Under a new title sponsor, the Simac Ladies Tour (formerly Boels Ladies Tour) offers world-class end-of-season races in the Netherlands from August 24-29. The event is geared towards the most powerful riders in the peloton, and with two individual time trials this year, the overall title could come down to the seconds between the time trial riders.
The event is the largest women’s stage race in the Netherlands, joining the Women’s WorldTour in 2017, and entering its 23rd edition.
Known from 1998 to 2008 as the Holland Ladies Tour, the race has been sponsored for the last 12 editions, first as the Profile Ladies Tour between 2009 and 2011, then Brainwash Ladies Tour in 2012 before becoming the Boels Ladies Tour in 2013. race joined the Women’s WorldTour in 2017.
Former champions include Leontien van Moorsel, Petra Rosner, Kristin Armstrong, Annemiek van Vleuten, Ellen van Dijk, Lisa Brennauer, to name a few, while Marianne Vos has won the overall title four times. Christine Majerus won the last edition held in 2019.
The race, last held in 2019, was one of many that were postponed and then canceled last year due to COVID-19, but it emerged for 2021 with its new sponsor Simac, a company specializing in IT services and infrastructure.
How to watch
The Simac Ladies Tour will provide fans with live coverage of the race and post-race programs on TV broadcast and live streaming platforms. The race will be broadcast on Eurosport 1, Omroep Gelderland, L1 and RTV Oost with daily 90 minute programs and will be broadcast live on Eurosport, GCN and regional TV channels Omroep Gelderland, L1 and RTV Oost.
You can purchase a Eurosport Player subscription for £ 6.99 / $ 9.26 for one month, £ 4.99 / $ 6.61 for a one-year monthly pass, or £ 39.99 / 52.99 $ for a 12 month pass.
Coverage via the GCN Race Pass, available on the GCN app, will be available worldwide. Access to the UK will cost you £ 39.99 for one year. There is also an option to pay for the Race Pass month by month, although the annual pass is much better.
If you are outside your home area, you may be able to access your streaming programs with ExpressVPN which gives the possibility to simulate the return to your home country, allowing you to watch the race live on various devices, including Smart TV, Fire TV Stick, PC, Mac, iPhone, Android phone, iPad, tablets, etc.
|To organise||Dated||Start||To finish|
|Prologue||24 august||1:00 p.m. CET||2:30 p.m.|
|Step 1||25 august||1:00 p.m. CET||2:30 p.m.|
|2nd step||26 august||1:00 p.m. CET||2:30 p.m.|
|Step 3||August 27||1:00 p.m. CET||2:30 p.m.|
|Step 4||August 28||1:00 p.m. CET||2:30 p.m.|
|Step 5||August 29||12:30 p.m.||14:00 CET|
Who to watch
As a race of the Women’s WorldTour, many of the top ranked teams will be at the start line in Ede. SD Worx lines up with defending champion Christine majerus but will also line up their dangerous pair of Chantal van den Broek Blaak and Anna van der breggen, which has not raced since the Tokyo Olympics. In short, the team is complete and suitable for time trials, windy flat stages and all the hard-hitting climbs offered on the Simac Ladies Tour.
One of the biggest contenders for the general title is Denmark Emma Norsgaard (Movistar), who is a fast sprinter and a powerful time trial, and both of these will be essential on the flat for hilly routes during the six-day race.
Ceratizit-WNT brings team to support 2015 overall winner Lisa Brennauer, a former world time trial champion who showed endurance, power and impeccable tactics at the end of the race in the early season races. She was on the podium in the Tour of Flanders, Ghent-Wevelgem and the Healthy Aging Tour, but is missing a big win this year. The team will also have a powerful sprinter in Kirsten Wild, who won 10 stages in previous editions.
Jumbo-Visma arrives with a strong pair in Marianne Vos (four times winner in the general classification) and Anna henderson, whose team strengths and tactics enabled Vos to secure victories at Gent-Wevelgem and the Amstel Gold Race this spring. Vos has also not raced since the Tokyo Olympics and, after some recovery, she will no doubt be looking to revive her end-of-season goals at home.
