How the Women’s Race Calendar has changed (Part 1)

By |October 5th, 2013|Blog|Comments Off on How the Women’s Race Calendar has changed (Part 1)|

This article by Sarah Connolly originally appeared at Podium Cafe.
In 2011, I did some analysis of how the women’s cycling calendar has been changing over time, and thought it was time to update this, and see if anything has changed in the last few years, and post-Olympic year to post-Olympic year. The results might surprise you….
Methodology and Caveats
As when I did this before, I used the UCI calendar on the website, and as before, there’s a caveat about this, because the calendar can change as races are cancelled – we’ve learnt from experience that what’s on the calendar at the start of the year isn’t necessarily what will be raced (this year, for example, the Tour de Free State, Exergy Tour, Raboster and more have all disappeared since the 2013 calendar was announced). I haven’t included national championships, as they vary hugely, so aren’t comparable – nor have I used Continental Championships, given variations in field sizes and depths, and the fact there is no elite European Road Championships, only junior and u23. I also left off the Olympic and Commonwealths Games because they run on four-year cycles.

That brings me to another caveat, in that I’m not always sure what the UCI ranking means. We gained a substantial number of UCI-ranked races last year when existing races in the Lotto Cycling Cup upped their status from national level races to UCI-ranked, without any noticeable difference in the courses. It’s also interesting to compare the field quality in some of the higher ranked 1.1 races, especially outside Europe, with those of the 1.2-ranked Omloop het Nieuwsblad, or the Drentse 8, which has the same field as the Ronde van Drenthe World Cup, raced in the same neighbourhood a few days later. No [...]