11th September 2016
It’s the final round of the first ever 2016 Women’s WorldTour – the Madrid Challenge, which gives the women a little bit of a chance to ride La Vuelta, sprinting in Madrid. It’s the third of the “Crit-like” races, after La Course by le Tour de France, and the Ride London Classique (click the inks for videos), and just like those, it’s much shorter than a normal road race. No one can topple Megan Guarnier as the first ever WorldTour winner, but it’ll still be hard fought, and give us the last sprint race before the world Championships.
The race starts at 14:45 Euro CEST (1:45pm UK BST; 10:45pm Aussie AEST; 8:45am North American EDT), and it’s all live on Eurosport in the UK, Spain, and most European countries. If you don’t have TV where you are, find a stream here, here or here.
If you can’t watch live, follow on twitter with #MadridChallenge and #UCIWWT
It’s 15 laps of this 5.8km course, and the roads are all very wide, so those U-turns aren’t as technical as London. There’s a bit of a drag down to Gran Vía, then back up again, but it’s not a technical course at all. You can find the timings for the race, and a startlist that doesn’t look especially convincing, on the very basic race website.
I’m saying it now, my favourite to win is Kirsten Wild, but check out what Ella Cycling Tips think too!
The final week of women’s road cycling before the Road World Cycling Championships start in Richmond, and it went out with a bang, with video from the Lotto Belgium Tour, Giro Toscana and the Madrid Challenge crit-like day race. And then we also have the final Para-cycling Road World Cup of 2015, in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa AND the latest attempt on the Hour Record by Molly Shaffer Van Houweling. In chronological order…
This has a really great parcours, with something for everyone, and the race pulled in the excellent Motomedia team to give us daily video. If you only have time to watch one, make it the final 4th stage, over the hills and cobbles of Geraardsbergen, including, of course, the Muur – but really I’d settle in and watch them all…
This one was flat, but it’s Belgian-style racing, so attack! And there’s another video too, from VoxWomen
This weekend is the final European women’s racing before the 2015 Road Cycling World Championships, so it’s great we can watch one of the races, the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta live, on 13th September 2015. However, it’s not all roses and clover, as with 4 days to go, there’s still no race website… If you just want to know how to watch the race, scroll down – if not, a paragraph or three of why this matters.
The women’s professional bike races have very, very varied media, and this makes things difficult for everyone – riders getting information, fans following races, journalists who can’t find the basics they need. While I can understand (but not agree with) the arguments that “they’re run by volunteers” = no social media, I can’t for this race – it’s run by the biggest race organisers in the sport, the ASO, and it’s part of one of the three Grand Tours, so there’s literally no excuse. It’s been a weird one from the start, changing it’s name from “La Course by La Vuelta” (a shout out to the Tour de France women’s crit-like race) to “Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta” and coming onto the calendar late, long after teams had arranged and budgeted for their programmes, and it has no web presence from the race.