There is an awful lot of bicycle racing on the television this morning. After a long day of racing at the Rust Shaker and DuneCross Saturday, or to get jazzed up before the Fisk Knob Time Trial, there’s a plethora of bike races to check out.
For those insomniacs or former Marines, the day really kicks off at 5.20am with the UCI World Cup Mountain Bike race from Houfflize, Belgium. The lovely ladies kick off the cross-country events as Emily Batty (heart flutters), Maja Wloszczowska (also dreamy) and Catherine Pendrel (classy) renew hostilities in the second World Cup event of the year. Batty will be looking to move up a step after her second place in South Africa, while a whole host of riders will have better starting positions and hopes for a top ten. You can tune in here.
The Men’s race will follow the Women’s with about a thirty minute delay, so Kulhavy, Fumic, Stander and Schurter should be on the line by 7.45 or so. Jaroslav Kulhavy, “The Czech King”, will look to take his very first World Cup win as World Champion in Belgium ahead of his homecoming in Czech Republic at the next WC stop.
The first leg of the Ardennes Classics Triple Crown is the Amstel Gold, a brutal race with enough climbs to separate the skinny men from the thick ones. The Schleck Bros. will be looking for something positive to point for this spring after injuries, illness and bad luck have ruined any results all year. Philippe Gilbert, too, is on the hot seat after a spring with his best result outside of the top ten. Joaquim Rodriquez was pipped by Sammy Sanchez at the Pais Vasco, but he won two stages. Purito is the pick for kolo t.c. and a heavy favorite by the media. An open, tough race is expected with no team or rider claiming to need to hold responsibility for taking charge. Last year, a heroic Andy Schleck attack came up just a few hundred meters short and Gilbert went away to take the first of his 2011 Ardennes Triple Crown.
Coverage of the race is very much dependent on the language you’d like to watch in, so here is the complete list of streams. Coverage vill vary greatly, with the Sporza (Dutch) links picking up first at aroung 7.45-8.00am. English coverage should be live no later than 8.30 from Eurosport. Check the Twitter for updated or altered links, as well as some absolutely charming commentary on the day’s races.