|GP de Orient profile - click to enlarge|
27.02.2013 Offical Site
El Salvador, Road Race, One Day, 99km
A new event, many people will assume, rather understandably, that the GP de Orient takes place in the Far East rather than its actual location El Salvador in Central America. If any nations could be said to take sport a little too seriously, it's El Salvador and neighouring Honduras - the two countries went to war for four days after Honduras beat El Salvador 1-0 in the FIFA soccer world cup (to be fair it should be pointed out that the war, in which 3,000 people died, came at the end of a long period of tension - it wasn't solely due to the football match that sparked it off). Now, they're getting serious about women's cycling with no fewer than four UCI Elite races in the space of ten days.
|Grand Prix de Orient - click to enlarge|
The Grand Prix is a precursor to the Vuelta El Salvador, a stage race beginning on the 28th of February.
Le Samyn des Dames
27.02.2013 Official Site
Belgium, Road Race, One Day, 119.2km
Le Samyn, a men's race, will be run for the 44th time this year - Le Samyn des Dames, its women's cycling counterpart, returns to for a second year, taking place once again in Hainaut on the French border. The first edition was one of the most dramatic races of the season with heavy rains and a large start list - 200 riders - leading to many crashes on the wet cobbles. As it's the opening round of the prestigious Lotto Cup, a year-long competition for Belgian teams that has become as prestigious as the National Championships, organisers are expecting 26 teams (14 Elite, 10 regional, 2 national - see below) and around 180 riders this year, so the race looks set to be every bit as difficult. Hmm - hang on a minute: flat route, horrendous weather, bone-shattering cobbles... this is all sounding rather familiar. Could Le Samyn become the women's equivalent to Paris-Roubaix?
|Main parcours - click to enlarge|
|Main parcours profile|
Cobbled sector, Montignies-sur-Roc View Larger Map
|Circuit - click to enlarge|
Another climb awaits at Audregnies, 14.5km before the riders head back into Dour, then the parcours is primarily downhill until the last climb to the finish line. It's a fast route; if a strong break makes it to the circuit with a good gap between themselves and the peloton, they may well have the race in the bag. Five laps are a long way, however, and there's plenty of time for the peloton to step up speed and hunt them down.
|Circuit profile - click to enlarge|
The 2012 race
(Rider start list not yet available - please note that the list published on the official site is from 2012)
Autoglas-Wetteren Group Solar
Breast Cancer Care
De Sprinters Malderen
Jan van Arckel
Napoleon Games St. Martinus Cycling Team Kersken
Park Hotel Valkenburg
Tibco-To The Top