How to watch live cycling once GCN+ closes down: in the UK, Europe, North America and Canada and Rest of World

The streaming service will close on December 19, so how will you watch cyclo-cross and the Tour Down Under?

Wout van Aert Mathieu van der Poel
(Image credit: Getty Images)

There are just days left of GCN+ as a streaming platform. The cycling fan's favourite to watch all action, from the Tour de France to the Christmas cyclo-cross season, is set to close on 19 December, next Tuesday.

Sunday's UCI World Cup at Namur will be the last cyclocross race to be broadcast on the GCN+ platform, with all the documentaries and playbacks of old races set to expire on Tuesday. 

It means that fans wishing to watching cyclo-cross races over the festive season - including the UCI World Cups in Antwerp, Gavere and Hulst, where the 'big three' of Mathieu van der Poel, Tom Pidcock and Wout van Aert - will have to find an alternative way of catching them.

The road racing season is fast approaching, too, with the women's Tour Down Under beginning less than a month away and the men's version coming hot on its heels, so viewers will be keen to find out how they keep abreast of the action this December and beyond.

It was announced that the app and platform were set to close last month as the brand's parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD), has decided to reduce its number of streaming services. 

The GCN website and YouTube channels will continue to run.

For viewers in the UK and the rest of Europe, things are pretty straightforward. The demise of GCN+ means a return to watching racing on Eurosport, which on television includes ads, but as of yet there is still no direct plan in place for many viewers across the rest of the world, many of whom used the GCN+ as their primary race viewing platform.

A spokesman for WBD said in November: "In markets outside of Europe, WBD will keep customers fully informed about any future availability of the live content."

On Thursday, WBD announced that American fans will now be able to watch cycling on Max, but it won't run all races, including the Tour de France.

On social media last month, people reacted with sorrow to the news that the streaming service would be no more, especially those from outside of Europe, who will still be able to access the racing, just with a different subscription.

"The closure of GCN+ might be annoying for us Europeans, more importantly it's also basically closing off the sport to anyone not from our continent which will have a dramatic impact in it's [sic] popularity," one person wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter). "What's the point of a Netflix docu[mentary] for the US if nobody can watch the sport??"

Make sure you know how to watch from anywhere with a VPN, if one of the following options are not quite satisfactory enough. 

How to watch live cycling in the UK and Ireland

In the UK and Ireland, live coverage of races will continue to be broadcast via Eurosport and discovery+, with all the same races and commentators that featured on GCN+

message from Eurosport last month said: "In territories where discovery+ is available - including Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, Norway, the UK & Ireland - GCN+ subscribers can view all live coverage on discovery+ and continue to enjoy all cycling races they currently watch on GCN+. They will also have access to Eurosport's full rights portfolio and the widest range of Warner Bros. Discovery entertainment content."

A regular subscription to Discovery+, which includes Eurosport and therefore all the cycling, costs £6.99 a month, or £59.99 for the full year. As well as access to all the cycling races you could want, you also get the other mad stuff shown on Eurosport, from tennis to snooker.

If you want to increase the range of sports you can watch even further, a premium subscription to Discovery+ costs £29.99 a month, because it comes with TNT Sports as well, which means Premier League and Champions League football, Premiership Rugby, and a load more stuff that isn't cycling.

How to watch live cycling in the USA and Canada

Outside of Europe is where it gets a bit tricky. There's a myriad of different platforms that the American or Canadian fan might need to subscribe to should they wish to catch all the action.

Firstly, there is the new Max, technically the B/R Sports Add-On on the streaming service, which is the WBD platform, available in the US. This will have the most races of any American site once it is live, from February.

Subscription to Max costs $9.99 a month with ads, or $15.99 without, with $99.99 or $149.99 bundles also available if you pay for a whole year.

There is also FloBikes, which will be known to many consumers across North America, which shows a lot of cycling, but not all. It costs US$149.99/CAN$150 a year or US$29.99/CAN$29.99 per month.

It has the rights to the UCI World Cup and X2O cyclo-cross events this winter, and the Tour Down Under and AlUla Tour at the beginning of 2024, but not everything.

Meanwhile, NBC and its streaming service PeacockTV has the US rights to some of the other biggest races, like the Tour de France, although it is not comprehensive.

Fans in North America are in the dark at the moment.

How to watch live cycling in Europe

Cycling obsessives in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Norway can all watch action on discovery+ like their counterparts in the UK and Ireland, but those outside of these territories might have to turn to Eurosport itself for racing, as well as other broadcasters like France TV in France, or Sporza in Belgium.

How to watch live cycling across the rest of the world

Again, details are a bit thin on the ground outside of Europe. Those with subscriptions to the likes of discovery+ or Eurosport from Europe can continue to watch racing with the use of a VPN, like ExpressVPN, but other countries are left out a bit.

For example, no broadcaster in Australia has taken over the cyclo-cross rights from GCN+, meaning there is not a regular way of watching the 'big three' go up against each other down under.

How to use a VPN

A VPN - a virtual private network - allows you to use your computer as if you were in another country, wherever you are in the world.

Try out ExpressVPN for its speed, security and simplicity to use. It is also compatible with a range of devices and streaming services (e.g. Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox, PS4, etc.), giving you the option to watch wherever you want.

A VPN is a piece of software which offers both online privacy and the ability to change your IP address, meaning that you can access on-demand content or live TV like you would back at home while in another country. There are other great options out there, of course, and plenty of free VPNs but our sister site TechRadar recommends the paid-for ExpressVPN, which it consistently rates as the best VPN provider. ExpressVPN also gives you the added benefit of a 30-day money-back guarantee and three months free with a yearly plan.

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