Today Tour Tracker added expanded women's coverage to our Tour Tracker Grand Tours application. Over the past 10 years we have covered women's races every year, ranging from providing races custom apps free-of-charge to including select races in the Grand Tours app. And we are super excited to do our part in increasing the amount and quality of coverage of women's cycling. But with that excitement comes concern.
We can't speak for other members of the cycling press, but for us, the races Tour Tracker covers is directly related to the availability of information about and from the events. For better or worse, the Tour Tracker platform is dependent on having detailed information about an event available in specific formats and in a timely manner.
That information includes but is not limited to:
Point-by-point GPS route data for each stage.
Details about every team and rider.
Reliable information about the race's progress.
Timely, accurate results in standardized formats.
In fact to make the first Tour Tracker work back at the 2007 Tour of California, we spent 3 days clicking on maps to generate the route data by hand, dot by dot!
Ten years later we have found it sometimes challenging to get that level of data from women's events. Having been behind the scenes, we get it. Even at well-funded events the last thing a course director is worried about is whether the press has the GPS files for the race. In fact, they might not want them public. And at underfunded events, the challenge is 100x greater as just getting the race going can be a Herculean task.
So, we wanted to use this post to make two requests. One, that you try to enjoy our added women's coverage, knowing that we might not be working with all the data we need. We spent the off-season modifying the app to support a race without interactive routes, but some users might equate the lack of routes as a lack of desire to provide high-quality coverage, and that couldn't be further from the truth.
Two, I'd like to use these final words as a request to the race owners, race organizers, team owners and riders. Please help us help you. Women's race coverage can be a challenge when little information is available, just like any race.
Race organizers, please make your routes, start lists and results available to the press promptly. And teams, please do everything you can to get your rider information out there and help us fill in the gaps.
We hope you enjoy our expanded women's race coverage!
Allan & Clara