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.
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.
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!
This week Sarah is suffering from a terrible chest infection/cough-of-doom and might possibly die before the end of the episode. So in order to avoid recording her death rattle we rush through the latest news on Toscana (actually we didn’t rush because this one made us angry), UCI rule changes, World’s broadcasting and a real tragedy that occurred during the week. We do try to end the show on a good note though, and fortunately there’s some good news to help us achieve that. It’s a bit of an emotional ride this week, but we do our best to get you through it all. Oh, and at some point Sarah challenges Brian Cookson to a swordfight. (1:20:57 MIN / 77.71 MB)
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Things we talked about this week