Ronde van Vlaanderen Preview (1.WWT)

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Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 21.05.50Four weeks after the inaugural race of the UCI WWT at the historic city of Siena, it is now turn for Oudenaarde, East Flanders. The thirteenth edition of Ronde van Vlaanderen (a.k.a. Tour de Flanders and previously part of the defunct UCI Road Women’s World Cup) will witness the fifth round of the UCI Women’s World Tour. On Sunday, April 3rd Oudenaarde will be again the center of women’s cycling holding the UCI WWT race. In this case there will be tv live streaming but still more information regarding it has not been provided. 

The cobblestones, hills and wind of the provinces of Hainaut, West Flanders and East Flanders will provide an enchanting landscape ideal to promote and extend the beauty of a sport, which has been making impressive steps forward over the last decade, that demands and deserves a fair shake from some organizations. It is paramount live television broadcasting to make a greater number of impacts in order to get women cycling to its deserved place.

UCI WWT Race Schedule:

  1. Strade Bianche, ITA – 05/03/16

    The current British, Commonwealth and World champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) won last Saturday 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). 

  2. Women’s WorldTour Ronde van Drenthe,  NED – 12/03/16
    Dutch rider Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) won last Saturday 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).
  3. 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.
  4. Gent-Wevelgem In Flanders Fields, BEL – 27/03/16
    Dutch rider Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) soloed to her second UCI WWT victory at Gent-Wevelgem. The Dutch rider slipped away from the seventeen-rider breakaway with around 10km to the finish line. Despite her compatriot van Vleuten efforts, Blaak immediately gained a gap that was never closed. She reached the finish line with over a minute advantage ahead of a seven-rider chasing group.
  5. Ronde van Vlaanderen / Tour des Flandres, BEL – 03/04/16
  6. La Flèche Wallonne Féminine, BEL – 20/04/15
  7. Tour of Chongming Island, CHN – from 06/05/16 to 08/05/16
  8. Amgen Tour of California, USA – from 19/05/16 to 22/05/16
  9. Philadelphia International Cycling Classic, USA – 05/06/16
  10. Aviva Womens Tour, GBR – from 15/06/16 to 19/06/16
  11. Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile, ITA – from 01/07/16 to 10/07/16
  12. La Course by Le Tour de France, FRA – 24/07/16
  13. Prudential Ride London, GBR – 30/07/15
  14. Crescent Vargarda UCI Women’s WorldTour, SWE – 19/08/16
  15. Crescent Vargarda UCI Women’s WorldTour TTT, SWE – 21/08/16
  16. GP de Plouay-Bretagne, FRA – 27/08/16
  17. LA MADRID CHALLENGE By La Vuelta, ESP – 11/09/16

UCI Women’s WorldTour Individual Ranking

1 Chantal Blaak Boels Dolmans 258
2 Elizabeth Armitstead Boels Dolmans 248
3 Emma Johansson Wiggle High5 185

UCI Women’s WorldTour Youth Ranking

1 Floortje Mackaij Liv Plantur 12
2 Katarzyna Niewiadoma Rabobank Liv 12
3 Alexis Ryan Canyon SRAM 6

Women’s WorldTour Team Ranking

1 Boels Dolmans 744
2 Rabobank Liv 453
3 Wiggle High5 398

Programme

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Sunday, April 3rd , local time: 11:15 am. to 15:00 pm. approx. (UTC+2)

A total of 30 teams and 180 riders will participate in this edition of Ronde van Vlaanderen. Spanish registered Lointek team will make their debut at the newborn UCI WWT. Sheyla Gutiérrez (Cylance), Ane Santesteban (Alé Cipollini), Gloria Rodríguez, Rocío García, Alba Teruel, Alicia González and Mar Bonnin (Lointek) will be our Spanish representatives at the 5th UCI WWT race.

