Podcast 2015 Episode 30 – Nice Ones Shaped Like Swans and Stuff

October 9, 2015 Leave a comment

The-Unofficial,-Unsanctioned-Women's-UCI-Cycling-ShowTeam – you would not believe how crazy busy Sarah’s been this past week as she’s romped happily through spreadsheet hell. It’s not normal. Seriously. She’s been comparing the calendar for the 2016 Women’s World Tour with the racing we actually had in 2015 (and to what we saw in previous years). Then she’s broken it down by type of races and and which continents/countries races are in and all so you can get an accurate and complete sense of whether 2016 is going to be a net gain or not! It’s an impressive amount of information about the number of races, the type of races and number of race days we get to see. Also, Dan swears a lot from very early on, which can be horrifying/impressive depending on your mood and outlook on life. Anyway, listen in and find out everything you need to know! (1:17:07 MIN / 74.04 MB)

To stream the most thoroughly calendar-focused podcast of your life, click here (right-click, save-as to download).

You can of course get automated updates via iTunes here or via our RSS feed here.

Handy Links to Enhance Your Listening Experience

Sarah’s done up an amazing series of posts that explain all of the calendar stuff in detail and have handy copies of the spreadsheets and nice images etc. So visit these posts to get all the additional info you could possibly need:

  1. The Women’s UCI Cycling Calendar Terminology – explaining the types of races and demystifying the whole thing
  2. Looking back at 2015 and forward to 2016 – the first breakdown of how many actual races we got this year and what’s predicted for next year
  3. 2016 Shape of the season – how many races clash, what parts of the world are visited at different times of the year and more
  4. How the Women’s Cycling Calendar has changed over time – looking way, way back to see how women’s racing has changed since 2006.

Things We Mentioned You May Want to Click On

Here’s the Q&A with UCI President Brian Cookson where he discusses the Women’s World Tour.

Also, from what we can gather, Hanna Solovey may well have been suffering under an unhealthy influence from her coach. Here’s the original article in which she speaks about it and here’s a translation via VeloRooms. As Sarah mentioned on the podcast, while we’ve complained about the manner in which Solovey has been able to come back from her ban with ease and little scrutiny and been critical of testing and so on, neither of us has held anything against her as a person. We’ve long suspected that a rider who was caught doping so young had to be encouraged and possibly even coerced into doing so and if true, these allegations simply make an already incredibly sad story even more disappointing.

BUT dear friends, we’d never leave you on such a depressing note so here’s…

How to Watch Women’s Cyclocross Live

Sarah’s neatly collected all the info for you in this post on how to watch live women’s cyclocross this season.

And Don’t Forget, Upcoming Racing

Giro dell’Emilia, 10th October

Bpost Bank Trofee Ronse Cyclocross, 11th October

Chrono des Nations ITT, 18th October

The 2016 women’s road calendar – changes over time

I’ve been writing a mini-series of posts looking at the women’s 2015 and 2016 UCI road cycling calendars – Part 1 looked at how the 2015 season changed since the calendar was first published, and how it compares to 2016, Part 2 looked at the shape of the 2016 season, and previous years’ articles are over on Podium Café.  In this post I’m going to look at these changes in the context of the last 11 years, and where the changes have happened. There are some really positive messages about where women’s racing is going, and some areas for development.  And as usual, I’m going to start with a colour-coded table!

How has the calendar has changed since 2006?

I’ve been adding to this table every year – it lists the UCI-ranked races that have run each year.  Light green are day races, dark green are stage races, red are for the Road World Cup day races, yellow are the new Women’s World Tour day races, and orange are the World Tour stage races.  If you want to know more about the classification system, I wrote about that here.

Calendar over time, page 1Calendar over time, page 2

Read more…

How to watch the 2015-6 women’s cyclocross LIVE!

I’ve just seen the really great news that Belgian tv station Sporza is going to be showing all the women’s Bpost Bank Trofee races for the next three years – starting this weekend, with Ronse – so what better time to tell you how to follow the races?

