Women’s Tour and National Championships highlight women’s cycling in June

The peloton rolls out in stage 3 of the 2016 Aviva Women's Tour, over vastly decorated streets aligned with lots of spectators.

by Jeanine Laudy


And just like that it’s June: the month of national road championships and the start of crit season. With so many pro riders in the northern Hemisphere returning to their respective countries to vie for national honours, there is only one women’s WorldTour event on the calendar this month, but it’s a big one.  While only in its fourth year, the OVO Energy Women’s Tour of Britain –with its hoards of fans, publicity and five days of exciting racing – is an absolute highlight on the women’s calendar.

Officially, the much celebrated Giro Rosa starts in June as well, with the opening team time trial taking place on June 30, but we’ll provide you with a separate preview for that race later in the month. 

Here’s an overview of the top women’s races in June. All race information, startlists, standings and TV coverage information will be updated as it becomes available, so make sure you come back here before every race! 

Women’s WorldTour standings after the OVO Energy Women’s Tour

General classification
1. Kasia Niewiadoma (WM3 Pro Cycling-  612
2. Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) – 570
3. Coryn Rivera (Team Sunbweb) – 528
4. Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-Scott) – 469
5. Lizzie Deignan (Boels-Dolmans) – 393

Young rider classification
1. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Cervélo-Bigla) – 32
2. Alice Barnes (Drops Cycling) – 16
3. Anna Christian (Drops Cycling) – 10

Team classification
1. Boels-Dolmans – 1679
2. Team Sunweb – 1064
3. Wiggle-High5 – 961

OVO Energy Women’s Tour

Tuesday June 6 – Sunday, June 11 – Women’s WorldTour – Great Britain

Final podium and all jersey winners of the 2016 Aviva Women’s Tour.

One of the best – if not the best – organised and promoted women’s stage races on the calendar, the Women’s Tour been a huge success since founded in 2014. The tour is valued by riders, media and fans alike. Even without a full live broadcast of the stages, everyone feels part of the race due to the splendid stream of information provided in real time, solid use of the race’s social media channels and lots of post-race video content.

Formerly known as the Aviva Women’s Tour, the organisers found a  new title sponsor this year and so the tour will this year be known as the OVO Energy Women’s Tour, with the according hashtag #OVOWT.

The popularity of the race shows in the team start list; except for BTC City Ljubljana, all top 15 teams in the UCI ranking travel to Great Britain for the five-day event. Special invitees Lotto-Soudal, Drops Cycling and Team WNT complete the start field.

For the first three stages, the peloton will tackle road races varrying between 145 and 151 kilometers (90 to 94 miles). Stage four on Saturday is a little shorter at 123 kilometers (76 miles), and the tour finishes off with a spectator-friendly criterium style finale in the city center of London.

Update
Kasia Niewiadoma (WM3 Pro Cycling) took the leader’s jersey with her stage one win and never gave the jersey away anymore. What followed was a focus on the other jerseys, with battles for the sprint jersey, points jersey and best British rider jersey, that alternated between British national road champion Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) and U23 British national road champion Alice Barnes (Drops Cycling). We followed the older Barnes sisters throughout the Women’s Tour. Read her posts here.  

Watch: Highlights of all stages will be on ITV4 and several other TV stations throughout the Eurasia area on the evening of each day’s racing and/or a (repeat of the) highlight show shown the following day. The ITV highlights will also be available on the (geo-restricted) ITV Hub catch-up service for 30-days on demand. Additionally, lots of video content has already been uploaded to the website. Check back during the week for highlights videos of each stage. As part of the Women’s WorldTour, the UCI will also provide highlights videos.
Website: womenstour.co.uk
Twitter: @thewomenstour, #OVOWT

Giro del Trentino Alto Adige Südtirol

Saturday, June 17 – UCI1.1 – Italy

The Giro del Trentino Alto Adige, or Trentino Donne, has been a stage race and one-day race intermittently. In 2017, it’s once again a one-day race. Unfortunately, the official race website is not updated for the 2017 edition yet, so we don’t have a lot of information in this year’s edition of the race.

Past winners of the one-day race include Amanda Spratt (Orica-Scott) and Valentina Scandolara (WM3 Pro Cycling), while Kasia Niewiadoma (WM3 Pro Cycling) won the most recent event in 2016, when the race contained three stages.

