• I've been reading Queens of Pain, a book about a number of notable women cyclists since the invention of the bicycle really. The numbers for the endurance events are frequently mind-boggling & many a time is stated that men's records were absolutely destroyed by women.

    A classic example would be Beryl Burton.

    In 1967, she set a new 12-hour time trial record of 277.25 miles – a mark that surpassed the men’s record of the time by 0.73 miles and was not superseded by a man until 1969. While setting the record she caught and passed Mike McNamara who was on his way to setting the men's record at 276.52 miles and winning that year's men's British Best All-Rounder. She is reputed to have given him a liquorice allsort as she passed him.Apparently, McNamara ate the sweet.

    Just remembered that @Tor has a DVD of Half the Road around somewhere. Should get around to watching it.

  • Sarah Hammod, Race to the Rock. Also Janie Hayes 3rd in TABR17

    women tend to have greater endurance potential than men

    Ultra races remove a bit of the 'normal racing' requirements to be super powerful or super light or aero or whatever. There's far more scope for stubbornness to triumph over watts/kg. Still, I've only seen a few wins by women, I'd hardly say they're better at ultra endurance than men if you look across all the races. But also there's less oppurtunity for women to get into the sport so perhaps we also aren't seeing the best performances yet across more events. It's still male dominated. We were talking about this the other day on twitter, at least the ultra aspect. https://www.dotwatcher.cc/results needs some statistical analysis from @wheels_of_fire something something n+1 something regression something fourier something pi something something a+b. I think he was speaking in tongues.

  • I seem to recall reading a study, I think on Boston marathon entrants predicted times against their actual times. I believe it found the womens times were considerably more accurate than the mens and that their splits were far more consistent.

    Something that could be used to considerable advantage for ultra events.

  • Cheers. You've quoted me a little selectively here--to clarify: I have no idea if this theory that women might be better at (ultra-) endurance is true. I just find it an intriguing claim.

    Ultra races remove a bit of the 'normal racing' requirements to be super powerful or super light or aero or whatever. There's far more scope for stubbornness to triumph over watts/kg. Still, I've only seen a few wins by women, I'd hardly say they're better at ultra endurance than men if you look across all the races. But also there's less oppurtunity for women to get into the sport so perhaps we also aren't seeing the best performances yet across more events. It's still male dominated.

    Certainly, there isn't nearly enough evidence or data yet. It's harder to get, too, as ultra-endurance efforts take a lot longer than short bursts of strength. I think getting the potential talent pool among women activated could take generations. Hopefully it'll be quicker, but sex stereotyping is so pervasive and there are so many setbacks.

    We were talking about this the other day on twitter, at least the ultra aspect. https://www.dotwatcher.cc/results needs some statistical analysis from @wheels_of_fire something something n+1 something regression something fourier something pi something something a+b. I think he was speaking in tongues.

    In the meantime, I hope there'll be more and more long races in which there are proper duels between women and men. I'd find that extremely interesting to dotwatch.

  • For my work, I read tremendous amounts of research on factors affecting performance (endurance focus) in female athletes in particular.

    Solid evidence shows female musculature are more fatigue-resistant than men at submaximal contractions with the apparent magnitude declining as the intensity of the contractions increases. Various physiological features contributing from estrogen, activation efficiency, smaller oxygen requirement etc.

    However there are female-specific circumstances that need to be considered. I suggest reading about the "female athlete triad" or now "relative energy deficiency in sports" if we consider both sexes. Stress fractures are significantly more common in females too. We can talk about exercise-induced reproductive-system abnormalities, how females have quite significant changes RHR, acidity, knee-joint laxity depending on their cycle. And don't get me started on the pressure from societal expectations of femininity that often don’t conform with the necessities for sport success.

    TLDR: women might have an edge in endurance-races from neuromuscular physiology, but their case is immensely more complex than men's.

    Not here to solve anyone's problems, just throwing in my 2 cents.

  • Thanks, Pete, very interesting.

    To what extent would you say phenomena such as higher likelihood of stress fractures may be a reflection of currently relatively low participation by women in (elite) sports, i.e. a reflection of the current, uncorrected situation? Might this change significantly if women's participation in sports approached that of men more (and sex stereotypes, e.g. about 'feminine' appearance, became less powerful as deterrents)?

    I realise you deal with existing data rather than pie-in-the-sky thinking, but I always wonder to what extent the data may not reflect, and perhaps be skewed by, how things currently stand.