For any cyclocross newbies, I’ll include which ones you really should watch, and while I’ll focus on the European circuit, I’ll include some details of the USA as well – but if you want to start at the beginning, my CX in a sentence:  Riders race laps of a course that includes man-made and natural obstacles like sand, hills, barriers and SO MUCH MUDDY! which is so hard they have to get off and run with the bikes at points – they race for an hour (50 mins for the women) and the first across the line wins!  Helen Wyman once described it as “the muddiest, funnest sport of attrition” and that sums it up nicely!

If you want more than that, there’s a great newbie guide to cyclocross, Cyclocross Q&A and a short primer on why CX is so awesome over on Podium Café, and there are four What is cyclocross? videos on Behind the Barriers, explaining the sport in general, starts, cornering and barriers & obstacles, presented by US pro Jeremy Powers.

European Cyclocross

Read more…

The 2016 women’s road calendar – Part 2, the shape of the season

October 8, 2015 3 comments

I’m in the middle of a mini-series, looking at the 2015 and 2016 women’s road calendars.  Part 1 looked at how the 2015 racing compared to the published calendar, and at the new World Tour and races for 2016 over here – and previous years’ articles over on Podium Café.  And for anyone who’s new to women’s racing, I also explained a little bit about the racing terminology and background.  In this post, I’m going to look at the 2016 calendar in terms of how the season might work… with more colour-coded charts!

In the last post, I put in a table of 2016 races, including new ones, and races cancelled since 2015, and of course you can look at the calendar on the UCI website (make sure you switch it to 2016!) but here’s my home-made visual view:

2016 road calendar, visual view, page 1 Read more…

Looking back at the 2015 women’s road calendar – and forward to 2016

October 7, 2015 5 comments

Over the last few years I’ve been analysing how the UCI women’s road cycling calendar has been changing, and what it means for the sport – with home-made, colour-coded charts and diagrams.  You can find my posts from previous years in the Podium Café series, and you can look up the UCI calendars on their site using their drop-down menus, if you want the non-colourful versions (it defaults to 2015, so make sure you move it to 2016, if you don’t want to be confused!).

In this post, I’m going to be looking at how the 2015 calendar changed between when it was published in October 2014 and what was actually ridden, and look ahead to what’s changed in the 2016 calendar that was announced in September 2015 – and there are some pretty major moves that are exciting, and (spoiler!) really positive.  Then in Part 2 I’ll look at the shape of the season, and in Part 3, the changes in the context of the past ten years or so, and a bit more about where the changes are happening.  But enough talk, let’s start with a table!

2015 calendar comparison - page 12015 calendar comparison - planned to raced page 2

Read more…

The UCI women’s road cycling calendar: Race terminology

October 6, 2015 6 comments

For the last few years I’ve been doing some analysis of how the UCI women’s road calendar changes.  You can see my posts from previous years in the Podium Café series, and you can look up the UCI calendars on their site using their drop-down menus.

Bike races can seem complicated for new fans,  so I’m starting this mini-series with a post for newbies, or non-obsessives.  I’ll try to keep this simple, so women’s racing über-fans, if you’re feeling nit-picky, please do just bear with me – and if you have any questions, or can explain things more simply, please do leave me a comment or tell me on twitter.

Women’s cycling teams and levels of races

While men’s cycling has separate levels of UCI rankings for teams (World Tour, Pro-Continental, Continental) and equivalent race categories, the women currently only have one level of ranking – either a team is a UCI team, or it’s a domestic team.

Read more…

The Velofocus 2016 calendar – everyone needs at least one! With giveaway!

October 5, 2015 2 comments

Sean Robinson started off his Velofocus site with the best women’s cycling race previews around, that were especially well known for the fact he mapped the races onto google himself, creating the race profiles that riders use if they want to avoid “surprise” hills!  He started going to races, taking photos, writing race reports and interviewing riders, and in 2015 he was pretty much full time at this, which makes me so happy.  You can see all his race galleries over on his site – and now you can buy his 2016 calendar, with 13 of his favourite images from the 2015 races.

The calendar costs GB £13.99, which by today’s conversions is approx €18.90, UK $21.25 and Aus $30, and it can be shipped all over the world, the shopping cart will work out prices for you.  And because I love this calendar so much, I’m doing a giveaway – if you want a free calendar from me, send me a tweet or leave me a comment with the hashtag #VelofocusCalendar and I’ll do a draw on Thursday 15th October and send one lucky winner a calendar of their own.


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