How to watch pro cycling in the US in 2022

Last year saw some major shifts in how we watch pro road cycling in the US, and we’re not talking about Tadej Pogačar’s outright dominance. After years of steady growth in the UK, GCN + became a big player in streaming rights here, largely by eating into FloBikes’s previous lineup. Meanwhile NBC shut down both the NBC Sports cable network and the NBC Sports Gold online streaming service, folding its cycling coverage from both into its new Peacock Premium streaming platform.

Along with numerous race delays and outright cancellations due to the coronavirus, it was an unsettled year. The good news for 2022 is that, on the streaming front, things are largely status quo this year. The bad news is that they’re largely status quo.

The TL; DR is that NBC holds rights to ASO races like the Tour de France and Paris-Roubaix (men’s and women’s events); RCS events (Giro d’Italia, Milan-San Remo) are on GCN +, and Flanders Classics (Ronde van Vlaanderen, Gent-Wevelgem) and World Championships are on Flo Bikes. So to watch legit, rights-holding streams of almost all major races in the US, you’ll still need all three different streaming subscriptions, which will run you as much as $ 260 for the year.

Here are some links to get you started:

Peacock helpfully doesn’t have an online schedule, because Comcast.

And now, here’s your handy chart for who’s got what and when for race coverage this year. Skip down to the FAQ for the nitty-gritty.

caption One-day race Stage race Grand Tour Women’s only Worlds Broadcast TBC
February / March Dates Classic Peacock Premium
($ 50 / year)
FloBikes
($ 150 / year)
GCN
($ 50 / year)
Women’s event broadcast?
UAE Tour 2 / 20-2 / 26 WT
Het Nieuwsblad 2/26 WT / W-1.Pro Yes
Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne 2/27 1.Pro
White roads 3/5 WT / WWT Yes
Paris-Nice 3-6-3 / 13 WT
Tyrrhenian-Adriatic 3 / 7-3 / 13 WT
Ronde van Drenthe 3/12 WWT
Milan-Turin 3/13 1.Pro
Milan-San Remo 3/19 WT
Alfredo Binda Trophy 3/20 WWT
Tour of Catalonia 3 / 21-3 / 27 WT
Brugge-De Panne 3/23 (W 3/24) WT / WWT Yes
E3 Saxo Bank Classic 3/25 WT
Gent-Wevelgem 3/27 WT / WWT Yes
Dwars door Vlaanderen 3/30 WT / W-1.Pro Yes
April Dates Classic Peacock Premium
($ 50 / year)
FloBikes
($ 150 / year)
GCN
($ 50 / year)
Women’s event broadcast?
Ronde van Vlaanderen 4/4 WT / WWT Yes
Returned to the Basque Country 4 / 4-4 / 9 WT
Scheldeprijs 4/6 1.Pro
Amstel Gold 4/10 WT / WWT Yes
Brabantse Pijl 4/13 1.Pro
Paris-Roubaix 4/17 WT / WWT Yes
Walloon arrow 4/20 WT / WWT Yes
Liege-Bastogne-Liege 4/24 WT / WWT Yes
May Dates Classic Peacock Premium
($ 50 / year)
FloBikes
($ 150 / year)
GCN
($ 50 / year)
Women’s event broadcast?
Tour de Romandie 4 / 26-5 / 1 WT
Eschborn-Frankfurt 5/1 WT
Tour of Italy 5 / 6-5 / 29 WT
Too much Bro Leon 5/15 1.Pro
Returned Women 5 / 13-5 / 15 WWT TB
Vuelta Burgos 5 / 19-5-22 WWT TB
RideLondon Classic 5 / 27-5 / 29 WWT TB
young Dates Classic Peacock Premium
($ 50 / year)
FloBikes
($ 150 / year)
GCN
($ 50 / year)
Women’s event broadcast?
Criterium of the Dauphine 6 / 5-612 WT
Women’s Tour 6 / 6-6 / 11 WWT
Tour of Switzerland 6 / 12-6 / 19 WT / W2.Pro Yes (6 / 18-6 / 21)
July Dates Classic Peacock Premium
($ 50 / year)
FloBikes
($ 150 / year)
GCN
($ 50 / year)
Women’s event broadcast?
Tour de France 7 / 1-7 / 24 WT
Tour of Italy Women 6 / 20-7 / 10 WWT TB
Tour de France Women 7 / 24-7 / 31 WWT
Classic San Sebastian 7/30 WT
August Dates Classic Peacock Premium
($ 50 / year)
FloBikes
($ 150 / year)
GCN
($ 50 / year)
Women’s event broadcast?
Tour of Poland 7 / 30-8 / 5 WT
Postnord Vargarda 8/6 and 8/7 WWT
Battle of the North 8 / 9-8 / 14 WWT
Return to Spain 8 / 19-9 / 11 WT
Bemer Cyclassics (formerly Hamburg) 8/21 WT
GP Lorient 8/27 WWT
Bretagne Classic – West France 8/30 WT
September Dates Classic Peacock Premium
($ 50 / year)
FloBikes
($ 150 / year)
GCN
($ 50 / year)
Women’s event broadcast?
Simac Ladies Tour 8 / 30-9 / 4 WWT TB
Benelux Tour (formerly BinckBank) 8 / 29-9 / 4 WT
Ceratizit Challenge 9 / 8-9 / 11 WWT
GP Quebec 9/9 WT
GP Montreal 9/11 WT
World Championships 9 / 18-9 / 24 WC Yes
October Dates Classic Peacock Premium
($ 50 / year)
FloBikes
($ 150 / year)
GCN
($ 50 / year)
Women’s event broadcast?
Tour de Romandie Feminin 10 / 7-10 / 9 WWT TB
Tour of Lombardy 10/8 WT
Tour of Chongming Island 10 / 13-10 / 15 WWT TB
Tour of Guangxi 10 / 13-10 / 18 WT / WWT Yes
Tour of Guangxi 10/18 WWT

