20 Races You’ve (Probably) Never Heard of That You Can Stream This Season on Max

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20 Races You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of Tim de Waele - Getty Images

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Max recently announced the list of live cycling events that will be streaming to Max subscribers via the B/R Sports Add-On, giving American cycling fans access to live broadcasts of over 300 international road, track, mountain bike, and cyclocross races.

Coverage begins on Thursday, February 8th, 2024 with the second edition of the 4-day UAE Tour Women, the only race in the Middle East on the UCI’s Women’s WorldTour. Italy’s Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) won last year’s premier edition, and the 38-year-old is heading back to defend her title.

Over the course of the year, Max will give fans a chance to watch some of the sport’s biggest races, such as Strade Bianche, Milan–San Remo, and the Giro d’Italia. But with over 300 events on tap, the platform is also giving us a chance to enjoy some of the best lesser-known events on the calendar–which is why it’s perhaps the best deal running when it comes to the streaming services that offer live cycling in 2024.

So here’s a look at 20 events to add to your list of races to watch in 2024.

Volta ao Algarve - February 14-18, 2024

This Portuguese 5-day stage race is one of the most interesting stage races of the early season since it always attracts a star-studded mix of grand tour contenders and Classics riders looking to build form for later in the year.

This year’s edition will be the first race of the season for riders like Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step), his compatriot Wout van Aert (Visma-Lease a Bike), and American Sepp Kuss (Visma-Lease a Bike).

Tour des Alpes Maritimes et du Var - February 17-18, 2024

This 2-day race in southern France is always exciting, with two punchy courses and a startlist filled with lower division French teams eager to upset their WorldTour counterparts. France’s Kévin Vauquelin (B&B Hotels) won last year’s 3-day edition and looks to have the form he needs to defend his title after finishing second overall at the recent Etoile de Bessèges.

And if you like this, be sure to watch the Faun-Ardèche Classic and the Faun Drôme Classic the following weekend.

Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne - February 25, 2024

By now you’ve hopefully heard of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, the opening race on the Belgian calendar and the first major rendezvous for many of the sport’s Classics riders. But it’s not the only race during what Belgian’s call the “opening weekend.”

Sunday brings Kuurne-Brussels–Kuurne, a semi-Classic that takes the riders back over many of the climbs and cobbles from Saturday’s Omloop, yet still usually ends in a field sprint. (Although every few years, a breakaway manages to stay away).

Le Samyn - February 27, 2024

Le Samyn is a Belgian semi-semi-Classic that takes place in a small, French-speaking part of the country that’s nestled between Flanders and northern France. It’s run on the Tuesday after the Belgian opening weekend, and it’s ALWAYS fun to watch.

A few big names usually show up–especially if they or their teams have underperformed at the Omloop or Kuurne–and the weather is always quintessentially Belgian, with rain and wind almost always in the forecast. And yes, there are cobbles.

Tirreno–Adriatico - March 4-10, 2024

Known as “The Race Between Two Seas” this Italian stage race takes the peloton from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Adriatic Sea over the course of seven stages. Like many early season stage races, the event’s start list is always filled with a mix of Classics riders hoping to peak over the next several weeks and grand tour riders looking to test themselves before heading back to their training camps (as their goals come later in the year).

Pogačar has won the race three years in a row, but won’t be back this year. Instead, Denmark's Jonas Vingegaard (Visma-Lease a Bike)–who’s won the last two Tours de France–will be on the starting line, making him the top favorite (at the moment), to win this important WorldTour event.

Miron Ronde van Drenthe - March 10, 2024

Max’s announcement only mentioned the men’s edition of this Dutch one-day race, but here’s the thing: there’s no Men’s Ronde van Drenthe on any UCI calendar this year as the race organization has put the race on hiatus.

But there is a women’s event, and frankly, its a much bigger deal–in fact, it’s a stop on the Women’s WorldTour. The course is as flat as flat can be, so the race often ends in a field sprint. But that suits Dutch sprinter Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx-Protime) just fine: she’s won the race three years in a row.

Danilith Nokere Koerse - March 13, 2024

In case you didn’t notice: we can’t get enough of the Belgian Classics–even small ones like the Nokere Koerse. This midweek event takes place during a busy time of year, so the men’s start list is usually filled with up-and-comers.

But the women’s event gets the peloton almost all to itself, which usually guarantees a star or two will make the trip. Belgium’s Lotte Kopecky won last year’s edition, then went on to win the Tour of Flanders a little over two weeks later.

GP de Denain – Porte du Hainaut - March 14, 2024

The GP Denain used to be just another stop on France’s season-long Coupe de France series. But then they added several sectors of cobblestones, which made the race an important opportunity for riders and teams testing themselves and their equipment for Paris-Roubaix or cobbled stages in upcoming Tours de France.

No matter who shows up, the cobblestones make for great viewing, and if you’ve got the time, it’s definitely worth watching.

Trofeo Alfredo Binda - March 17, 2024

There’s no women’s edition of Milan-Sanremo, the 300km Classic that’s considered to be the first men’s Monument of the season. But the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, one of the oldest and most prestigious one-day events in women’s pro cycling, takes place one day later.

Named after an Italian legend who won the Giro d’Italia five times and Milan-Sanremo twice, this important stop on the Women’s WorldTour boasts a roll of honor that reads like a Who’s Who of the best women of the past decade.

Classic Brugge-De Panne - March 20 and 21, 2024

The 3-Days of DePanne–a 3-day/4-stage event that took place during the week leading into the Tour of Flanders–used to be a fixture of the Spring Classics, as it was always the last chance for riders looking to put the finishing touches on their form for Sunday’s big event.

