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Energiewacht Tour 2013 - race thread

In women's cycling, we've been focusing on the Spring Classics, but it's time for the first European stage race of the year - and what a great one to start with! The Energiewacht Tour is a great example of a Dutch race, one that really like it's fans and makes it very, very easy to watch it - including with daily highlights programme on tv. This is a thread for all the news as the race progresses, but we'll start with a video of the highlights of last year's race - and don't forget to enter the two competitions at the bottom of the thread!

This is a six-stage race that runs over 5 days, 3rd-7th April 2013, with a junior girls' stage race alongside the elite women. It's probably no wonder it's run so well, as among the organisers, Daniëlle Bekkering is a former pro skater and cyclist, and Thijs Rondhuis has been a Directeur Sportif for Marianne Vos' DSB Bank team, and helped set up Hitec Products UCK.

The race is in the Groningen province of the Netherlands, so it's very flat, and to make things more exciting for the General Classification competition, there's an ITT and intermediate sprint bonifications that add to the overall. Being flat doesn't make it easy - it's very, very windy up there, with lots of cobbled roads, and this race is known for the big teams using the wiliest tactics, with echelons everywhere, and teams attacking at the 12km point. It makes for exciting racing to watch, which is lucky, because this one is shown on tv!

There will be short daily tv highlights on the RTL7 station - and these programmes are shown on the channel's website every day. EDIT! They'll all be put up here - Voorjaar 2013 is the 2013 version, and Aflevering means "episode". The full schedule is here on the race website (remember Europe is now on Summer Time) - and they are very, very good at directing us to any other coverage, through the site, their facebook, their youtube and their super-friendly twitter. If you want to follow the racing as it happens on twitter, they'll help you - or you can also use my race twitter list.

There are race previews, as usual, on Velofocus, on Les Déesses de la Route and on Velorooms. If you want a team perspective, ORICA-AIS have a preview of the Energiewacht Tour (I'm really loving their race previews and reports this year) - and I've interviewed Lotto Belisol's rider, and superb blogger, Marijn de Vries, on Energiewacht, how you get position in these races, her 2013, Frozen Eyeballs and lot more. I always like talking to Marijn she tells a great story - click through and read it!

Finally, the race has a great competition open to all of us, where you can win a jersey signed by the race winner:

Win an official #EWT shirt, signed by the winner of this year: Wish your favorite rider or team good luck with a video, card or photo and share it with us on Facebook or Twitter!

The deadline's April 5th, and you can decide who to wish good luck to using the startlist. And the ORICA-AIS have added their own competition to the race:

Let me know if you win!

We'll add anything we see about the race in the comments - and look out especially for Monty's screenshot recaps of each stage - and anything you see, add them in. I LOVE this Tour!