Marianne Vos has extended her lead in the World Cup by winning the Tour of Flanders on a day when cycling’s attitude towards women came under scrutiny on two fronts – first, the lack of live TV coverage of the race, secondly Peter Sagan’s inappropriate touching of a podium girl following the men’s race.
It’s the first time Rabobank’s Vos has won the race, thereby plugging a big gap in her CV, but instead of being able to watch even the closing kilometres of the race live – at a time when the men’s race was yet to explode into life, and with cameras already in situ on key points of the course – fans instead had to turn to Twitter to follow what was happening.
Happily, a short report of the race has now been posted to YouTube, jointly produced for the UCI by Spokesmen and Deadline Productions, showing how the race played out. A more extensive half hour highlights programme will be produced for TV, as will happen for all other rounds of the World Cup.
Rabobank’s Vos had to fight off a series of attacks from the three other women who got off the front with her – Orica-AIS rider Emma Johansson, Elisa Longo Borghini of Hitec Products and Ellen van Dijk of Specialized–Lululemon – before outsprinting them at the end.
Last week, amid atrocious conditions in the hills above Lake Maggiore on the border of Italy and Switzerland, Longo Borghini had attacked in the rain to score a fine solo win, her first World Cup victory, which you can watch in the video below - the commentary is in Italian, the 55-minute film being in effect the highlights programme screened on RAI Sport 2 last Sunday.