Follow the 2017 Boels Rental Ladies Tour live

29th August – 3rd September 2017

It’s the final stage race of the 2017 Women’s World Tour, and the final big Dutch race of the season – the Boels Rental Ladies Tour.  Expect killer tactics, with attacking every day, and a surprisingly hilly race for such a flat country.  It’s in the south and central area of the Netherlands.

It starts with a 4.3km Prologue, then Stage 2 starts flat, with hills at the end; Stage 3 is an 18km ITTwith some technical parts to the course; Stage 4 looks great for breakaways, mostly flat but with some small inclines; Stage 5 starts in a valley and finishes with Classics-style loops; and the final stage is really tough, 159km up and down all day.

We can’t see this one live, but there’ll be twitter updates and daily video highlights from the race youtube and from the UCI.  I’ll be there tweeting from the race account, and we can follow on the #BLT2017 hashtag.

Tuesday’s Prologue and the Thursday’s ITT will both have live-timing, on

The Netherlands is in European CEST: 1 hour ahead of UK BST, 6 hours ahead of USA EDT and 8 hours behind Australian AEST.  So when the Prologue on Tuesday 29th starts at 14:30 CEST, that’s 1:30pm BST, 8:30am EDT and 10:30pm AEST.

Lots of information about the route, and videos of previous years on the race website, and provisional startlist here – and here are the highlights from last year, when Chantal Blaak won her first ever stage race.  Tons more videos on the YouTube!


How to watch the Cauberg stage of the 2015 Boels Rental Ladies Tour, LIVE!

The Boels Rental Ladies Tour (aka the Holland Ladies Tour) is always a fantastic race, with 5 flat (or mostly flat) stages that are usually all attacking with lots of Dutch-style tactics and wind, followed by the final stage 6 that’s a wonderfully hilly and hard stage, all around the (legendary) Cauberg and Valkenburg region.  And that final stage is live!

The local Dutch TV station, L1, is showing the race on Sunday 5th September, from 14:00 Euro CEST (1pm UK BST; 11pm Aussie AEST; 6am North American EDT).  And we can watch from all over the world, here, or on their general un-restricted livestream – it’ll be in Dutch, commentated by Marianne Vos, who should know all about this race, having won the race four times, and the World Road Championships on the Valkenburg hills in 2012.  The stream will start with highlights of the race so far, before going into the stage, which starts at 13:00 CEST, live.

If you can’t wait, and want to follow the rest of the race as it happens, including the early part of the stage, there have been tons of updates on the race twitter and on the #BRLT2015 twitter hashtag (or via my live race tweeting list).  There are daily race reports and tons more information, including results so far, and all the Stage 6 information, on the race website.

Want to see what it looks like? There are great photo galleries on Velofocus’ site (eg Stage 1 and Stage 2), and video interviews and finish-line shots on the Boels Rental Ladies Tour Youtube (videos made by the fabulous Aschwin Kruders) and on Felix Matthis’ Youtube (you should all be following Felix, he’s an excellent journalist – here’s his twitter).  On top of that, Nettie Edmondson has daily diaries on Ella Cycling Tips, so you can read about the race through her eyes.  And if that’s not enough, here’s the highlights of last year’s race, with lots of rider interviews:

Of course, I’ll be talking about the race on twitter – and if you have any questions before then, ask me there, or leave me a comment below.

News, links, videos – a podcast post without the podcast!

This week real life got on top of us, so we won’t be ‘casting this week (if you miss us, check out the ‘cast archive, to listen to things you might have missed), but we have the usual links and videos and stuff we’ve loved this week – and I wanted to have a look at some stats about the Boels Rental Ladies Tour.  If you don’t know about the Tour, it’s one of those fantastic Dutch races – starting with an ITT, 3 stages of pancake-flat roads with crazy winds that are probably harder to race in than hills, and two hilly Valkenberg stages.  For more info, check out the race website, the Velofocus preview and here’s the race highlights video, with finish-line footage, and post-race interviews with all the winners (subtitled to English!)

So, Dutch racing – and I would expect Dutch riders to dominate.  OK, some big names were out (Loes Gunnewijk is still out injured, Marianne Vos pulled out halfway through as she wasn’t recovering well, Annemiek van Vleuten is training for Worlds), but look at my stats


Stage winners

Overall GC


Top 10 GC

2014 2 x Ned & Bel,1 x Ger & Swe Evelyn Stevens


2 x USA, Ger, Italy, Pol1 x Ned & Swe


3 x Ned1 x Ger, Aus, Italy(plus TTT, Speclulu) Ellen van Dijk


4 x Ned, 2 x Ger1 x GB, Italy, USA, Pol


4 x Ned2 x Ger(plus TTT, Speclulu) Marianne Vos


2 x Ned, Ger, Italy1 x USA, Swe, NZ, Bel


5 x Ned1 x Bel Marianne Vos


6 x Ned1 x Swe, Aus, Can, Italy


6 x Netherlands1 x Germany Marianne Vos


5 x Netherlands,3 x Ger, 2 x Swe

Now, I know I’m geeky about cycling, but I find that so interesting.  What I think is happening is that riders from other countries have been learning about how to race Dutch-style – it’s especially nice that Evie Stevens won this year, because two years ago she wrote about how she used to feel about these races:

Constant sideway winds, torrential cold rain, 1000 exceedingly tall women all fighting me for position 999, a million tricky corners, roads too small for cars, road furniture jumping out at me left and right, the sight of the 999 tall women stretched out in front of me and the winning break disappearing into the cold midst, me adding as much value to the team’s performance as a rain jacket on a sunny day …this horrifying vision used to pop into my brain when I thought of racing in Holland. It is true, I used to suffer from Dutch Anxiety.

I love that blog! Every time I think of it, it makes me grin!

So what will the Dutch need to do?  Is the Holland Ladies Tour turning into the International Ladies Tour? Do they need more rain and wind, more cobbles?  Or will we find the Dutch riders getting revenge?  I suppose, with Vos winning three Giros, maybe they’re already stealing the Italian races….  Or maybe we’ll see the Dutch women getting revenge next year, with 7 of them getting into breaks at kilometre 15, echeloning the peloton into submission, and attacking even more than normal?  I love it, I can’t wait!

Update!  I know, I know, there was also no Kirsten Wild, or Lucinda Brand in the Boels Tour, and it was weirdly un-windy this year – and I’m not being 100% serious about the Dutch riders losing the ability to win Dutch races – I’m just interested in the profile of who does well in this race, and enjoying myself immensely!  Anyway, onwards to….

More things from last week’s racing

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Podcast 2013 Episode 29 – Don’t Mention the Election

The-Unofficial,-Unsanctioned-Women's-UCI-Cycling-ShowHi everyone! This week Dan’s depressed about the forthcoming Aussie election so Sarah cheers him up with all the latest news around Plouay, Boels Ladies Tour, the World MTB championships and a whole heap of other racing excitement. And Sarah talks a lot about knickers! (but it’s sort of related to cycling, really). We also discuss Sarah’s “opinions” about national federations and the UCI and Dan nominates Sarah for a new job at the UCI. For all the fun and madcappery (plus the curious sort of road-accident-can’t-look-away-ish-ness of Dan being so despondent) listen along below! (1:19:54 MIN / 76.71 MB)

To stream the meaningless of everything (except for awesome women’s cycling) click here.



Click here to be depressed by the meaningless of everything on iTunes.

Things we talked about this week

Starting with video from Stage 1 of the Boels Rental Ladies Tour, with that incredible unpaved dirt section

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