  • Lack of female participation is more likely explained by social, or most importantly historical elements rather than physiological factors.

    Odd example, but for long women didn't have a soccer league not because they're 3 to 6 times more prone to ACL injuries (especially during luteal phase of their cycle), but because it was a men's thing simply put.

    Now there are great tendencies to even out participation and level, just take a look at some compilations of milestones or histories regarding women participation for example from the IOC. Important to note: not just as athletes but in leadership positions as well!

    Movements like this, promoting equality and equilibrium are the cogs for this "revolution" and I very much support the cause. Bear in mind though that at the same time we cannot expect exactly the same rules or conditions for each and every sport. Male weight categories in female weightlifting would be bizarre, or female hammer throwers having to spin the 16pound hammer.

    As this topic is about endurance events, I actually envisage it being quite probable that male and female events will share the same length regardless of discipline.

  • Women's cycling race forced to pause after lead rider catches men's race

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/m­ar/03/belgian-cycling-nicole-hanselmann

  • Average statistics can also be unhelpful because the kind of people who can do elite anything are by their very nature not average.

    Instead what you need to look at are the extreme end of the distribution, which could bear little relation to anecdotal (or even scientific) evidence about the middle of the distribution.

    That makes intuition hard to apply.

  • Bump. Fiona Kolbinger, a rider from Dresden, is currently leading the Transcontinental Race:

    http://trackleaders.com/transconrace19
    http://transcontinental.cc/
    https://www.lfgss.com/conversations/3266­95/

    (If you haven't dotwatched before, now is the time to start. Well, any time before now, really.)

    I'd be delighted if this led to a new wave of excellent female endurance riders who drop all the men. :)

    Obviously, the proof of the theory is in the riding, so a lot of work to be done yet ...

  • A good comparison is chess. I was just reminded of that when reading Leon Rosselson's blog:

    It used to be argued that somehow women’s brains were unsuited to the complexities of chess. It was the three Polgar sisters, especially Judit, who first knocked that idea on the head. Judit Polgar became the youngest International Grandmaster (sic) in 1991 at the age of 15, beating Bobby Fischer’s record, and has won games against the current world champion, Magnus Carlsen, and the former world champion, Gary Kasparov, amongst others. Hou Yifan, the Chinese chess prodigy, started playing at the age of 3 and in 2008, when she was 14, became one of the youngest grandmasters in history. In a 2017 tournament, she drew with Carlsen and crushed his recent challenger, Fabiano Caruana. The problem is that far fewer girls than boys take up chess in the first place so that it is statistically inevitable that there will be far fewer women chess players at the top level.

    https://medium.com/@rosselson/random-che­ss-thoughts-fd9e6d0bb157

  • Fiona Kolbinger has won the TCRno7. See the TCR thread:

    https://www.lfgss.com/conversations/3266­95/

    Spookily, the thread title includes '66', which is her cap number. :)

  • What's your work?

  • A good article on Eileen Gray in Cycling Weekly--NB the full article is only in the print magazine:

    https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/lates­t-news/godmother-gray-how-madam-presiden­t-transformed-womens-cycling-453261

    The bit that caught my attention the most is not on-line; when she was pushing for the inclusion of women's cycling in the Olympics, the answer came back initially that there wasn't room for a new sport. Well, women's cycling wasn't a new sport, just a new event/some new events. I thought that was rather telling about attitudes at the time. (She was instrumental in finally achieving it in 1984 in Los Angeles.)

  • There are a few women's teams under the same umbrella as the men's teams now, but it would have been good if this proposal had gone ahead at the time:

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/f­eb/06/cycling-womens-team-sky-proposal-r­ejected-lizzie-deignan-fran-millar-team-­ineos

  • I am not in the least bit surprised that Sky and Dave Brailsford never showed any interest in forming a women’s team. Sky are a marketing company and the only publicity they cared about was winning the Tour de France. Brailsford has always been more concerned with winning than doing the right thing. If Ineos’ billionaire owner wants a women’s team then I guess we’ll get one but so far, there seems to be no interest from him or Brailsford.

  • Post a reply
    • Bold
    • Italics
    • Link
    • Image
    • List
    • Quote
    • code
    • Preview
About

'Half the Road'--movement for equality between men's and women's road racing

Posted by Avatar for Oliver Schick @Oliver Schick

Actions