The Ceratizit Festival Elsy Jacobs is named after the 1958 World Champion from Luxembourg. One of the original stars of women’s cycling, Elsy Jacobs was also the holder of the hour record from 1958 to 1972. The race was held for the first time in 2008, on the 10th anniversary of her death. Initially a one-day race, it expanded to a stage race in 2012.
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La Flèche Wallonne Féminine or the Women’s Flèche Wallonne has been running since 1998. A relatively long history for a modern women’s cycling race. In its 20+ year history, the race has only seen 10 different winners. Anna van der Breggen has won Flèche Wallonne Féminine 7 times, Marianne Vos 5 times, with Fabiana Luperini and Nicole Cooke both 3-time winners.
The women’s Brabantse Pijl sees the Spring Classics move eastwards. The Flandrian part of the calendar is over and we’re only a few days away from seeing more racing in the Ardennes region of Belgium. The race begins at Lennik in Flemish Brabant before heading south, skirting around the bottom of Brussels.
The women’s Amstel Gold Race returned last season. It was heavily altered, turned into a large circuit based around the Cauberg, the Geulhemmerberg and the Bemelerberg. The constant climbing was hoped to be attritional but ultimately we saw a reasonably large sprint after the Cauberg. Despite the attack of Niewiadoma, no-one would work with her and it proved fruitless. Vos took the sprint ahead of Demi Vollering and Annemiek van Vleuten.
The women’s Scheldeprijs is a very new race, with only one edition taking place so far. So this history part will be quite short!
A large break of 16 riders were given some distance, including some big names like Brennauer, Alice Barnes and Lisa Klein. The presence of the big names meant the break was always going to be closed down. A spell of crashes interrupted the flow of the race.
The first Women’s Tour of Flanders took place in 2004. The route followed the last 55km of the men’s race with a bit before it to take the distance up to 94km. The finish parcours from that time is now used for Omloop het Nieuwsblad. Riders climb Kapelmuur before riding the tree-lined Bosberg. Zulfiya Zabirova won the first race with an attack on Kapelmuur itself.
Today’s second stage of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana looked potentially tricky on paper. Starting the day with a long 1st Category climb had the potential to… Read More »Setmana Ciclista Valenciana Stage 2 Race Report