Update
Nicola Noskova (BePink) took the win in this badly covered race. Without anything to go by via social media, we only have the results, which shows Noskova won ahead of Hanna Nilson (BTC City Ljubljana) and Sina Frei (Switzerland).

Watch: We have no information on this yet, but we don’t expect live coverage. We’re keeping our fingers crossed for a highlights video by RAI Sport.
Website: 
girotrentinodonne.it
Twitter: @TrentinoDonne

North Star Grand Prix

Wednesday June 14 – Sunday June 18, 2017 – Criterium – The United States

Ellen Noble (North Memorial) was stunned and elated after her Stillwater Criterium win in 2016.

Now in its 18th year, the North Star Grand Prix (formerly known as Nature valley Grand Prix) is one of the top stage races in the US, and draws a highly competitive field of riders from the US, Mexico and Canada.

Held in and around Minneapolis, Minnesota, the five-day stage race will see riders compete in a time trial, three criteriums and two road races. The big finale, the Stillwater Criterium, is one of the hardest crits in the country as it features the infamous Chilkoot Hill with grades over 20%. Australian Lizzie Williams won this infamous stage in 2014 and cyclocrosser Ellen Noble outsmarted the field here last year.

Previous winners of the stage race overall include Carmen Small, Briana Walle , Shelley Olds, Kristin Armstrong, Lyne Bessette.

One year, in 2015, organisers had to cancel the pro women’s race due to lack of riders. That did not keep Carmen Small from competing, however, as she simply joined a men’s team and competed against the men. See the story here.

Watch: Some criterium stages will feature a live stream. We will share that stream here, on CyclingTips, when they become available.
Website: 
northstarbicyclefestival.com
Twitter: @NSBikeFest
Who to watch: This section will be updated when a start list is available.

Nats week

Monday, June 19 – Sunday, June 25 – National championships – Throughout the world

It’s always an exciting week in June when Nats Week is on. Taking the national title is a huge honour for riders and the achievement is rewarded with a special edition national championship kit that they get to wear for an entire year. After that, they get to sport the recognisable national arm bands for the rest of their lives. Most countries throughout the world plan their national road championships in the same period, running from June 16 (Finland) to July 6 (Iran). Most races take place between June 19 and 25.

Although anything can happen in national championships, we’re looking towards probable prolongations in Finland and Luxembourg with Lotta Lepistö and Christine Majerus respectively. In some countries, we’re expecting former national champions to take back their titles, like Jolien D’Hoore in Belgium and Lizzie Deignan in the United Kingdom.

In other countries, it’s a lot harder to tell, with several favourites. The Dutch national championship road race is shaping up to be one of the most exciting ones. There are about a dozen top favourites lining up, and the playing field is more level than in previous years as the once dominate Rabo-Liv has disbanded and riders are now dispersed acrossed several trade teams. With Marianne Vos (WM3 Pro Cycling) out after her crash in the Women’s Tour, it looks to become a battle between the very strong Boels-Dolmans squad who has Anna van der Breggen, Chantal Blaak and Amy Pieters in their midst, and Team Sunweb, with favourites such as Lucinda Brand and Ellen van Dijk.

The race for the stripes and stars in the US could be equally exciting with Coryn Rivera (Sunweb), Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) and Ruth Winder (UnitedHealthcare) all showing great form.

Watch: Refer to the tv listings in your country to check whether the national road championships are being broadcasted.
Website: Visit the UCI calendar for all Nats Week websites
Twitter: #NatsWeek
Who to keep an eye on: Megan Guarnier & Coryn Rivera (United States), Lotta Lepistö (Finland), Jolien D’Hoore (Belgium), Elena Cecchini & Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy), Amalie Dideriksen & Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Denmark), Lizzie Deignan (United Kingdom) — impossible to predict in the Netherlands

Other interesting women’s cycling events this month

2 June: Oklahoma City ProAm Classic, the United States, Crit
2 June: The Keystone Open, the United States, Crit
9 June: Ljubljana-Domzale-Ljubljana TT, Slovenia, UCI1.2
9-11 June: Saint Francis Tulsa Tough, the United States, Crit
10-11 June: The Armed Forces Cycling Classic, the United States, Crit
11 June: SPAR Flanders Diamond Tour, Belgium, UCI1.1

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Which race are you most looking forward to in June?

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