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Beyond the Giro d'Italia: May racing around Europe

The men's peloton on stage 6 of the 2020 Tour Down Under
The men's peloton on stage 6 of the 2020 Tour Down Under (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Back in its regular May slot, the Giro d'Italia is once again dominating the racing calendar this month as the peloton travel from Turin to Milan. However, the Corsa Rosa isn't the only racing going on between now and June with smaller races and rescheduled races offering an alternative calendar.

The Tour de Hongrie is next up, kicking off today and running for five days before finishing in Budapest. Eight WorldTour teams will take the start, including Jumbo-Visma, who see sprinter Mike Teunissen back in action.

The Dutchman will do battle in the sprints with Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious), Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe), and more, while Ben Hermans (Israel Start-Up Nation) starts as the GC favourite with a stage 4 summit finish at Gyöngyös-Këkestetö looking decisive. He'll face competition from Damien Howson (Team BikeExchange) and Jhojan García (Caja Rural-Seguros).

Thursday, May 13 sees the Tour de Wallonie return to the calendar after a year out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With a hilly circuit to finish, the race should be a battle between the sprinters and Classics men. 

Danny van Poppel (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert), Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix), Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) and Marc Sarreau (AG2R Citroën) represent the former, while Oliver Naesen (AG2R Citroën) and Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) represent the latter.

Thursday also brings the start of the Challenge Mallorca series of four one-day races on the island, which have been pushed back from January owing to the pandemic. 

The hilly Trofeo Calvia kicks things off, before the tougher climbers' challenge of the Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana follows on Friday, the hilltop finish of the Trofeo Andratx on Saturday, and then the sprinter-friendly Trofeo Alcudia on Sunday.

Jesús Herrada, Nathan Haas (Cofidis), Miguel Ángel López (Movistar), Ángel Madrazo (Burgos-BH), Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), and André Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) are all among the riders on the provisional start lists for the races, which also includes Arkéa-Samsic and Qhubeka Assos.

Sunday also sees the running of the Breton gravel race, Tro-Bro Léon, now in a new calendar spot having moved from its usual April date. 

Christophe Laporte (Cofidis) will be looking to reclaim his 2018 crown but will face competition from a strong field of contenders. Lawson Craddock (EF Education-Nippo), Marc Sarreau, Oliver Naesen (AG2R Citroën), John Degenkolb, Philippe Gilbert (Lotto Soudal), Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic), Damian Gaudin, Niki Terpstra (Total Direct Énergie), and Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ) will all be doing battle on the ribinoù farm tracks of Britttany.

The Vuelta a Andalucía, which will run from May 18-22, is another Spanish race which has been postponed from earlier in the season, having usually been held in February. The challenging five-day stage race, last year won by Jakob Fuglsang, will see nine WorldTour teams take the start.

Contenders for overall victory in Andalucía include Miguel Ángel López (Movistar), Ilnur Zakarin (Gazprom-RusVelo), Óscar Rodríguez (Astana-Premier Tech), Antwan Tolhoek (Jumbo-Visma), and Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA). Other big names lining up at the race include Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), Ben Swift (Ineos Grenadiers), Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), and Daryl Impey (Israel Start-Up Nation).

The second of a Breton double-header follows on May 22 with the 196-kilometre Tour du Finistère, which features a challenging finishing circuit in Quimper. 

With victory normally contested among French squads, it looks to be no different this time around as Bryan Coquard (B&B Hotels p/b KTM), Jake Stewart (Groupama-FDJ), Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R Citroën), Alexis Vuillermoz (Total Direct Énergie), and Nathan Haas (Cofidis) head up the start list.

Finally, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) heads up the starters for the Vuelta a Murcia on May 23. The Spaniard has won the hilly one-day race four times in the past, and this year faces competition on the 192-kilometre course from Ilnur Zakarin (Gazprom-RusVelo), Óscar Rodríguez (Astana-Premier Tech), Marco Marcato (UAE Team Emirates), among others.

Check below for streaming and TV options for each race. You can watch every race of the 2021 season, no matter your location, with ExpressVPN.

May racing calendar
DateRaceHow to watch
May 12-16Tour de HongrieEurosport Player
May 13Tour de Wallonie Eurosport Player, GCN, Sporza
May 13Challenge Mallorca: Trofeo Calvia Eurosport 1, TDP
May 14Challenge Mallorca: Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana Eurosport 1, TDP
May 15Challenge Mallorca: Trofeo AndratxEurosport 1, TDP
May 16Challenge Mallorca: Trofeo Alcudia Eurosport 1, TDP
May 16Tro-Bro LéonEurosport Player, GCN, France 3
May 18-22Vuelta a AndalucíaEurosport 1/Player, GCN
May 22Tour du FinistèreEurosport Player, GCN, France 3
May 23Vuelta a Murcia