm AEDT.  If you missed the stream live, you can also watch replays of each day on the race livestream and catch up on all the action.

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