Men and women race a double-header as season reaches a climax.
This Sunday sees Rally Cycling's men and women line up for two epic, historic one-day races, Paris-Tours and Gent-Wevelgem, figuratively bringing the team together in the season's final act.
Paris-Tours comes as the guys get ready to wrap up their season, which ends with the Prueba Villafranca-Ordiziaka Klasika on Monday. Paris-Tours is one of few races that occupy more or less the same spot on the calendar as it would in a usual year. At over 200km, punctuated with dirt roads and nearly always swept with brutal crosswinds, it's guaranteed to be an aggressive race, and an appropriate curtain call for the season.
Meanwhile, Rally Cycling's women embark on the second race of their historic Classics campaign. After Wednesday's aggressive first chapter in Brabantse Pijl, the team takes on the iconic Flandrian roads of Gent-Wevelgem. The predominantly flat parcours invites sprinters to have their day, so long as they can overcome the sharp ramps, including the infamous cobbles of the Kemmelberg.
Jake Erker, COO of Rally Cycling, explained what these races mean at the end of a strange 2020 season.
"It has been a trying season, but to see both men's and women's teams in action at two such prestigious races does give a sense of achievement to the end of the year. As both programs round out their 2020 seasons, we're already planning how to come back stronger."
If every one-day race since the season resumed is anything to go by, Sunday is sure to be relentlessly aggressive, but Rally Cycling is more than ready for the challenge.
Gent-Wevelgem is the first of two Women's WorldTour events in this epic Fall Classics campaign, which will be followed by the punchier Tour of Flanders on October 18. Unfortunately, earlier this morning the public was informed that the final race on our calendar, the first-ever edition of women's Paris-Roubaix, has been canceled due to a rise in coronavirus cases in France.
Chartres > Tours, 213km
No TV for this one, sadly, but we'll keep you up to speed on Twitter. It kicks off at 3:50am CDT and due to finish around 8:45 am CDT. (Roster: Robin Carpenter, Matteo Dal-Cin, Stephen Bassett, Colin Joyce, Pier-André Côté, and Nickolas Zukowsky)
Gent-Wvelgem WWT (10/11)
Leper > Wevelgem, 145.4km
In the US, you can follow the action with GCN's Race Pass through their mobile app, so be sure to support women's cycling and tune in. It kicks off at 6 am CDT. (Roster: Lily Williams, Heidi Franz, Leigh Ann Ganzar, Chloe Hosking, Sara Poidevin, and Emma White)