For the last six years, on and off, I’ve been doing some research and analysis of the women’s cycling road calendar. I started this in the first place because I wanted to really understand the impact of losing and gaining races because I hadn’t seen it anywhere else; and because I work visually, I ended up with lots of colour-coordinated charts and spreadsheets. You can find the earlier posts in the Podium Café series, and then the posts from last year under the women’s road calendar tag on this website.
Now, I usually do this when the UCI announces the coming year’s calendar, around the Road World Champs, but this year, I couldn’t face it, and saved it up until a newsworthy time – which turned out to be a good move. The thing that stopped me doing it is that it changes so much in the months between the announcement and when the races actually take place.
We see this every year – new races that are announced that never run (I’m thinking of the Syrian races, which were included in the calendar for years, even though the war made it perfectly clear they’d never happen, as the most egregious examples, but every year there are more), ones that move around the calendar between initial announcement, and the “pop-up” races that are given UCI status so late in the year that of course most big teams, who have to set their racing schedules in the summer, can’t get there. If you want examples, check out my posts about the 2016 season: the initial announcement in October, changes between October and December, and then more changes by February.
And now it’s time for my annual look at the difference between was was initially on the calendar for 2016, and what was actually raced – and then I’ll look ahead to what we know about 2016. Prepare for the colour coding!
How did the 2016 calendar change between original publication and racing?
To have a closer look, click on each image, or you can open the PDF version.
I’ve got an sporadic series looking at how the women’s road cycling calendar changes over time, because it’s something that really fascinates me. The bottom-line conclusions are that women’s road racing is definitely improving year-on-year, with more UCI races in more countries, and there are really positive trends. One of these has been fewer major clashes, and the return of UCI racing to Australia, which really make me happy to report.
However there are still ongoing areas for improvement, like “pop-up” races being added late to the calendar, and various changes that happen during the series that can make things really difficult for teams to plan their season (find out more about that, in my 2015 interviews with two DSs last year about this – ORICA-AIS’ Marv Barras, for the big team perspective, and Matrix Procycling’s Stefan Wyman for the small team PoV).
This year, I’ve decided to look into when the changes happen during the season as well – I wrote about what was planned for 2016 when the calendar was announced, in October, and then changes that had been made between October and December, and now the season’s up and running, I’ve taken another look – and found we’ve got both new races, and races that have disappeared since the end of 2015 (although not all of that is bad). Let’s start with some colour-coded charts – click on them to make them bigger.
A recent tradition in women’s road cycling has been for the UCI to announce the women’s road calendar for the following year around the Road World Championships…. and then add and take away and move races throughout the entire year, so the calendar is never actually confirmed until after everything’s been raced. It’s frustrating, for teams, riders, media and fans – and for other races, when they think they’ve got a great empty spot on the calendar, and suddenly 2 more races clash with it. So I thought I’d have a look at how it might have changed since I last looked at the 2016 calendar, back in October, when I wrote a mini series (how the 2015 calendar changed between being published and raced; a first look at the 2016 season; changes to the calendar over time, and the podcast where Dan and I talked about all this). I was expecting changes, but not THIS many changes, and I’ll tell you about them below, why it matters, why it might have happened, and what extra changes are in the pipeline.
Team – 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)
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:
- The Women’s UCI Cycling Calendar Terminology – explaining the types of races and demystifying the whole thing
- 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
- 2016 Shape of the season – how many races clash, what parts of the world are visited at different times of the year and more
- 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
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.
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 how 2016 compares, and Part 3 is about the 2016 changes in context of the last 11 years – 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:
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!