In this episode we take a look at the changes in races, race days and race types from the 2017 season into the 2018 season. There’s been some interesting changes in different global regions and specific countries. We look at which country has the most races and several surprising countries should probably be doing much better. Then right at the end Sarah causes Dan’s brain to melt and the episodes in a minor medical emergency… so, enjoy! (51:41 MIN / 47.33 MB)
It’s the first week of 2017 and we’re already knees deep in a whole bunch of racing, it’s been fantastic! Dan anoints another honorary Australian and we celebrate the joys of the diversity of Orica Scott tactics. There’s a new Australian national criterium champion and there’s a HUGE amount of changes in the 2017 UCI Racing Calendar to discuss. There’s also some cyclocross, some Vos and some other goss to cover. It’s a big and exciting start to the new year. (1:30:25 MIN / 84.77 MB)
Things we talked about this week included…
Sarah’s posts on the 2017 women’s road calendar:
- Part 1: How the 2016 Road Calendar changed between publication and racing – and how 2016 compares to 2017
- Part 2: How many races we’ve lost in 2017, and how that fits into patterns over time
- Part 3: Where the change have happened
This week’s racing
Every year during the Giro Rosa, I have conversations with people who either say that they find it hard to follow the women’s Giro, or who suggest that it would get more coverage if they were on at a different time. I love talking about women’s cycling, but it can be hard to have long conversations on twitter etc, so I wanted to put my thoughts in one place.
First of all, the Giro is the longest women’s race on the calendar. Women’s races are limited to 7 days without explicit permission from the UCI, and while there used to be three women’s ‘Grand Tours’ of ten days – the Giro, the Tour de l’Aude and the Grand Boucle (sort of the women’s Tour de France, but not run by the ASO), we lost the other two in the 2000s, when a lot of women’s races disappeared. So the Giro is important as a long race, with room for a range of different riders to shine (stages for sprinters, Classics types, ITTer, pure climbers etc) in the same race, and it has a long history, with all the excitement and energy that comes from racing in Italy. It always attracts most of the best riders and biggest teams in the world, and just like the men’s Grand Tours, stage wins here are as as much a major goal for riders as the GC is.
As a side issue, this year is both the first year of the UCI’s Women’s World Tour, which the race is a natural part of – and there has been less TV coverage on Italian station RAI than we’ve become used to, and less media from the race organisation – but those are separate issues I’ll get into another time.
So why is the Giro on at the same time as the TdF?
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)
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’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!