There’s no ‘off season’ in cycling: 5 ways to meet your racing needs this winter

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The 2022 road racing season is winding down, so how is a cycling addict going to feed?

Fortunately, with the rise of live streaming, it’s easier and more accessible than ever to watch elite professional road racing.

Between GCN+, FloBikes, and other streaming services, just about every major road race on the men’s and women’s elite road race schedules is streamed or streamed live.

It all wraps up early next week with the final stages of the Tour of Langkawi.

What’s a bike addict to do?

Luckily, there are plenty of options for feeding the cycling itch at your fingertips.

Here are five ways to keep fueling the cycling fix:

Watch the Wheels: Track Racing

Track racing keeps the wheels turning during the winter. (Photo: ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)

Track racing might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for die-hard fans, the velodrome is an acquired taste that gets better the deeper you dig.

There are a plethora of follow-on racing options to keep fans engaged throughout the winter.

The UCI recently shook up its track calendar, eliminating the long-running World Cup schedule and moving the world championships from February to October. In fact, they are happening right now in France.

The World Cup is replaced by the Nations Cup series, which also makes way for the new UCI Champions League series, which returns for its second season.

Season 2 opens in Mallorca on November 12, with five stops on the schedule. Berlin, Paris and London will also host events this fall, with the action live on the Eurosport app, and discovery+.

Don’t forget the rowdy six days, with regular stops at some of Europe’s most iconic velodromes.

Mud, beer and rhythms: cyclocross all winter long

Riders fielded it in the recent Trek CX Cup. (Photo: BILL SCHIEKEN/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

The traditional off-season solution to cyclocross is more accessible than ever.

Most major European events are back on the calendar this winter following some COVID-related restrictions and cancellations. The official UCI calendar features 145 ranked race days across Europe and the USA, meaning there are a plethora of options in the UCI World Cup and Super Prestige series.

The 2023 UCI Cyclocross World Championships are scheduled for February 4 in Hoogerheide, Belgium.

The good news for race junkies is that GCN+ will be streaming a full fleet of races throughout the winter.

YouTube: rummaging through random archives

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world behind Google, so if you’re craving some cycling action, open up YouTube and get lost down a rabbit hole.

Ever wondered what it was like to watch Marco Pantani, click here. Did you miss the first mountain bike Olympics in 1996? It’s here.

One of Hollywood’s most over-the-top cycling movies? Click here. Or the best? You can find full pirated versions of Come off.

Our sister publication pink bike also has an in-depth archive on its YouTube channel with the best video links.

Of course, YouTube is a go-to place to look for bike reviews before buying N+1s during the winter, or videos on how to do just about anything with a bike repair.

GCN+: great documentaries and travelogues

Ron Kiefel, shown in the 1988 Coors Classic, was one of the founding members of the 7-Eleven team, the focus of a new documentary. (Photo: John Kelly/Getty Images)

The rise of GCN+ and other live streaming apps from FloBikes and Peacock have helped usher in a new era of being able to watch most major bike races live around the world.

Even with geo-restrictions, streaming services have revolutionized access for bike racing fans. Everyone hopes the big bets will pay off and the streaming services are here to stay.

Many of these streaming services also have an in-depth archive of the races, so rewatching a favorite Tour de France stage over some popcorn or during an indoor training session is a great way to weather the darkest days of the Tour de France. ‘winter.

GCN+ also offers a series of high-quality cycling-focused documentaries, travelogues and other programming.

One of the most recent drops is a great look at the groundbreaking 7-Eleven team. Ex-pro and first North American to wear the yellow jersey Alex Stieda is the host of the hour 7-Eleven: Band of Brothers which revisits many big names from the team’s heyday.

Netflix season 3: El Día Menos Pensado

Movistar, shown here in 2021, opened for a third season on Netflix. (Photo: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Top-notch season three El Dia Menos Pensado recently hit Netflix, and it’s top for anyone interested in how a WorldTour top works (or sometimes doesn’t).

The first season, with its built-in tension between Nairo Quintana, Richard, Carapaz, Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde throughout 2019, was always going to be hard to match.

The third season has only four chapters, but the more concise presentation does a good job of summarizing the main highlights of the 2021 season. Annemiek van Vleuten features well in the series, but the main focus is on the men’s team and Vuelta a Spain 2021.

The best parts come in Chapter 4 with the events that preceded and followed the unprecedented departure of Miguel Ángel López on the penultimate stage of the Vuelta.

Backstage cameras capture all the events in real time as they unfold with the stunned riders and staff trying to make sense of what is happening. López deserves credit for sitting down for an interview in the aftermath to give his version of events.

It’s unclear if “The Least Expected Day” will return for Season 4, but expectations are rising for Netflix’s new cycling project filming throughout the 2022 season.

France Télévisions and the producers behind Netflix’s popular Formula 1 series Drive to survive collaborated on the series that followed several top WorldTour teams throughout the year. The series is set to debut in March.

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