FAQ

How did you pick which races to include?

This calendar covers all men’s and women’s WorldTour events, whether they have broadcast partners or not. It also includes a select few races that appear on the UCI’s ProSeries calendar: long-running, notable races that have A) particular allure and B) broadcast partners. No disrespect to longstanding, high-quality races like Giro dell’Emilia and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, or newer races that might interest the US audience (Maryland Cycling Classic) but if a ProSeries event has no broadcast partner, no listy.

We understand that, in an attempt to keep this chart from being 197 rows deep, our ProSeries inclusions are highly incomplete and debatable. If we missed something blazingly obvious, please let us know. ProCyclingStats and CyclingFans.com are two excellent resources for finding live coverage of events that do not appear on our list.

What’s the fine print on livestream package pricing?

FloBikes ($ 150) and GCN + ($ 50) are annual subscriptions. Peacock Premium is $ 5 monthly, or you can buy an annual sub for $ 50 a year. That’s all you need to know. Beware “cancel anytime!” language for annual subs; despite the implication, you will not be refunded the balance of your fee.

Why TF is Flo so expensive?

Right? We love De Ronde, but yeah, $ 150 is a lot to pay for six Flanders Classics events, Amstel Gold, a couple of week-long stage races, and the Road World Championships. It’s better value if you’re a fan of track and / or cyclocross; Flo’s deal with the UCI (ends December 2024) includes all world championships and World Cup events for those disciplines too (World Cup mountain biking is, blessedly, free on Red Bull TV).

We asked Flo why its offering is so expensive. Here’s what Ryan Fenton, Director of Global Rights Acquisition said: “We believe we have a strong product both in terms of programming and content. We are continuing to bring new programming and events to FloBikes and will be announcing some exciting new races that will only be available through FloBikes. ”

It’s small defense of Flo’s premium pricing, but we note they’re the only one of the three streaming sites without a large corporate parent to provide economy of scale. GCN + is majority-owned by Discovery Communications, and Peacock is an NBC / Comcast entity.

