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#WeWantRVVLive aims to secure better coverage of the women’s Tour of Flanders

Joseph Delves
30 Mar 2017

You can catch this Sunday’s Tour of Flanders online, but not on television

On Sunday one of the biggest races in the women’s calendar will take place in Belgium. Hundreds of riders and their supporting team cars will roll around the course of the Ronde van Vlaanderen (Tour of Flanders), the crowds will cheer and cameras on motorbikes and helicopters will chase along after. But will the images they capture ever make it onto our TV screens?

The Ronde van Vlaanderen is one of the most hotly contested events in the women's WorldTour calendar. Won by Lizzie Deignan last year, her Boels–Dolmans team will be looking to help her repeat that feat this Sunday.

However fans look set to be limited in their options for following the race. With the event organisers providing live coverage, it’s up to individual sports channel programmers to decide whether they devote time to the race, which takes place hours ahead of the men’s.

Currently most only plan on showing the men’s race.

Short of hopping on the Eurostar it had looked like cycling fans wanting to watch the racing were going to miss out. But, Belgian Telecoms company Proximus have stepped up to provide coverage.

People outside of Belgium will now be able to catch the last half an hour of the race live with English commentary via the official Facebook page of Flanders Classics and via the Flanders Classics-website.

The development comes on the back of a Twitter campaign by one of the competing teams, Lares-Waowdeals.

The team’s rider Jolien D'hoore‏ started the #WeWantRVVLive hashtag to get fans to voice their demands for better coverage, explaining 'we ride the same day as the pros. A live broadcast is also always welcome. #vrouwenRVV'.

Along with feeling rightfully hard done by that their efforts get less coverage than the men’s, the team will also be keenly aware that pro cycling only exists because of the largess of the sponsors.

Without coverage their money will dry up and racing will suffer. While diehard fans being able to follow the last section of the race on the internet is an improvement, it still only goes a small way to solving the lack of exposure for the women's teams and their sponsors.

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