Autor: Saul Miguel

Yes, it’s that time of the year again. We are on the eve of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and, for many people in this little cycling world, it means the real start of the road season. For many riders in the women’s peloton it’s the first race of the year. And, usually, it would also be the first race on European soil. Not anymore – now that honour belongs to the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana. Anyway, it’s still as special as ever and, with a completely upgraded parcours that feels new and old and the same time, perhaps even a little more…

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In its fourth edition, the Ladies Tour of Norway is one of the new additions to the UCI Women’s WorldTour. This well organised event, including a very informative website, good social media and live TV production, looks like a worthy addition to the series, and continues the run of Scandinavian races on the calendar after the European Championships in Denmark and the Crescent Vårgårda WWT in Sweden. The outstanding list of past winners (Anna van der Breggen, Megan Guarnier and Lucinda Brand) is set to add another big name to the race’s palmarés this year. The parcours The Ladies Tour of…

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The Vårgårda WWT race may be seen by some as the start of the so-called third part of the season: once the Giro, La Course and the European Championships are done and dusted, it’s time to begin the build-up towards the World Championships. So, not many riders may have Vårgårda as a main goal of their season. Anyway, it’s a great race in its own right, with some interesting and unique features. What happened last year? The 2016 edition saw a relatively surprising outcome as local rider Emilia Fahlin, who wasn’t among the pre-race favourites, won it by being the…

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She’s not anymore the dominant force that she used to be, but Marianne Vos still wins races, and when she does, she leaves her mark. The Dutch rider became the new European Champion by winning the elite road race of the Euro Road Cycling Champs in Herning, Denmark, and thus getting her most important victory so far this season. The Dutch riders were very aggressive since the start and managed to make a race of attrition even if the parcours looked very easy on paper. Attack after attack, many short-lived breakaways were formed, always including some orange jersey. But the…

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The last of the women’s races at the 2017 European Road Cycling Championships in Herning (Denmark) will be, as planned, the elite road race. It will be for sure a very different one from the preceding edition, which took place in hilly Plumelec (France). But, as the U23 race recently showed, you can’t take anything for granted. Bad weather and aggressive tactics can make things hectic even in the most predictable parcours. So let’s look at tomorrow’s competition with an open mind. What happened last year? Anna van der Breggen of the Netherlands reigned supreme. Surprising? Not all all. The…

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After last year’s hilly parcourses in Plumelec (France), the 2017 edition of the European Road Cycling Championships is taking place in the flat region around Herning, Denmark, which will deliver some different kind of racing and winners. It shouldn’t make a big difference for the time trials, though. What happened last year? The first ever edition of the European Championships in the Elite category delivered a somewhat expected result: 1-2 for the Netherlands, with Ellen van Dijk first and Anna van der Breggen second. Russian Olga Zabelinskaya got the bronze medal. Van Dijk’s win gave her country an additional third…

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Words: Yolanda Álvarez, except 8th paragraph (below podium pic) by Saúl Miguel Photos: Saúl Miguel, Fabienne Amant (1st selfie) and Annemiek van Vleuten (2nd selfie) Talking about the “backstage” of races we attend is one of CiclismoFem’s favourite hobbies. Dutch national championships in Montferland was the 1st trip abroad we’ve had as both fans and specialists on women’s cycling. Both Saúl and I started the trip knowing those days would be unforgettable, as what could be better than seeing our dear Dutch riders in action, meeting some new people plus sightseeing around the country where bikes are part of…

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4th in 2014, 2nd in 2015, 3rd in 2016… and 1st in 2017. It didn’t even look likely after a week of almost total domination by the Orica-Scott team, but Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervélo-Bigla) was able to win the Emakumeen Bira with a massive effort on the main climb of the last stage: Jaizkibel. It was a close call, but good enough for her to win. The stage started with three Orica-Scott riders on top of the GC: Katrin Garfoot, Annemiek van Vleuten and Amanda Spratt. Moolman-Pasio was 4th at 34 seconds. However, there was not much room for tactics on…

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New stage winner, new GC leader, same team. Orica-Scott got it right again to win their second stage in a row at Emakumeen Bira, and their third win of the Basque week if we count Van Vleuten’s win at Durango-Durango. It was almost a copy/paste of what happened yesterday, with Katrin Garfoot in the role of Amanda Spratt. It wasn’t easy at all for the Aussie team, though. There was lots of action throughout the stage. Most of the attacks were short-lived. However, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio’s acceleration on the main climb of the day, the 2nd category Alto de Deskarga, showed…

