There’s nothing like a WWT race to get fans in a foul mood. I’m sure ASO thought Christmas had come early when they realised they didn’t actually have to show any of the race live as they had done before the WWT came into play (repeat after me, MINIMUM STANDARDS ALWAYS BECOME DEFACTO). And just to rub it in, they didn’t even provide a ticker or live tweeting. Just as how the first pancake always gets messed up, this pancake year of the WWT is best forgotten. And while the Euskal Emakumeen Bira organisers get bullied in the cycling press for fake accusations of sexism, real honest to god goldplated arseholism towards womens cycling doesn’t even get a raised eyebrow. (There’s still no footage of the Cadel Women’s race, which is aiming to be a WWT race.) In this Olympic year the riders couldn’t afford to miss it, but I hope they express some self respect and skip it next year, and attend the races that actually give a toss. Anna van der Breggen (RaboLiv) won, Evelyn Stevens (Boels Dolmans) was second, team mate Megan Guarnier was third. You can view official highlight here, Sporza highlights here, and see full results here. And when there’s a clamour for a womens equivalent to each mens race, count me out. It’s just dinner party chatter that doesn’t make sense. It only works if it’s on at a different time or day as currently happens with a lot of US races. And there are plenty of decent womens races that deserve the WWT name.
Yesterday saw the start of the Joe Martin Stage race, with a 4.6km ITT. Current world champion Linda Villumsen (UHC) won, with HB Supermint’s Eri Yonamine (joining as a guest rider) second and Kathryn Buss of OrthoCarolina Winston third. Full results and start lists here. The second stage today will be a 103km race finishing in Fayetteville, Arkansas. You can see the route in Cronoescalada here and a Streetview run through of all four stages here. UCI teams taking part along with UHC and HB Supermint are Tibco-SVB, Colavita Bianchi, Visit Dallas DNA, Rally and Shimano Ladies Power.
Dutch elite race EPZ Omloop van Borsele takes place tomorrow (23rd April) won last year by Hitec’s Kirsten Wild. Today sees their non-UCI ITT with most of the road race riders taking part (full start times here PDF). You can follow live updates on the website for both races. The line up for the road race tomorrow is Hitec, RaboLiv, Canyon SRAM, Boels Dolmans, Wiggle H5, Cylance, TSVL Etixx Guill D’or, Parkhote Valkenburg, Orica AIS, Lares Waowdeals, Bizkaia Durango, Liv Plantur, PC Futuroscope 86, BTC City Ljubljana, Lotto Soudal Ladies, Lointek, Lensworld Zannata Etixx, Team Lithuania, Team Russia, Team USA, Jos Feron Lady Force, Autoglas Wetteren, TWC de Kempen, Jan van Arckel, WV de Jonge Renner, Movingladies, NWVG, ARTV de Adelaar, TWC De Masslander-Zuid Limburg, Restore, Swaboladies, Meeoor Assen Rooden and Regio Team Noord Holland. You can see the route map here and a streetview runthrough of the two circuits here. I think Shelley Olds will be looking to improve on her second place last year, especially as Cylance will not be racing the following day like most of the other teams. But will be tough to beat Wild as she is in good form after Energiewacht, despite taking a break for track duty.
On Sunday 24th April the forth Lotto Cycling Cup race takes place, Dwars door de Westhoek. The line has been finalised with Lotto Soudal Ladies, Team Russia, Lointek, Jan van Arckel, Wiggle H5, Team Lithuania, De Sprinters Malderen, Team WNT, RaboLiv, PC Futuroscope 86, Isorex, Jos Feron Lady Force, Boels Dolmans, BTC City Ljubljana, Autoglas Weteren, Swaboladies, Canyon SRAM, Parkhotel Valkenburg, Aprire Bicycles/HSS Hire, Orica AIS, Lensworlds Zannata Etixx, Keukens Redant, WV Breda, Hitec, TSVL Etixx Guill D’or, WSC Hoop op Zegen, Bizkaia Durango, Maaslandster Nicheliving, Team USA, Lares Waowdeals and De Jonge Renner Vrouwen taking place. There will be some Vimeo highlights available from Sport 40 next Thursday. Full start list here (PDF) and Streetview run through here. Full interactive map here.
After winning the US National Crit Championship, Lauren Tamayo of UHC is retiring and is not looking for a place at Rio 2016 anymore. In an interview with Karen Chavez, Tamayo said it felt like the right time after a very long career in cycling. You can read the full interview here.
Drops have announced Alice Barnes (yes Hannah’s sister) will be joining them, with her first race at Tour de Yorkshire. Full team statement here. Also there’s an interesting Q&A with team mate Laura Massey at VeloUK. Drops seem to have racheted up their expectations since starting only a few months ago, and have indeed been improving their places steadily.
And if you want something else to read in your break, Hitec’s Karl Lima has told Sykkelmagasinet.no about their visit to China during the last Olympic year.