Women’s Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flèche Wallone will be broadcast live after 2019 controversy
Former winner Anna van der Breggen criticised the race organiser last year
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The women’s editions of Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Flèche Wallone will be broadcast live this year after a dispute last season.
Last year, race organiser ASO refused to offer television coverage despite it being required by the UCI for any Women’s WorldTour races.
The decision not to broadcast the races was criticised by the winner of Flèche Wallone, Anna van der Breggen, after she took her unprecedented fifth consecutive title last year.
After the 2019 edition, ASO said it would not be able to provide the required 45 minutes of coverage for 2020 either, with the possibility arising that the two races could be taken out of the Women’s WorldTour calendar.
But while announcing the routes for this year’s races ASO, which also organises the Tour de France and men’s Liège and Fléche Wallone, confirmed that the races would be broadcast live across the world.
They will both be shown live for the first time in their history.
Flèche Wallone Femmes, 124km-long and finishing atop the Mur de Huy, will be broadcast live on April 22 across the world, with Eurosport International picking up the coverage.
The highlights will be available online after the race.
Liège-Bastogne-Liège Femmes, scheduled for April 26, will be 136.5km-long and will include the Côte de La Redoute and the Côte de la Roche-aux-Faucons.
The race will be broadcast live again across Europe thanks to Eurosport with highlights available online after the race.
Last year, live coverage of Flèche Wallone was only available at the finish line where the final ascent of the Mur de Huy was shown.
In contrast Flanders Classics, who organise many of the cobbled Classics in northern Belgium, streamed all five of their races live on the Proximus Facebook page.
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“It’s time,” said Boels-Dolmans rider Van der Breggen, after winning her fifth consecutive Flèche Wallonne.
“It’s one of our biggest races together with Liège. We are fighting all day, we had echelons on the road, so it’s a pity you only saw the last climb because that is the end and the fight is before that.
“I think Amstel [Gold Race] was a good example of how to do it, and by now I think we deserve to have live coverage and that people can follow us because many people would like to.
“We want coverage next year.”
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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