2018 Pro Cycling Calendar

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Here’s the 2018 pro cycling calendar for your organiser, phone or computer diary. All of the major UCI men’s and women’s pro races around the world are included and below there’s a quick explainer on how to subscribe, the meaning of the UCI labels and more.

The 2018 calendar is much like the 2017 version but there are a few changes and differences and there will be a closer look at the significance of this sometime soon. In the meantime, fill your diaries…

If you want to look at the calendar from time to time just go to inrng.com/calendar and there is a permanent link to thi calendar page at the top of the home page (mobile users: tap “menu” at the top of the page for the drop down menu and then > pro cycling calendar) .

Better still you want the full calendar on your own device or diary then you can subscribe for free and have every race on your electronic diary.

iCal
An iCal is a calendar file that you can store on your phone or electronic diary like Outlook. There are several ways to get this on to your computer or phone.

Subscribe and get automatic updates: The recommended option is to subscribe by copying the iCal URL:

https://calendar.google.com/calendar/ical/cqi1iv6r97mhgcf5tjmj1fg5s0%40group.calendar.google.com/public/basic.ics

  • If you use MacOS copy the URL… and open the Calendar app. Then got to File > New Calendar Subscription…) and paste in the link and you’re done
  • iPhone/iPad users should tap a finger here and wait for the pop up message and select copy. Then go to settings > calendar > accounts > add account > other > add subscribed calendar and paste in the URL
  • If you use Microsoft Outlook, copy the URL and then go to Tools > Account Settings > Internet Calendars and paste the URL to subscribe

All these methods above are the best because any additions, deletion and amendments will automatically be pushed to your diary or device. For example some say the season-opener in San Luis won’t go ahead but at pixel time it’s on the UCI calendar. Subscribe and any changes will be fed through automatically.

Direct download: if you can’t do the above, you can download the iCal file for your organiser, phone, computer and other devices from here

google.com/calendar/ical/…/basic.ics

Right-click to save the ics / iCal / iCalendar file and you can import it into your electronic diary. If you have trouble with the subscription then this is an easier option but it means you’re saving today’s version of the calendar and you might want to return to this page to download a new version a few times a year in order to get the amendments and corrections.

Google Calendar: If you use Google Calendar then click on the icon on the bottom-right of the calendar up at the top of the page. Note this method can work with Android phones when the iCal file might not although you might need the Google Sync calendar app.

Calendar Labels Explained
Each race is listed along with its location and UCI status eg World Tour, 1.1 or 2.HC.

  • Any race with the 1. prefix is a one day race; any race with the 2. prefix is a stage race
  • WT means World Tour and includes all the prime races on the calendar, from the three grand tours (Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España) to the one day classics like Paris-Roubaix, the Tour of Flanders and Il Lombardia, as well as others like the Tour of Poland or the Tour Down Under and can be anywhere in the world. Normally all 18 UCI men’s WorldTeams must ride and organisers may invite UCI Pro Continental Teams. But it’s not so simple and for the “new” races added to the World Tour in 2017 the WorldTeams are invited but don’t all have to ride. Confused? You’re not alone.

After this come races in different races that are grouped by region, with the UCI Asia Tour, UCI America Tour, UCI Africa Tour and UCI Oceania Tour and UCI Europe Tour. The bulk of races on the calendar above are in Europe with races like Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, the Giro del Trentino or the Tour of Denmark but we also find races like the Herald Sun Tour, the Tour de Langkawi and the Japan Cup.

  • *.HC is the next level down and up to 70% of the teams may come from the UCI Pro Teams but UCI Pro Continental and UCI Continental teams can be invited as well as the local national team
  • *.1 is another step down where up to 50% of the teams can be UCI Pro Team with the rest from Pro Continental, Continental and also national teams
  • There are also *.2, U23 and criteriums but these races are excluded to keep the calendar concise and focus on the top pro races around the world

Women’s Race labels

  • WWT is the the Women’s World Tour. Unlike the men’s World Tour there’s no set quota of teams who must participate, instead the top-20 teams on the rankings in early January must be invited for one day races and the top-15 for stage races. It is then up to the teams to respond whether they’d like to ride. WWT races can invite national teams
  • 1.1W and 2.1W are women’s one day and women’s stage races where the field is made up of women’s teams, national teams as well as regional or club teams

