Today (Wednesday 4th May) sees the start of the five day Tour of the Gila, with Amy D Foundation, Colavita Bianchi, HB Supermint, Rally, Tibco-SVB, Twenty 16, UHC, Visit Dallas DNA, Shimano Ladies Power, Canyon, Happy Tooth Dental, Groove Subaru Excel, Team Canada, Podium Ambition, Team Japan and CONADE Visit Mexico listed in the final start list (link here). You can see a Google Streetview run through here, and Cronoescalada profiles for stage 1, stage 2, stage 3 and stage 5 (stage 4 is a criterium.) The only flat stages are the crit and the ITT on stage 3, the rest have some hard climbs that will likely keep the GC open until the very end. Amy D are bringing the defending champion Mara Abbott, who has won this race five times so far. Their challengers are likely to be UHC (Katie Hall, Linda Villumsen), Tibco (Lauren Stephens, Brianna Walle), Rally (Jasmin Glaesser) and HB Supermint (Eri Yonamine). Allie Dragoo of Twenty 16 picked up a big win at Energiewacht (stage 3) so maybe a well timed breakaway will put her in contention, with the support of Kristin Armstrong. Visit Dallas will be looking for good results with Breanne Nalder, as will Jessenia Meneses of Shimano Ladies Power. Organisers say there will be plenty of video highlights, so probably best to follow their Facebook or Twitter accounts for those.
The Tour of Chongming Island is a WT race running from the 6th to the 8th of May. The line up so far has been collated by Cycling Fever from each team’s website, and includes Ale Cipollini, Astana, BePink, BTC City Ljubljana, Cervelo Bigla, China Chongming Liv Champion System, Cylance, Hitec, Parkhotel Valkenburg, PC Futuroscope 86, Team Russia, Servetto Footon, Liv Plantur and Wiggle H5. Since we don’t know the route profile we’ll have to just sit back and watch the race unfold which will be on CCTV5 every day from 7am UK time, 8am CET. I wouldn’t recommend trying to find an online stream if you don’t have this via your normal TV package, as even the official livestream needs a browser plugin. Update There’s another channel called Wuxing Sports, aka 5 Star Sports which is also carrying the race. Their website is http://www.wa5.com/ and you can see an icon for the race in the first horizontal list. The live stream is at http://www.wa5.com/tvlive but is currently blank with a link to http://www.fun.tv/live?cid=20 instead. The last link is live, hopefully one of them is right.
On Saturday 7th May we have the Rabobank 7-Dorpenomloop Aalburg one day race in the Netherlands. Teams taking part are RaboLiv, Parkhotel Valkenburg, BMS Birn, Lensworld Zannata Etixx, TSVL Etixx Guill D’or, Lotto Soudal Ladies, Xirayas de San Luis, WV Breda, De Jonge Renner/Lares Waowdeals mix, ARTV de Adellar, Jan van Arckel, Swaboladies, Restore Cycling, TWC de Kempen, TWC De Maaslander-Zuid-Limburg, Meteoor Assen Roden, Regio Noord-Holland, NWVG Autoschade Bathoorn, KOGA Ladies, Team Australia, Team Lithuania and Team Stuttgart. Hard to see anyone beating Vos, end of. Highlights will be kindly provided by Digitaalburg once more. Course route can be found here (PDF) which will be a flat and windy 119.4km, consisting of three laps of a large 28.5km circuit followed by three more laps of a smaller 11.3km one.
On Sunday 8th May the fifth Lotto Cycling Cup race takes place, Trofee Maarten Wynants. Teams taking part are Parkhotel Valkenburg, Team WNT, Lotto Soudal Ladies, Lares Waowdeals, Mix team DJR/Liv Plantur, Xirayas de San Luis, BMS Birn, TSVL Etixx Guill D’or, Team Sweden, Lensworld Zannata Etixx, Team Australia, Jan van Arckel, Team Lithuania, Mix Team Crescent Dare, Keukens Redant, Mix team Hoop Op Zegen Beveren, Jos Feron Lady Force, Autoglas Wetteren, Swaboladies, Koga Ladies, Maaslandster Nicheliving, Isorex, Mix team Arc Ulysses/WV Breda, Team Stuttgart, De Sprinters Malderen, Mix team Footon Velosport/Balen and Napoleon Games St Martinus. Start list so far can be found here (PDF). There may be some coverage on TV Limburg but this isn’t confirmed yet.