Thursday 26 April 2012
Elsy Jacobs starts Friday
Combined, this is a two stage race with a TT prologue. However, in the Elsy Jacobs each stage is a race within its own right to a far greater extent than in any other event and every day has an entirely different feel to the others. The prologue has the feel of a party, not least of all because it takes place in the evening on a 1.7km parcours on Luxembourg city - and as that parcours is both stupendously fast and passes by some of the city's most vibrant bars, it's a full-on party in celebration of speed.
Stage 2, named in honour of twelve-time National Champion and twice winner of the Tour de France Nicolas Frantz, uses the same 53.6km loop as Stage 1 but this time sets off from Frantz's hometown Mamer, ending with five 8.9km circuits through the narrow streets.
It's sometimes difficult to follow women's races as many simply don't have the budget to provide the sort of coverage many men's events enjoy - which is, of course, a serious problem for the sport. However, this one rivals the Grand Tours with an expertly-designed website that provides full details of the three courses, results and just about everything else a fan might wish to know.