FAQ

  • Why are some 2017 races listed like Hainan in your 2018 calendar?” Under the UCI rules they’re actually classified as part of the 2018 season, the idea being is that the new season begins the day after the UCI’s World Tour gala
  • Why are the races listed as all day events?” – It’s impossible to know today whether a race is slated to finish at, say, 4pm or 5.15pm so there’s no point guessing the precise slot, it’s easier to list them as all day events
  • Help, my phone rings at midnight with an alert” – by default notifications are turned off but check your device settings too once you’ve subscribed avoid being alerted in the middle of the night
  • I only want the World Tour races“, “I don’t want the women’s races” etc: some readers email in special requests it’s hard to accommodate every view and offer 12 versions with and without different races, let alone maintain them all with the additions, deletions and amendments that will inevitable happen so it’s all or nothing
  • I subscribed to your 2017 calendar, can’t you just add next year’s races to save me from subscribing again?” This is possible but it means you’d end up with a diary with hundreds of dormant entries from the past. It’s lighter on data and faster to do it year by year and subscribing anew hopefully takes you as much time as it took to read this bullet point
  • The date for such-and-such race is wrong“. The UCI calendar is provisional plus it’s possible something gets mangled during the data entry process. If you spot a change or a typo please email in and it can be fixed for everyone
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Kjetil October 11, 2017 at 10:14 am

Could you please fix it so that all Amstel TV coverage resources are transferred to Tro-Bro Léon? Thanks in advance.

The Inner Ring October 11, 2017 at 10:56 am

With talk the Tour de France could have the Ribinou I wonder if any bigger teams and names will be tempted to ride the TBL? Maybe it is too much compared the Tour’s potential use of a few short sections.

Kjetil October 11, 2017 at 12:02 pm

Having the Tour out on the Breton sea front surely wouldn’t harm tourism in Brittany.

Gian October 11, 2017 at 10:39 am

No rest for the wicked – thank you Inner Ring. Very useful having this so I can (try to) get out of any clashing family commitments!

Ryan Davies October 11, 2017 at 11:47 am

Hi INRNG, is De Panne now a one day race? Classified as 1.HC but still has Driedaagse in the title! I’m really annoyed that Flanders Classics bullied their way to the slot prior to De Ronde.

The Inner Ring October 11, 2017 at 12:06 pm

Seems so, no typo here at least and it has the 1.HC rating on the UCI calendar although it was supposed to be a two day race for men with a one day race for women so they’ve kept the “three days” label. What seems to have happened is the first day will be a sprint contest, a sort of exhibition race with riders going off in fours in heats down the final 1km and the winners going through to the next round etc.

Ryan Davies October 11, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Thanks INRNG, so basically the impact of the move has meant that an established 3 day race is no longer viable. A real shame.

gabriele October 11, 2017 at 1:58 pm

It looks like Gran Piemonte is back… but is Milano-Torino out again or it’s just that I’m failing to see it?

The Giro dell’Appennino goes to a direct clash with Liège; well, I guess that even if it might interest the same kind of riders, nowadays no top dog would race the Appennino anyway. What a pity that one of the most legendary and beautiful one-day races is struggling so much in recent years.

CA October 11, 2017 at 4:46 pm

It really is a shame. And it just points to the issues that cycling faces in terms of how it is absorbed by the public.

On my TV cable package in Canada, I can barely watch any races. But instead, there are re-runs of awful sitcoms, reality shows, and some really boring US based sports. Obviously, I’m in the minority of Canadians that would much prefer to watch cycling. But, if cycling had been marketed properly it should have caught on in this country too. In large part it’s due to inept organisers who don’t understand how to market their sport. The organisers of hockey, baseball, basketball, football (North American football), etc. have done a much better job marketing their sport. Even the minor sports leagues (minor hockey, minor baseball, etc) have a bit of exposure and TV time (therefore, ad revenues).