Sadly, the race has since been condensed to just one day, and now takes place a week-and-a-half before Flanders. But we’ll be watching it anyway as its the first race of the three-week period containing all the biggest cobbled Classics. The men race on Wednesday and the women race on Thursday. Both events are worth your time.

E3 Saxo Classic - March 22, 2024

Taking place two Fridays before the Tour of Flanders–and just two days before Ghent-Wevelgem–the E3 Saxo Classic is one of the most important races of the cobbled portion of the calendar as it covers almost all of the climbs and cobbled roads as the Tour of Flanders.

That’s why most Flanders contenders use this race as a dress rehearsal–and they race it just as hard as they race at Flanders. Don’t miss it!

Tour of the Basque Country/Itzulia Basque Country - April 1-6, 2024

One of the hardest stage races on the calendar, this 6-day event through the Basque Country of northern Spain consists of an individual time trial and five punchy stages filled with the short, steep climbs that the region is known for.

Fans of the opening weekend of last year’s Tour de France–which also took place in the region–will love this event. As an added bonus, it’s expected to have three of the four favorites for this summer’s Tour de France on the starting line: Vingegaard, Evenepoel, and Roglič (BORA-hansgrohe).

Tro Bro Leon - May 5, 2024

Tro Bro Leon is a French one-day race in Brittany that made gravel cool before gravel was cool. With over 20 sectors of what the locals call ribinoù (unpaved gravel and dirt farm tracks), the race is always a sort of poor man’s Paris-Roubaix. Even if you’ve never heard of half the riders competing, it’s always an exciting race to watch–and the winner gets a piglet. Seriously, a real live piglet.

La Route d'Occitanie - June 15-16, 2024

In June, most Tour de France contenders use one of two short stage races to put the finishing touches on their form for July: either France’s Criterium du Dauphine or Switzerland’s Tour de Suisse. But a few teams and riders like to use the Route d’Occitanie to top-off their fitness.

The race takes place on the French side of the Pyrenees with the mountains serving as the perfect playground for riders looking to test themselves before the Tour. This year’s event has been cut from four to two days, but we’ll still be keeping an eye things, at least for the sake of scouting a few dark horse riders to add to our Tour de France fantasy teams.

Tour de Suisse Women - June 15-18, 2024

Any race in Switzerland is worth watching as the scenery is worth the price admission. We love the Tour de Suisse Women as it gives us a preview who’s looking to be in form for upcoming stage races like July’s Giro d’Italia Women and August’s Tour de France Femmes.

Last year, Marlen Reusser (Team SD Worx) won the race in front of her home crowds, over a minute ahead of her teammate–the Netherlands’ Demi Vollering–who was clearly using the race to prepare for the Tour de France (which she won several weeks later).

Tour de Romandie Féminin - September 5-8, 2024

The men’s Tour de Romandie takes place every May, but two years ago a women’s race was added to the calendar–and the Fall–and it’s quickly become a popular event with many of the sport’s best riders adding the 4-day stage race through the French-speaking half of Switzerland to their programs.

This year’s race should see lots of contenders for the World Championships participating, as the race ends just two weeks before the events get underway in Zurich.

Giro dell’Emilia - October 5, 2024

Riders looking to win Il Lombardia (see below) almost always test themselves at the Giro dell’Emilia, a one-day race in and around Bologna that takes place a week before the season’s final Monument.

The race is known for a punishing finishing circuit that takes the riders up and over the steep climb to the Sanctuary di San Luca on a hilltop rising high above Bologna’s red-roofed buildings. Roglič has won three of the last five editions, making him the only non-Italian to win the race more than twice.

Tre Valli Varesine - October 8, 2024

In northern Italy, there’s just about a race each day between the Giro dell’Emilia and Il Lombardia–and Max will be streaming all of them.

But if we could only make time for one, it would be the Tre Valle Varesine, which is basically nine laps of a hilly circuit that offers a perfect playground for puncheurs looking to end their seasons on a high note–and test themselves before il Lombardia. There’s occasionally a surprise winner–Belgium’s Ilan Van Wilder (Soudal-Quick Step) won the race last year–but more often than not one of the contenders for il Lombardia comes out on top.

Il Lombardia - October 12, 2024

Once known as the Tour of Lombardy–and affectionately nicknamed the “Race of the Falling Leaves”–Il Lombardia is the fifth and final Monument of the men’s season, and one of the oldest, longest, and hardest one-day events of the year.

The race alternates between starting and finishing in Bergamo and Como, with several breath-taking climbs and descents–along with stunning views of nearby Lake Como–making the race one of the most beautiful of the year. But don’t let the scenery fool you: this is one of the hardest races of the year and always goes to one of the sport’s strongest riders–often a grand tour rider. Case in point: Pogačar has won the last three editions.

KoppenbergCross - November 1, 2024

Max will be airing loads of cyclocross as well, so mark your calendar for November 1st. A holiday throughout much of Europe, the day also always brings the legendary KoppenbergCross, a cyclocross race named for the super-steep, cobbled climb that’s a focal point of the Tour of Flanders each spring.

The riders will tackle about half of the climb’s 20 percent-plus grades on each lap before winding their way back down the off-camber slopes of the pasture that’s bisected by the ‘berg. It’s an amazing spectacle, and if you’ve never seen a ‘cross race before (please, tell us that’s not the case), it’s a great place to start!

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