Double race weekend. Double home races. And (best of all!) double live streams. Twenty-five time Luxembourgish champion Christine Majerus headlines our six-strong squad for Festival Elsy Jacobs. 2015 road world champion Lizzie Deignan leads our Tour de Yorkshire team.
Festival Elsy Jacobs is a three-day Luxembourgish stage race. A 2.8-kilometre prologue on Friday (April 28) evening kick-starts the weekend of racing. The prologue is followed by two hilly road stages.
“We come here with a strong group and especially a strong group of climbers with Megan [Guarnier] and Karo[al-Ann Canuel],” said Majerus. “I hope that can help improving our results this year.”
Tour de Yorkshire hosts a a one-day women's race on Saturday (April 29). The 122.5-kilometre day begins in Tadcaster and concludes in Harrogate. It is the identical route used by the men’s peloton on stage two of their three-day event.
“I’m really looking forward to racing Yorkshire,” said Deignan. “The home crowds always give an advantage. I know the terrain well in this area, and I don’t expect to be surprised by anything on race day. Wherever you go in Yorkshire, it’s always beautiful but painful.”
Festival Elsy Jacobs began in 2008 as a 1.2 one-day race organised by Majerus’ home club to help Luxembourgish riders step up to the international level. Majerus raced Elsy Jacobs that first year and will line up for her tenth appearance on Friday night.
“The evolution of the race comes along with my evolution,” said Majerus. “It’s where it all started for me, and it’s always nice to come back to your starting point.”
Welcome to Yorkshire has organised Tour de Yorkshire for three years now. The men’s race has been three days since inception. A women’s criterium was a late addition to the calendar in in 2015, but a proper one-day race that started in Deignan’s hometown of Otley was organised last year. While Boels-Dolmans did not contest the event last year, Deignan raced with British Cycling’s national team.
“To showcase women’s racing at its best, we need hard, full-distance stages,” said Deignan. “I’m happy that Tour de Yorkshire are setting a precedent for how a professional women’s race should be organised.”
Following a hugely successful Ardennes week, we aim to continue our winning ways. We have multiple options for the various race scenarios that could eventuate in both Luxembourg and England.
“I think I have pretty good shape,” said Majerus. “I came out of Healthy Ageing Tour with good form and had really good feeling in Liège, so I hope I can perform the same way this weekend. I know I have the team behind me, but again as always if someone else is stronger and in better position to win the race, we will all stand behind her.”
“I rate our chances in Yorkshire awfully high,” said Deignan. “We’re coming in off the back of three major wins, and our confidence is as sky high as our fitness. As a team, a challenging aggressive race suits our style best, and Tour de Yorkshire offers that”
HOW TO FOLLOW
Both races have live streams – YAY!
- 28 April 6-7:45PM CET
- 29 April 3:30-5:30PM CET
- 30 April 3-5PM CET
Yorkshire – live broadcast on ITV4 from 9am-12:45pm.
As we see links for live streams, we’ll share those via Twitter
To follow Elsy Jacobs on Twitter use #Elsy17, and to follow Tour de Yorkshire, use #WTDY.
Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team for Elsy Jacobs:
Karol Ann Canuel (CAN)
Amalie Dideriksen (DEN)
Megan Guarnier (USA)
Christine Majerus (LUX)
Kasia Pawlowska (POL)
Jip van den Bos (NED)
Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team for Tour de Yorkshire:
Chantal Blaak (NED)
Nikki Brammeier (GBR)
Lizzie Deignan (GBR)
Amy Pieters (NED)
Anna van der Breggen (NED)