In reality, cycling races could be edited into 30/60-minute summaries and if marketed properly races like Appennino would be much more interesting than 95% of the garbage on my TV cable schedule! Unfortunately, the most famous cyclist is Lance and now that the sport has banned him to neverland, we get thousands of hours of upstanding gentleman like Ben Roethlisberger (sexual assault – settled out of court), Zeke Elliot (domestic abuse), Betances (domestic), NFL/MLB (teams run by racist jerks – much richer and bigger jerks than Lance), Barry Bonds might make it to Hall of Fame (he was clean right?), etc.

It’s a strange world we live in, cycling organisers please get your sport on my TV!!!!

gabriele October 11, 2017 at 6:49 pm

As I’ve pointed out several times – but please note that I’m speaking of Europe only, since that’s the market I know – it’s not that much about the organisers or the TV format.
Cycling, as it is, is already quite much effective in terms of audience. It works.
Sure, you need to show it.
We should differentiate between two marketing operation: selling the product to the public of (potential) viewers, something which we could call “willingness to watch”; and selling it to TV broadcasters – the latter is also related to selling ads time.
In Spain, cycling already enjoys a more than decent market of potential viewers. All the same, for whatever reason, the broadcaster decides not to exploit the full potential of the product.
There are recent situations which sparked public rage among the fans, like the decision not to broadcast live the male pro Worlds because priority was given to… Laver Cup. Hard to say if cycling would have done better than the 380 K tennis spectators, but I’d dare to think so given that the *U23 race* (duly broadcast) achieved 180 K viewers in a worse broadcasting spot.
But this is a bit theoretical, I’ll concede that.
Well, in 2016 I studied what happened on the Spanish national, generalistic and public TV channel (La1) which was broadcasting the Tour. They broadcast less than half of the stages, leaving the rest for the specialised Teledeporte. where the potential audience is less than a half. Had they anything better to broadcast on La1? No. They offered old movies or soap-operas whose audience results were quite systematically worse than the Tour – and it was one of the worst Tour ever, in audience terms. At the same time, the Tour stages were 90% of the times the most watched show on the main national channel, along with the news. That is, 40% of the 10 stages they showed was the most watched show that day, full stop. A further 50% was beat *only* by the daily news (which in Europe is typically the most watched TV broadcast, by far). Only one stage achieved a more mediocre result: nevertheless, it was in the top 5.
The broadcasting of the 2017 Giro in France for the first time in years was a notable audience success, even more so since it happened on a recently born channel. Was it that hard to forecast?
Same can be said for the TdF getting back on German TVs.
In Italy the Vuelta isn’t being shown. It’s been like that since I can remember. A race which has been won twice in the last 8 years by Italian riders, plus the two more times in which Nibali was the runner-up. Given that both the Giro and the Tour regularly average 2M spectators along the whole three weeks, it’s not a long shot to imagine that the Vuelta might achieve some 1.5M viewers which is more or less better than the weekly average of any channel at that hour.

Believe me, in Europe the reasons because of which you don’t have more cycling spectators aren’t about the TV format – and they aren’t about the way cycling is marketed *to the general public*, either.
Public interest is already pretty much high (at least in the main European countries and in many smaller ones like Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway etc.).

Other elements – a good deal of them and often very diverse – are involved, and they probably would require a coherent, institutional super partes management to get some solution.
Big organisers have spent years asking the broadcaster not to buy “rival” races if they wanted to show what was the most relevant one in each country… which the broadcaster duly did also because political factors. Nowadays the problems are slightly different, but the basic concept is always the same: cycling is a multi-layered sport with a lot of different social subjects whose conflicts and competition hurt the sport as a whole.

By the way, the Appennino has been always produced in the format you suggest in recent years, but I guess they didn’t even try to sell that abroad. Or to join forces with other races in order to produce a package. From this year on, a good initiative in that sense is taking shape in Italy with the Coppa Italia races, including the Appennino, being produced and “sold” by PMG Sport. They’ve reached several significative European broadcasters, and the races are usually legally availabe from all over the world through streamings. An experiment which will last until 2019 at least. I’m curious to see if it will work, the main limit being the low impact internet still has as a broadcasting channel (but they were on L’Equipe in France, Bike Channel in the UK, TV2 in Denmark…).

