We are half way through two stage races at the moment, Energiewacht in the Netherlands and Redlands Classic in the US. Stage 1 of the Energiewacht tour was a subdued TTT due to very wet, slippery conditions. The favourites were Canyon SRAM but surprisingly they lost by 20 seconds to Boels Dolmans, with Orica AIS in a close third place. Due to race rules the leader (Ellen van Dijk) had only a 5 second advantage for the GC. On stage 2 Chantal Blaak (Boels) took the win and the leaders jersey over Lisa Brennauer (Canyon SRAM) with van Dijk third. If that signified a slight loosening of the Boels stranglehold then today was further oxygen as a breakaway managed to make it to the end. Allie Dragoo (Team USA) won after attacking towards the end, with Julie Leth (Hitec) second and Gretchen Stumhofer (Team USA) third. Blaak still has the GC lead. Tomorrow (Saturday) sees two short stages, a 75.4km circuit and a 13.6km time trial, or dime drial as they say in Dutch. You can follow the race via the official twitter account @ewachttour, highlights are on RTV Noord each evening which you can find here. There are also videos from Felix Mattis here. Brennauer has played down her chances after a crash today, but with just 11 seconds separating the top 3 (current list here in PDF format) the GC is still a fight between Boels, Canyon, Orica AIS, RaboLiv and Wiggle H5.
Stage 1 of the Redlands Classic was won by HB Supermint’s Scotti Lechuga, with Twenty 16 taking second and third with Alison Jackson and Kristin Armstrong. Stage 2 saw Mara Abbott of Amy D Foundation take a dramatic win and the GC lead after crashing and, unknown at the time, fracturing her collarbone. Armstrong was second and Kathryn Donovan of Colavita Bianchi third. Abbott was able to continue today and took seventh place in the time trial stage. The winner was Armstrong, with Amber Neben (Dare to Be Project) second and Jasmin Glaesser (Rally) third. Armstrong retains the GC lead ahead of Abbott and Neben respectively. You can watch highlights so far and live coverage for Saturday and Sunday on the official stream here (don’t know why CyclingTips are claiming an exclusive), with the latest results and standings here.
Several Spanish riders have expressed their disbelief at the last minute postponement of the Trofeo Zamora from the 10th of April to the 14th of May. The race is the third round of the Copa España Féminas, and the reason for the postponement is not entirely clear. Many of the riders will be taking part in Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria with several UCI teams on the 12th April, the day before Elite race Emakumeen Euskal Bira.
The British Women’s Road Race series begins on Sunday with the 121km Manx International GP Feminin. This is the first of eight races that will take place between now and July. There will be a live blog on the day, with video highlights later on Voxwomen.
Lauren de Crescenzo of Visit Dallas DNA will be in recovery for some time after suffering head injuries during the San Dimas Stage Race. Her supporters have put up a blog with more information here.