What happened to NBC Sports ?!

RIP to NBC Sports Gold and the NBC Sports Network, formerly Vs., Versus before that, and OLN way back in the day. The sports broadcaster, which started life in 1995 as the Outdoor Life Network, was the first US cable channel to broadcast live racing, including the Tour de France.

OLN changed our lives, especially that sublime 2001 season when they bought the Giro rights but didn’t have a commentary team, so they just showed the pure clarity of the raw RAI feed with ambient noise like fans and helicopter chop. That was also the year that Wladimir Belli got thrown out of the race for punching a verbally abusive fan (who turned out to be Gilberto Simoni’s nephew) and the whole experience was just [chef’s kiss].

Anyway, NBC shut down NBC Sports Gold last July 1, and shuttered the NBC Sports cable channel on New Year’s Eve, folding both into Peacock, which has the buggiest Android TV app I’ve ever used. Thing crashes more than Jumbo. But cost-wise, it’s a better deal because racing is now part of the premium sub broader, which you might want anyway for non-sporting content. Bonus: most Comcast internet subscribers get Peacock Premium free with their account.

What about races that aren’t listed with a viewing option?

Well, that means they’re, uh, not streaming, Chuck. That is: we can’t find a broadcast partner that we know of. Let us know if we missed it. And, this may change; KBK could find a partner! Stay tuned. Or it may not, and we’ll be sad.

Why are so many women’s races not broadcast?

Misogyny, basically. It’s sadly not a surprise to note that of all the races listed, only one men’s WorldTour event (E3) lacks a broadcast partner while eight Women’s WorldTour events — a third of the calendar — are in the dark. We hope this changes. Women’s racing kicks ass and lots of people do watch.

WWT events must provide at least 45 minutes of live coverage per day. That may happen through their own websites, although production values ​​are going to vary widely without broadcast partners. If you watch, those promoters can use those numbers to approach broadcasters to present a case that there is, in fact, an audience.

GCN + / Flo calendars list XYZ race that’s on Peacock; why do I need all three services?

Check that calendar again: GCN + lists all races in its dashboard regardless of geo-restricted access. You need to click here to see the US-specific slate. As for Flo, its calendar should list “not available in your area” for races to which it doesn’t hold US rights, but we’ve noticed events aren’t always correctly labeled. Sometimes you have to click on the actual race page to see if it’s geo-blocked.

So, to get legit rights-holder streams for all the races, yes, you’ll need all three subs, for $ 260 total.

This sounds expensive; can’t I just watch for free?

You can. It’s not breaking news that VPNs are a well-known way to get around geoblocking. Savvy bike racing fans circa 2022 would not fail to notice that you can watch a lot more of GCN + races by, say, pretending to be Scottish. Two thoughts on all that:

First, a practical consideration: broadcasters continue to get more sophisticated at enforcing geoblocking, so one day (which of course will be a big race you really want to watch) it’s possible your VPN trick will get shut down like Lehman Brothers. Skipping the VPN altogether for a free re-broadcast service? Click very carefully when closing those pop-up ads, or your computer might get digital herpes.

Our other, more philosophical, comment: content isn’t free. Never was; it was just subsidized by ad dollars that are increasingly flowing to just a few major players (see page 13). The writer of this article (hi, it’s me, Joe Lindsey) got paid to do the legwork and put together this resource because CT sells ads and VeloClub subscriptions, possibly to lovely people like you. Thank you.

$ 260 a year — the total cost of all three streaming subs listed — is objectively a decent amount of money. It’s a new pair of very nice cycling shoes. Or a couple of weeks of groceries for two. But if you can afford it, $ 260 also gets you access to roughly 175 days of bike racing: one-day Classics, Grand Tours, week-long stage races, new women’s events, you name it. That’s about $ 1.50 per day of racing.

If you like to watch racing as much as we do, consider whether you think that’s worth it to support the people who bring it to you.

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