6 Minute Training Session Added for Lower Ranked Elite Women on Fort William Race Day

May 31, 2019
by James Smurthwaite  
Marine Cabirou was up the splits but went down just short of the line and back in 15th.

The UCI has today announced a new six-minute training session for the 6th-15th ranked Elite Women on the race day of a World Cup weekend. This new session will be "a single, non-stop run" for the riders not ranked high enough to train with the men.

Prior to this year, all women trained on the morning of race day before the junior races. However, as of Maribor, the top five ranked women could train in the men's session from 11 am to 12 noon, just before the Elite women's final.

The track can change massively between the practice session in the morning and women's finals in the afternoon, especially if the weather is changeable, which gave a clear advantage to those women allowed to train just before the race. The new session isn't a perfect solution but at least it means the lower ranked women will at least have a sighter run in race conditions.

The UCI is currently speaking with Myriam Nicole, as a representative of women riders, to find a more suitable solution going forwards and we could potentially see a different race day format by Leogang next weekend. We'll keep you updated on any changes going forwards.

Sandra Rubesam sneaks inside the top 10 in 9th.

Here's how the schedule now looks for the women on race day:

08:15-09:15 - Official training for all women

09:45-10:45 - World Cup Junior finals

10:50-10:56 - One non-stop training run for Elite Women ranked 6-15

11:00-12.00 - Training session for Elite Men qualified for finals and Elite Women ranked 1-5.

12:30 - World Cup Final


The Women’s rider representative Myriam Nicole has recently been in contact with the top-15 riders to discuss group training.

Due to the short notice there will be no change to the published training schedule: Women will train with Group B, and the top-5 Women can also train with Group A.

However, on Sunday there will also be an opportunity for the riders 6 - 15 to do a single non-stop run at 10:50am - 10:56am between the finish of the Men Junior race and the start
of official training for the ME riders who have qualified for the Final. Myriam will continue to liaise with the riders and the UCI to ensure any possible future changes to schedule will be communicated well in advance of the event.


  • + 12
 Anybody racing in a World Cup should have the same track access on race day, prior to racing. It seems that the UCI are considering that it’s essential to get at least a couple of runs in before racing, whether you’re male or female.
  • + 4
 That's what they are doing their best to do, but they are limited by time. There's simply not enough time on race day to give all riders (men and women) practice time right before finals.

I do think they should limit the men the same way, to give everyone the same practice opportunity. For example 70% of the men, places 1-50 and 70% of the women 1-20 should all get to practice in that 11:00-12:00 time slot. It's a step in the right direction though!
  • + 0
 @tgent: I was thinking perhaps instead of track walk the first day, they should have sight rides on day 1, then practice on day 2. Race morning is then no bikes allowed but a mandatory track walk so the racers can take note of any changes, this way they can all be on track at the same time and see any changes that may of happened. That being said I'm not a dh racer so maybe I'm out to lunch.
  • + 5
 Still, I hope they can find some time so women out of the top 5 can do at least 2 or 3 runs before the race, that for sure could make the top five to change.
  • + 5
 The sport is evolving, changes need to be had, sounds good to me...
  • + 2
 This balances out the fairness then?
  • + 2
 Training @ 8.15 am? i can't do that .. my bed is calling zzzzz
  • + 1
 It makes sense
  • - 1
 Why not go full equality and let all the women train with all the men ?
  • + 5
 Because while the top Elite women can rip just as fast as the men, as you move down the start list the disparity between Elite women's and Elite men's qualifying times becomes more apparent.
  • + 16
 I imagine that it has to do with the different speeds of the men and the women. Top men are a minute or more faster than the lower ranked women. Could be hazardous to both parties.
  • + 7
 Because the guys would be running up behind those lower ranked women constantly which throws off their runs, throws off the women and overall just makes it dangerous for both people.
  • + 1
 @rifrafi: Dude
  • + 2
 @dhfox322: i mean even in Maribor, Tahnee was 10 seconds behind the slowest in the elite men and 30 seconds behind the winner. So the field drops pretty quick like your saying into dangerously different times. Can't be running over minute intervals on practice days to make sure everyone doesn't crash.
  • + 1
 @rifrafi: accurate.
  • + 1
 @lognar: are they? Really?
  • + 1
 @scary1: top timed training was loris at 4:34 meanwhile top woman was tracey hannah at 5:18. 5th woman was 17s behind that. Thats a minute between the top in the mens and womens
  • + 1
 @scary1: maybe you’re being sarcastic. I cant tell
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