Oceania president Gaudry to push for women’s Tour Down Under
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Monday, January 28, 2013

Oceania president Gaudry to push for women’s Tour Down Under

by VeloNation Press at 12:16 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
Believes it is ‘entirely possible’ to have a women’s stage race in place for 2014

Tracey GaudryThe new Oceania president Tracey Gaudry has said that she wants to see the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under also include a women’s stage race, thus bringing an equality to the top event on the Australian calendar.

In recent years a criterium series has run alongside the race but this year the women’s Orica AIS team didn’t line out in it. The series is considerably more low-key than the men’s event and Gaudry said she would like to see changes.

“That highlighted the disconnect, and we don't want to see that,” she told Fairfax Media. “We want to see a celebration of cycling.”

There is currently a greater appreciation of women’s cycling for a number of reasons, including the aggressive racing seen in the Olympic Games road race and other events and also a fallout to the image of the men’s scene due to the Lance Armstrong/US Postal Service scandal.

In addition, several prominent female riders have highlighted the massive discrepancy in opportunities and pay between the men’s and women’s scene, thus highlighting the need for more to be done by the UCI, race organisers and others.

Gaudry has held talks in recent days with key stakeholders in the Santos Tour Down Under plus South Australia's Premier Jay Weatherill. This has made her optimistic that something can be done in time for next year’s race.

“I'm sensing a great willingness. And I think it's entirely possible,” she said.

Gaudry’s election in December to the post of Oceania president saw her take over from the previous chief, Mike Turtur. He is the Santos Tour Down Under organiser. Gaudry’s election will also see her take up his place on the UCI’s management committee, making her only the second-ever female member.

She has said that she will use this position to try to push for equality, as well as a reform of cycling plus a greater focus on anti-doping efforts.



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