Team SKY, Lotto Belisol, BMC Racing Team, Garmin Sharp, ORICA-GreenEDGE; a small selection of the 19 men s professional road cycling teams in cycling s top division. I m certain readers here would be able to recall all, or most of them, if put on the spot. Now, how many women s teams come to mind? How about female pro cyclists?
When I personally think of female road cyclists, a number of (mostly retired) rider s names immediately spring to mind: Jeannie Longo, Sarah Ulmer, Sungeun Gu, Bridie O Donnell. I really need to search deep for more. This is somewhat inexcusable, especially given I met many of today s current riders from the UCI Women s peloton at the Tour of Chongming Island last year.
In 2012 and again in 2013, Cycling iQ analysed the UCI s database of all of men s road cycling divisions (ProTeam, ProContinental, Continental) to gain a better insight as to how the development of road cycling was tracking globally. This was taken a step further in the How far would you go? series, which looked at the migratory patterns of male road cyclists from Asia and Oceania as they pursued pro cycling careers. A similar exercise was done to assess the merit of the UCI AsiaTour calendar.
Search this site and you ll find dozens more graphs, tables, infographics pertaining to the world of men s professional road cycling. But nothing equivalent from the world of their female counterparts. Following the most recent update to the Where are all the riders from? | 2013 Edition analysis, its seems an appropriate time to get started.
Firstly, meet Suzie Godart from Luxemburg. A member of Team Pratomagno, she is the most senior rider in the women s pro ranks, having just turned 51. According to her bio, she only began riding at the age of 32 but, since then, has won her country s national road cycling championships three times. At the other end of the age spectrum is Veronica Cornolti (18y, 6m) of Italy s Servetto Footon squad; she recently participated in, and finished, her first women s Giro d Italia. Generally speaking, the age range by Continent is not dissimilar from the men.
In terms of supply channels , Italy is the number one provider of cyclists to the women s pro peloton. Proportionately-speaking, Italy also has one of the best gender ratios, with 2.65 male pro cyclists to every 1 female pro cyclist registered in UCI road teams. Female pro riders from Lithuania actually outnumber their male counterparts! Take a look at the national ranking, too. Denmark is the tenth-biggest supplier of cyclists to the men s peloton, but ranks 35th in the women s peloton. Whereas 80 nations are represented in the men s global peloton, 45 are present in the UCI Elite Women s Tour. However, there are no male riders from El Salvador, Guatemala and Puerto Rico; but there are in women s pro teams.
Finally, below is an overview of all 2013 UCI Elite Women s teams, the nations they are registered in, and the national/continental diversity within each of the 34 registered teams. At a glance, women s teams are more likely to be composed of two or more nationalities than men s teams (63% mono-national), but this is also due to the fact that more women s squads are registered in Europe; therefore making procurement of riders from neighbouring countries a lot simpler/easier.
More comments and graphs to be added in future editions.