How to watch the Olympic women’s road race from Australia

The Olympics coverage in Australia is broadcast by Channel 7, they have an online hub for their live and catch-up coverage here called 7plus. They also have a mobile App: Android version here, and iOS version Here.

It’s what many of the top cyclists in Australia have been preparing for over the course of the last five years, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With Olympic cycling events stretched across BMX, BMX freestyle, track, road race, time trial and mountain bike events, there’s a lot to keep across, with Australian athletes up for medals in most of the events on the schedule. The full Olympics cycling schedule with Australian times is here, it will be updated if there are any announced changes to the schedule.

Which event is on?

25 July – Road Cycling – Women’s Road Race

1400-1835 AEST (Channel unconfirmed, will be on the App)

For the men’s race there were significant differences in commentary set-up. If you click on the first link on the 7plus app it will be the Channel 7 broadcast with Phil Liggett, Anna Meares and Scott McGrory in commentary.

If you search deeper in the browser by sport then that will have the international feed with Rochelle Gilmore and a New Zealander in commentary.

The two streams have different break schedules, so often while one is in advertisments, the other is showing the race.

Who will be racing from Australia?

Amanda Spratt – 33

The perennial high-achiever in Australian road cycling, Spratt will be one of the top riders for Australia. A top climber who doesn’t mind an attack, she’ll need to use all her experience to pick the right move in the finale.

She’s coming off a crash that kept her from riding the final stage of the Giro Rosa, falling with Grace Brown in the final kilometres of Stage 8. Spratt kept on riding, but pulled out after the next stage citing intense pain while riding.

Grace Brown – 29

Brown has really excelled in recent years in the classics, the former runner from Camperdown only picked up the bike later in life, but she steadily progressed through the ranks to the professional circuit and looks like she’s not done improving yet!

A powerful rider who also has a good shot at a medal in the time trial, she won’t be the best on the climbs, but she has very good short power and the decisive climbs on this Tokyo course shouldn’t be beyond her. She is a very aggressive rider, we’ve seen that in her best classics results, and she’ll be looking for opportunities to take powerhouse Dutch squad unawares.

Sarah Gigante – 20

Australia’s most exciting young rider, Sarah Gigante, has wowed Australian fans of the sport since her shock win as an 18-year-old in the 2019 Australian national championships road race. Since then she’s won the national champs time trial twice, and that’s where the bulk of her focus has gone in heading into the Olympics.

It’s her first full season riding as a full-time professional in Europe, and she’s looked good, if a bit green in the big cobbled races of the early season. She was just getting into the hillier races that suited her before she crashed out of Fleche Wallonne. She suffered a fractured collarbone, elbow and fibula and hasn’t raced since, with the focus just on getting ready for the Olympics time trial in prime condition.

One of the most positive and exciting characters in cycling, with her injuries this Olympics may be more about the experience gained for her, but she is a phenomenal talent.

Tiffany Cromwell – 33

The experienced Cromwell is enjoying a career revival in 2021, riding as well as she has since the 2017 season and looking back to near her best. Tactically very sound and knowledgeable, she’ll be the road captain for the squad and could go quite deep in the race, depending on how fast the clibms are.

The Finnish paparazzi will be out in force if she can take a good result, Cromwell’s partner is F1 driver Valerio Bottas of Finland.

Notable non-starters for the Australian team

Lucy Kennedy – 33

Kennedy has been one of Australia’s best climbers for years and would have been a strong selection for the Tokyo team, but she unfortunately crashed heavily during Liege-Bastogne-Liege. She fractured her hand, eye socket and collarbone, it’s good to see her back on the bike at this stage without the pressure of riding at the Olympics.

What’s up next?

26 July – Men’s Mountain Bike Cross Country

1600-1800 AEST (Channel unconfirmed, will be on the App)