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It’s rare to have an entire week without rain in the Basque Country and today it was no exception: pouring rain at the start and the finish made the 2nd stage of the Emakumeen Bira harder than it looked on paper. Orica-Scott took advantage of the situation to get both the stage and the GC jersey with Amanda Spratt. The Aussie attacked together with Ane Santesteban (Alé-Cipollini) in the final kilometres of the stage and managed the tricky last corner better than her Basque rival to get a commanding win. The race was defined by several breakaway attempts, most of…

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Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne, Liège-Bastogne-Liège. She has won them all. The first Ardennes week in the history of women’s cycling has one name: Anna van der Breggen. And one team: Boels-Dolmans. Both the rider and the squad had a somewhat slow start of the season compared to previous years, but they peaked at the right moment to get an impressive hat-trick, backed by the same amount of second places by Lizzie Deignan. Again, Van der Breggen’s win was a perfect mixture of tactics and strength. She was able to follow the first really big attack of the day by…

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The men’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège is known as La Doyenne due to its old age, being one of the oldest classics on the calendar. On the eve of the first ever edition of the women’s LBL we may wonder whether it will ever become a true Doyenne. That would be great. But first let’s see what’s happening on Sunday in the final race of the Ardennes week. The parcours 135.5 km doesn’t put Liège-Bastogne-Liège among the longest races of the calendar, but it’s one of the hardest, and certainly the most climber-friendly Spring race. Things start to spice up right after the…

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For the third year in a row, Olympic and European champion Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) took the victory in Flèche Wallonne. It’s a win that comes just after Amstel Gold Race, putting her in the ideal position to get what would be an amazing achievement: a hat-trick (yes, another one) in the Ardennes classics, if she’s able to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège next Sunday. But that’s another story. Van der Breggen seems to have a winning formula for Flèche: making a race of attrition with her teammates, attacking on the Côte de Cherave, then attacking again from a very small group…

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Even though the Amstel Gold Race is finally back on the women’s calendar and it’s usually considered as the opening race of the Ardennes week, the first race actually ridden on Ardennes soil is the Flèche Wallonne. In past years it used to be the big highlight of a somewhat uncrowded part of the calendar. Now, with the addition of both Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liége, it’s perhaps the less anticipated classic of the week. But winning Flèche Wallonne is still an important prize, and so the competition will be fierce. The parcours The upcoming edition of the Flèche Wallonne…

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Post-Olympic blues? What’s that? Some could argue that the slow start of the season for Anna van der Breggen in her debut as a Boels-Dolmans rider was due to a lack of real motivation after a successful Olympic year. Her performances in the last two weeks are showing that her qualities are intact now that her recent illnesses are gone. She was strong at both De Ronde and Healthy Ageing Tour, so it was only a matter of time that she won something big. And so she did: she’s the first winner of the revamped Amstel Gold Race, 14 years…

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So far into the season, Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) is the breakthrough rider of the year. After a somewhat surprising victory at Trofeo Binda, the American cyclist is now the winner of the 2017 edition of the Ronde van Vlaanderen. She wasn’t the strongest rider of the race, but great teamwork and questionable tactics by some of her rivals played in her advantage. Her superb sprinting skills made the rest. Depending on the viewer, one could say that the finish of this edition of the De Ronde was an exciting nail biter or an anticlimax, considering that the strongest riders…

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Yes, it’s that time of the year. The most iconic race in Belgium is almost here, and it feels both ancient and new, classic and forward-looking. The Ronde van Vlaanderen is slowly getting its own identity back after that almost sacrilege-like move in 2012, when the Kapelmuur was removed from the race. It took a couple of years, but now it’s again the exciting show that formerly was… almost. Now, the Muur is finally back. It’s far from the finish line, but it’s there. Fans will love that. Hier is De Ronde thuis! But will it have an actual impact…

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Just four days after winning Dwars door Vlaanderen, Finnish sprinter Lotta Lepistö (Cervélo-Bigla) has been the fastest again in another classic in Flanders: Gent-Wevelgem. It was an extremely close finish between Lepistö and local favourite Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle-High5) Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb), recent winner of the Trofeo Binda, was 3rd in a reduced bunch sprint. The Belgian race showed once again to which extent the women’s peloton has increased its leven and depth compared to previous seasons. Despite the numerous attacks, none of them could stay clear, and so far each WorldTour race has had a different winner from a…

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