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.