Trek-Segafredo brings a trio of suitors Ellen van Dijk (overall winner in 2013), Elisa Longo Borghini and Lizzie Deignan, but with two time trials on the line, it could be a course that suits van Dijk best. She won the time trial and overall standings of the Healthy Aging Tour, also won the prologue and finished second in the Lotto Belgium Tour, making her a favorite for the top level stage race in her country.
Australian champion Sarah roy will line up as a competitor for Team BikeExchange with strong support from Jesica Allen, New Zealand champion Georgia Williams, Teniel Campbell and Janneke Ensing. They are a powerful team for time trials, flat and windy stages, and also looking to run aggressively and seize opportunities in the breakaways.
Silver medalist in the time trial at the Tokyo Olympic Games, Marlen Reusser (Ale BTC Ljubljana) will be the rider of the team supported for the general classification. She’s one of the strongest time trials in the world, but she’s also a tenacious rider who follows select moves and is able to stay with climbers on hard-hitting climbs.
Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) will be a favorite for the planned sprint stages, but is also an excellent time trial and can handle the hard-hitting climbs offered throughout the six-day course. Watch her as a contender for stage victories and first place in the general classification.
The Simac Ladies Tour will return in August as part of the Women’s WorldTour to once again welcome a world-class peloton. The race will cover a total of 584 kilometers which includes flat stages and two individual time trials. However, it’s not just about time trials, as high winds will likely play a role in the flatter stages. Although the final two stages were meant to be more selective, organizers have adjusted them to become circuit races that could see selections made via aggressive racing tactics anticipated.
Prologue: Ede to Ede, 2.4 km
The six-day race will start with a prologue in Ede. The 2.4 km course will focus on powerful time trials in search of both a stage victory and the first leader’s jersey for the event.
Stage 1: Zwolle to Hardenberg, 134.4 km
Sprinter race, stage 1 is a 134.4 km race between Zwolle and Hardenberg. Don’t be fooled by the flat profile, however, as high winds could wreak havoc on a stage like this and cause surprise separations on the pitch. It will take a big team effort to weather the potential winds and an organized lead to seal an expected peloton sprint.
Stage 2: Gennep, ITT, 17km
The second and final time trial of the six-day race could be one of the most decisive opportunities to try to win the overall title of the Simac Ladies Tour. At 17km it’s still short enough for a time trial, however, it could be just long enough to put significant seconds between the top 10 in the overall standings.
Stage 3: Stramproy to Weert, 125.9 km
The 125.9km Stramproy to Weert race is another day for sprinters, but again high winds could play a role in the outcome of this stage. Watch for strong teams to get their sprinters in position for a stage win at Weert.
Stage 4: Geleen to Sweikhuizen, 148.9 km
The first of two selective final stages, Stage 4 is a 148.9km race that begins in Geleen and ends in Sweikhuizen, but spans nine laps of a local circuit. It’s not completely flat, however, and a hard-hitting course that could see breakaways and selections happening before the finish line.
Stage 5: Arnhem, 149.4 km
Originally planned as a point-to-point race from Arnhem to Posbank, the Simac Ladies Tour will now end on a short circuit in Arnhem. It’s a flat, technical circuit where fans can expect to see explosive races and perhaps another massive sprint before the six-day race winner is crowned.
Organizers moved the race forward with proper sanitation measures in place and some course adjustments over the six days of racing. Like many races in the past 18 months, the public will be kept away from the runners.
“All of the measures are aimed at preventing too many people from gathering in one place and maintaining the distance of 1.5 meters,” the organizers said on their website.
“Most of the start and finish locations have been moved to locations that naturally attract fewer spectators. For this, the existing routes have been adapted. It was also decided that there would be no side events.
“The car parks where the teams stay are closed to the public on departure and arrival. The team presentation has been canceled or will take place in a closed area. The departure point is closed to the public or will also be equipped with a box that can accommodate up to 750 people with an accessible ticket and QR code. It varies by location. At the arrival locations, a box will be created – for the last 200 meters before until 100 meters after the arrival – where a maximum of 750 people will be admitted. These people must have an entrance ticket that can be obtained on site and a QR code in the corona check app. Outside the places of departure and arrival, the public is allowed on the entire route, subject to the distance of 1.5 meters. The organization will deploy stewards to uphold and promote this. “