26 Mar Gent Wevelgem in Flanders Fields Preview (1.WWT)
Three weeks after the inaugural race of the UCI WWT at the historic city of Siena, it is now turn for Wevelgem, West Flanders. The fifth edition of Gent-Wevelgem (the former two editions ranked under the national series while the latter two ranked UCI 1.2) will witness the fourth round of the UCI Women’s World Tour. On Sunday, March 27th West Flanders will be again the center of women’s cycling holding not only the UCI WWT race but also the Mini-World Cup event Gent Wevelgem (an U17 will be held as well to add up a total of seven Gent-Wevelgem events held). Like the UCI WWT event, the Mini-World Cup event will start in Ypres (starting at 12.02 pm, covering 70.8km – 6 laps to a 11.8km circuit- and finishing as well in Boezinge, Ypres). In this case the race will be broadcast live on national Flemish channel VRT, as part of the men elite race, starting from 13.30 ECT (UTC+2). Keep in mind we will be changing clocks overnight in Europe from UTC+1 to UTC+2.
Since 2014, the race has asserted itself as an ambassador for peace by keeping alive the memory of the hundreds of thousands of victims of the Great War I. In light of the deplorable events in Brussels last Tuesday, the organisers have decided that the seven Gent-Wevelgem races will take place on Sunday in an extra effort to promote their peace message peace while respecting “the victims of blind violence”. Spectators have been specifically asked not to bring any bags or backpacks regarding Belgium current alert level.
Boels-Dolmans heads to the fourth round of the UCI WWT after an untarnished winning streak at the newborn UCI WWT series. Their joy is double as it has just been announced that Boels Rental and the Dolmans Landscaping Group, the title sponsors of the Dutch team, have extended their sponsorship of the women’s international cycling team by two years. The new agreement will remain in place until the end of the 2018 season.
UCI WWT Race Schedule:
- Strade Bianche, ITA – 05/03/16
The current British, Commonwealth and World champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) won the second edition of Strade Bianche Women Elite, the first race ever of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, covering 121km from Siena to Siena. On the final climb to the finish line Lizzie overtook her breakaway partners, European champion Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Rabobank Liv) and Swedish rider Emma Johansson (Wiggle High5).
Women’s WorldTour Ronde van Drenthe, NED – 12/03/16
The Dutch rider Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) won the second event of the UCI WWT, the Ronde van Drenthe, covering 138.3km from Hoogeveen to Hoogeveen. On the final sprint she overtook her breakaway partners, Australian rider Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS), German rider Trixi Worrack (Canyon SRAM) and Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen (Rabobank Liv).
Trofeo Alfredo Binda – Comune di Cittiglio, ITA – 20/03/2016
Current world champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) won in Cittiglio, repeating the feat that she achieved at the 2015 edition. After being dropped from the six-rider chasing group at the fourth Orino climb, the defending champion came back to the group and hastily launched an attack that was intended to set up her teammate Megan Guarnier for victory. However, nobody reacted to Armitstead’s powerful move and resulted to be the race winning move. Her teammate Megan Guarnier sprinted for the second place, while Jolanda Neff (Servetto Footon), who had aggressively attack and led the race over the final kilometres of the course, finished in third place.
- Gent-Wevelgem In Flanders Fields, BEL – 27/03/16
- Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres, BEL – 03/04/16
- La Flèche Wallonne Féminine, BEL – 20/04/15
- Tour of Chongming Island, CHN – from 06/05/16 to 08/05/16
- Amgen Tour of California, USA – from 19/05/16 to 22/05/16
- Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, USA – 05/06/16
- Aviva Womens Tour, GBR – from 15/06/16 to 19/06/16
- Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile, ITA – from 01/07/16 to 10/07/16
- La Course by Le Tour de France, FRA – 24/07/16
- Prudential Ride London, GBR – 30/07/15
- Crescent Vargarda UCI Women’s WorldTour, SWE – 19/08/16
- Crescent Vargarda UCI Women’s WorldTour TTT, SWE – 21/08/16
- GP de Plouay-Bretagne, FRA – 27/08/16
- LA MADRID CHALLENGE By La Vuelta, ESP – 11/09/16
UCI Women’s WorldTour Individual Ranking
|1||Elizabeth Armitstead||Boels Dolmans||240|
|2||Anna van der Breggen||Rabobank Liv||180|
|3||Emma Johansson||Wiggle High5||155|
UCI Women’s WorldTour Youth Ranking
|1||Katarzyna Niewiadoma||Rabobank Liv||12|
|2||Floortje Mackaij||Liv Plantur||6|
|3||Jim van den Bos||Parkhotel Valkenburg||4|
Women’s WorldTour Team Ranking
The 2016 UCI Women Junior Nations’ Cup includes a combination of one-day and stage races registered on the UCI Calendar:
- Trofeo Da Moreno – Piccolo Trofeo Alfredo Binda (Italy, 20.03.16)
French rider, Clara Copponi won the “Da Moreno – Mini-Alfredo Binda Trophy”, first round of the newborn Junior Women’s Nations’ Cup. In the final sprint, Copponi outsprinted the bunch who broke away from the group on the Orino climb, with 10km to go. In the sprint, Susanne Andersen (Vaiano Fondest) came second and Letizia Paternoster (Vecchia Fontana) finished in third position.
