Kudos are in order for the NBC Sports Network for coming up with a very robust professional cycling schedule to meet every pro cycling fan’s wish list. All events are same-day delay or next-day delay except for the Tour of Flanders, Paris Roubaix, Tour de France, Tour of California, and USA Pro Cycling Challenge.
I was a little worried when NBC swallowed up Versus, but they are really firing on all cylinders with this impressive line up…and yes Phil Ligget, Paul Sherwen and the one and only Bobke, Bob Roll, will be there calling all the action.
Tour de Flanders,
Flanders Classics road cycling race held in Belgium every spring. The single most important race in cycling crazy Belgium. This was held last week, where we saw one favorite, Fabian Cancellara, go down hard and break his coller bone in 4 places, and another, Tom Boonen pull out a win on a gutsy final sprint.
Paris Roubaix, April 8
One of the oldest races of the professional road cycling calendar. First run in 1896, it has been stopped only by the two world wars. The race usually leaves riders caked in mud and grit, from the cobbled roads and rutted tracks of northern France’s former coal-mining region. However, this is not how this race earned the nickname l’enfer du Nord, or Hell of the North. The term was used to describe the route of the race immediately after World War I. The course passed through ruins, craters and destruction.
Fleche Wallonne, April 21
Yet another one day classic in cycling crazy Belgium.
Liege Bastogne Liege, April 22
The oldest of the classics, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, draws an end to the spring racing season. La Doyenne is one of the “Monuments” of the professional racing calendar and is part of the Belgian Ardennes Classics series.
Tour de Romandie, April 24-27
A stage race which is part of the UCI World Tour. It runs in the Romandie region, in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. It began in 1947, to coincide with the 50-year anniversary of Swiss Cycling.
Amgen Tour of California, May 13-20
The move of this event into May two years ago allowed the Tour de France-style road race to visit locations that would not have been possible previously. Due to the incredible success, the race will remain in May to provide fans with the most action-packed, exciting race possible.
Criterium du Dauphine, June 3-10
The Critérium du Dauphiné is an annual cycling road race, run over eight stages in the Dauphiné region in France during the first half of June. The race was inaugurated by a local newspaper, the Dauphiné Libéré, which gave its name to the event. For many years, organisation of the event was shared between the newspaper publishers and the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO): in 2010, the newspaper ceded all organizational responsibility to the ASO, and the race’s name was abbreviated. Along with the Tour de Suisse, the Dauphiné is an important race in the lead-up to the Tour de France in July, and it is part of the UCI World Ranking calendar.
Tour de Suisse, June 9-17
A one week UCI World Tour stage race held annually in June. The race debuted in 1933 and has evolved in timing, duration and sponsorship. With the Critérium du Dauphiné, it is a proving ground for the Tour de France, and part of the UCI World Ranking calendar.
Tour de France, June 30-July 22
The “Superbowl of cycling”…..but not nearly as wimpy as football. First staged in 1903, the race covers more than 2,200 miles and lasts three weeks. This year’s race will be the 99th Tour de France and will start in Liege and end on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.
2012 Pro Cycling Challenge, August 20-26
Pro cycling returned in a big way to the US last year, in the highest competition ever.
Paris Tours, October 7
A French single-day classic cycling race running from the outskirts of Paris to the cathedral city of Tours. It is known as the “Sprinters Classic” because it frequently ends in a bunch sprint on the 2.7 km long Avenue du Grammont, in Tours.
Be sure to check your local listings for all the action!
Ride Time: 2:08:35
Stopped Time: 1:12:40
Distance: 38.64 miles
Average: 18.03 mph
Fastest Speed: 24.71 mph
Ascent: 347 feet
Descent: 350 feet