Women's racing weekend - Omloop van Borsele, Dwars door de Westhoek and the Sea Otter Classic

After the Euro power climbers had their day at the Flèche Wallonne, it's time for the sprinters to come out to play..... and the big question is "Can anyone beat Kirsten Wild in the Dutch sprints?". Luckily, we can follow it live with tickers, and see finish-line video! And over in the USA it's MTB racing at the Sea Otter Classic. Welcome to the minimal race preview!

I love love love these races, but as time is critical today, I'm going to point you to other people's previews.

Saturday 24th April - Omloop van Borsele

Borsele is one of my favourite races on the calendar. We're in Zeeland, so it's totally flat, so it's all down to the crazy coastal winds to make it hard. And damn, it's hard! 5 loops of the course that's been utterly dominated by the Dutchwomen. Marianne Vos won 2005-7 - then Kirsten Wild won for the next four years, until last year Ellen van Dijk stole the crown.

But it's not just the sprint race! Last night was an ITT, and the first stage of a Junior girls' 3 stage race. I've said this before, but any race that offers junior girls the chance to race on the same roads as the elite women, and get to compete against international talent - that's a race I'm always going to love! Nicky Zijlaard won the first stage ITT ahead of Lotte Kopecky and Cecilie Ludvig (full results here) - although for the last few years, this race has been won by Brits.... Laura Trott, Hannah Barnes and Elinor Barker.

There's a live ticker to follow the action from the junior and elite races, and a race twitter - and they usually have great photos and video on the fantastic race website. There's also races for the junior and u23 men - I LOVE THIS RACE!

Here are the previews - by Gracie Elvin on the ORICA-AIS website; with stats including prize money and profiles, and streetviews, from Velofocus; and a narrative preview from Cyclopunk on Les Déesses de la Route.

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Sunday 25th April - Dwars door de Westhoek

Usually the Sunday race is the GP Stad Roeselare.... but it's been cancelled. So Westhoek has moved from it's usual June slot to fill the gap. There are loops within loops, and a 140m climb - where the descent is the trickiest part - but again, this one's for the sprinters.

Here's the race website and previews on Les Déesses, Velofocus and bby ORICA-AIS DS Martin Barras.

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To follow the Euro races, it's Richie Steege, Karl Lima and Bart Hazen, as usual!

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Sea Otter Classic

Over in the USA, it's a huge festival of cycling, with a road stage race and as much MTB as you can wish for - short-track, downhill, cross country, dual slalom, mountain cross, short track, trials and jump contest - and apparently an atmosphere to die for. The XC race will give us the first chance to see how Marianne Vos shapes up against the XC World Champion, Catharine Pendrel. Vos is the first to admit she has a lot to learn about MTB, but last night was the short-track, and here's a video of what happened...

There's TONS of information on the race website and twitter, and coverage of the Road Race and the MTB racing on Cyclingnews - and I loved the DH helmet cam video on Dirt!

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As you can tell, this has been the minimalist report - but i know you can add a lot more information to the comments - and check back there for all the results! Racing, it's glorious!


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