- Gent-Wevelgem (Belgium, 27.03.16)
- Energiewacht Tour (Netherlands, stage race, 6-9.04.16)
- Albstadt Frauen-Etappenrennen (Germany, stage race, 10-12.06.16)
Sunday, March 27th, Local Time: 11:25 a.m. to 14:15 p.m. approx.
A total of 24 teams and 144 riders will participate in the fifth edition of Gent Wevelgem in Flanders Fields. Sheyla Gutiérrez (Cylance), Lourdes Oyarbide, Coral Casado Naia Leonet, Paula Lanz and Lierni Leukoma (Bizkaia Durango) will be our Spanish representatives at the fourth UCI WWT race.
After about 1.9km of neutralisation, the 114 kilometres 2016 Gent-Wevelgem race course will start. The course has been slightly modified from previous editions. The peloton will cover five climbs grouped in the middle of the race (starting just before 50km mark and ending shortly after 80km mark), the Kemmelberg twice, the Monteberg twice and the Baneberg. After the final ascent to the Monteberg riders will have roughly 30km to go. The Kemmelberg climb, is already an iconic climb, it was a strategic battlefield during WW I and generally is one of the race highlights. As in prior Gent-Wevelgem editions its international appeal will be used to promote the solidarity between peoples and nations (Little flags of the many countries that fought in the Westhoek region will be handed out to the spectators, enabling the cycling fans to cheer the riders while spreading a message of peace.) Previous past performances suggest us that the race will end up with either a reduced bunch sprint or a solo break-away victory.
Last 5km profile
Favourites & Outsiders
Chantal Blaak, Jolien D’hoore, Leah Kirchmann
Elizabeth Armitstead, Emma Johansson, Amy Pieters, Annemiek van Vleuten
Floortje Mackaij, Shelley Olds, Elena Cecchini, Coryn Rivera, Lauren Kitchen
Our favourite: Jolien D’hoore
Our outsider: Lauren Kitchen
Who to watch
Floortje Mackaij (Liv Plantur) won last Gent Wevelgem edition. The Dutch rider claim her first professional victory at a UCI ranked race on the cold and wet day after attacking her nine-rider breakaway partners with only three kilometres to go. Janneke Ensing (Parkhotel Valkenburg) out-sprinted Chloe Hosking (Wiggle Honda) at the final sprint for the lesser spots on the podium.
Over the final ascent to the Monteberg, a group of six riders – Chloe Hosking, Susanna Zorzi, Iris Slappendel, Janneke Ensing, Roxane Knetemann and Amy Pieters – broke away quickly building a 30” gap over the chasers. Amy Pieters crashed with 25km to go and as soon as she was back on the chasing group she got away with her teammate Mackaij, Dutch rider Van Gogh and Belgian D’hoore. Once both groups were merged, Liv-Plantur riders kept playing aggressively. until Mackaij managed to break away from the group with kilometres to go.
Highlights of 2015 Gent Wevelgem (UCI 1.2)
Live TV Streaming
Race will be broadcast live on national Flemish channel VRT, as part of the men elite race, starting from 13.30 ETC (UTC+2).
A few Twitter accounts and hashtags to follow the race (among others):
Post race highlights
The highlights of the race will be available on Monday 28th March in the morning on tv.uci.ch.