Vitus October 17, 2017 at 12:42 am

“Same can be said for the TdF getting back on German TVs.” For the thousandth time: The TdF was never away on German TVs. Everyone who wanted to watch it did it on Eurosport. Nobody missed the bad coverage on the ARD.

gabriele October 17, 2017 at 11:04 am

I’d say you’re mistaken, for the thousandth time or whatever.
At least, according to audience data.
When TdF was back on German generalist TV, it got a decent audience of about 1M while at the same time Eurosport’s barely decreased. I don’t know about the very last TdF, but that’s how things had gone before, which meant that, well, not everybody who was interested in it used to watch it on Eurosport as you say. Quite the contrary.

The Inner Ring October 17, 2017 at 11:06 am

It was on German TV and Eurosport is free to air in Germany and so available to millions… but remains a niche channel, the kind people have to go and find and consequently the ratings are small. By contrast ARD and ZDF etc are the big national broadcasters who can deliver big audiences, if they filmed some paint drying it would probably still attract millions.

gabriele October 17, 2017 at 11:16 am

Some official figures from 2010 on (courtesy Prof. Van Reeth):

2010 & 2011, ARD = 1.25M, Eurosport = ~370K;
2012 & 2013, ARD = nought, Eurosport = raised to 430 K;
2014, ARD = nought, Eurosport = back again to 340 K;
2015, ARD =1.15 M, Eurosport = 350 K;
2016, ARD 1.13 M, Eurosport = 235 K.

It looks like that the transference spectators between ARD and Eurosport is marginal and most German spectator are strongly ARD-dependant. Maybe you should just assume it.
I don’t doubt that ES coverage might be way better than ARD’s, but apparently your direct social experience of the relevance of such a factor is quite different from the general German reality, in this case.

CA October 11, 2017 at 9:02 pm

The Gabriele-Inrng Blog Duet strikes again!

Thanks for all of the extra details Gabriele, often I learn as much about cycling from your responses as I do from the initial blog.

I agree that the system does, on the whole, work. However, it must be said that there is a high failure rate and my point was that a stronger revenue system would prevent this. The rate of team or race failure is definitely high compared to sports in North America. I don’t have the solution, but I really do wish for example that on one of the lower sports channels I had a 30 or 60 minute highlight of this past week’s Lombardi or Paris-Tours, or daily stage recaps of the Tour of Turkey. As we know, these races are very exciting, and highlight parts of the world that I really want to travel to, but over here we get billions of hours of dumb NFL discussion/highlights/analysis.

ZigaK October 12, 2017 at 8:30 am

I would suggest (if you don’t already practice this) to dl the races you mention and watch them at your convenience. I do this despite the fact I have ES and myriad of other channels that broadcast bicycle racing in Europe.

CA October 12, 2017 at 4:49 pm

I know it is possible to download the races and I do that sometimes on youtube.

My overall point was that cycling has a major revenue problem and my current cable company purchases/develops programs, many of which are absolutely awful. Clearly, cycling is a million times more interesting, yet nobody has figured out how to market daily race packages outside of the major cycling countries.

alex October 12, 2017 at 7:15 pm

^^This x1000. Moving from Australia to Canada I was shocked at the lack of coverage on network tv’s. Canada could learn from just about any other tv market when it comes to cycling. I guess we’d just rather Don and Ron and Kraft Hometown Hockey….

CA October 12, 2017 at 8:17 pm

Haha… kill me, Kraft Hometown Hockey blows.

Kraft isn’t a Canadian company either… it just manufactures our favourite food, ketchup. haha

Digahole October 12, 2017 at 7:53 pm

Regarding watching races… there’s an excellent resource at the URL below. All races live in HD and catalogued so you can watch when it suits. The guy who runs it is as dedicated as INRNG, but of course you need to be comfortable in not paying to watch the races. Alhough, if your cable sucks, I’d say vote with your feet and give a faction of that cash to Mr Tiz for his fine work. (Not me or anything to do with me btw)

http://www.tiz-cycling.racing

Ecky Thump October 11, 2017 at 6:20 pm

Volta a Catalunya.
Good luck with that one?

Irungo txuletak October 15, 2017 at 9:31 am

Can the town on the first picture be Flumet, where both the col des Saisies and the col des Aravis starts (Savoie, France)?

The Inner Ring October 16, 2017 at 8:48 pm

That’s right, it’s during Critérium du Dauphiné in June.

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