UCI equalises prize money between men and women at world championship races
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Friday, December 21, 2012

UCI equalises prize money between men and women at world championship races

by Shane Stokes at 12:00 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Evie Stevens hoping that other events will follow suit

Marianne VosA little over a month after the UCI Athlete’s Commission recommended that the governing body introduce equal prize money for men and women at world championship events, the Management Committee of the governing body has given a green light to the proposal.

The UCI has announced that this will begin from January onwards, meaning that the world cyclo cross championships in Louisville, USA will be the first such event with prize parity. It takes place on February 2nd and 3rd.

UCI President Pat McQuaid said that he believed it was a major step forward for cycling. “The Management Committee’s approval is a simple but very important step forward in our effort to guarantee a healthy and fair future for our sport,” he said.

The new rule will apply to all world championship events aside from the team time trial. The UCI has explained that the prize money for this new event comes from the UCI WorldTour’s reserve and solidarity fund.

Speaking to VeloNation in Portugal earlier this month, Specialized lululemon rider Evie Stevens said that she was excited by the thoughts of equal prize money for men and women at championship events. She won the Flèche Wallonne race this year, beating future world champion Marianne Vos in doing so, and has shown that she is a real contender for future championships.

However while she said that she hoped that equal prize money would extend beyond the worlds to all events, she said that the sport needs to grow one step at a time. “There are small steps [which need to be taken],” she told VeloNation. “If I say [there should be] equal prize money but that means they are not going to have the bike race…first and foremost I want the bike race, so we can demonstrate what exceptional athletes we are.

“Then I think once we show how good we are, I think it is naturally going to progress to that…well, hopefully.”

In video interviews, Stevens and her Specialized lululemon team-mate Ellen Van Dijk both advocated the notion that organisers of major races should hold women’s events on the same day. This is already carried out by those running Flèche Wallonne and the Ronde van Vlaanderen, but Stevens, Van Dijk and many others hope that it could extend to other races, including the Tour de France.

Today’s UCI news deals with the world championships alone, but it is an important step towards a greater equality.

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