This week we recap our highlights and best parts of the 2017 women’s road season. It’s been an amazing year of racing and there’s so much to celebrate. From the spring classics through to worlds in Norway, we’ve got opinions on them all! Get your best of the year opinions now! (1:32:44 MIN / 86.91 MB)
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:
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)
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.