Route 141.2km: Oudenaarde – Oudenaarde 

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After about 5.4km of neutralisation, the 141.2 kilometres of 2016 Ronde van Vlaanderen race course will start. The course, which has been trivially modified from previous edition, will cover ten climbs (three of them including significant cobbled sections) and five cobblestones sectors (Ruiterstraat, Kerkgate, Jagerij, Paddestraat and Haaghoek, that are grouped together between the first and third hills). The 2016 edition classified hills are the following ones:

  1. Wolvemnberg at mark 46km -> 645m long at an average 7.9% gradient.
  2. Molenberg at mark 58km -> 460m long at an average 7.0% gradient.
  3. Lemberg at mark 79km -> 950m long at an average 4.2% gradient.
  4. Berendries / Hostellerie at mark 83km -> 1375m long at an average 5.1% gradient.
  5. Valkenburg at mark 88km -> 540m long at an average 8.1% gradient.
  6. Kaperij at mark 99km -> 1000m long at an average 5.5% gradient.
  7. Kanarieberg at mark 106km -> 1000m long at an average 7.7% gradient.
  8. Kruisberg at mark 115km -> 2500m long at an average 5.0% gradient.
  9. Oude Kwaremont at mark 124km -> 2200m long at an average 4.0% gradient.
  10. Paterberg at mark 128km -> 360m long at an average 12.9% gradient.

The final two cobbled climbs, Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg, come in quick succession with less than 20km to go and will probably play a key role in the race resolution. The race will likely end with a solo breakaway or a very reduced bunch sprint.

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Final 5km profile

Expert opinion (Loren Rowney):

  • The nature of the course makes the race so hard that is is key to keep constantly a good positioning into every difficult sector.
  • Weather conditions: The majority of the team would be happy with wind and rain. It adds that extra factor and also, we have riders who do very well in those conditions!
  • Annemiek will definitely be attacking. You can be sure of that. We will go in with an aggressive approach to the race. It is the only way to win Flanders!
  • It is obviously important to have everyone on the front as long as possible.
  • Kwaremont was closed so we couldn’t ride it… most important part almost.
  • Our team is feeling confident leading into Sunday.

Favourites & Outsiders

Imagen  Anna van der Breggen,  Elisa Longo Borghini,  Chantal Blaak  
Imagen  Emma Johansson,  Lizzie Armitstead,  Pauline Ferrand-Prevot,  Annemiek van Vleuten
Imagen  Ashleigh Moolman,  Kasia Niewiadoma,  Jolien D’hoore,  Ellen van Dijk,  Jolanda Neff 

Betting area

Our favourite:  Elisa Longo Borghini
Our outsider:   Ashleigh Moolman 

Who to watch

15 top riders to watch

Ronde van Vlaanderen Guide

Participants

Startlist

Previous edition

@uci.tv
@uci.tv

Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle Honda) won Ronde van Vlaanderen last year when the race was part of the UCI Women’s World Cup series. Italian rider soloed to victory in Oudenaarde after a brave attack just beyond the Kanarieberg with around 35 kilometres to the finish-line. Her teammate Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle Honda) came second winning the chasing group sprint while Dutch rider Anna van der Breggen (Rabobank Liv) rounded out the podium.

At the final part of the race Dutch rider Annemiek van Vleuten (Bigla) attacked at Kaperij climb, gaining a lead of 20 seconds before being caught again at the foot of the following climb, the Kanarieberg. Just beyond the climb Longo Borghini  attacked gaining quickly a gap of around 45 to 60 seconds. When Elisa reached Patterberg, the final course climb, she had over a minute advantage over the chasing group. The chasing group cross Oudenaarde finish-line 43” behind the winner.

Highlights of 2015 Tour de Flanders (UCI RWC)

Results

Live TV Streaming

Live TV streaming will be provided on Sunday from 13:45 until 15:15 local time (UTC+2). English commentary by Rochelle Gilmore and José de Been.

Twitter coverage

A few Twitter accounts and hashtags to follow the race (among others):

Sources

Official website
PCS
UCI

Written by:
Diego Martín

Loren Rowney

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