Equal prizemoney promised for women’s Tour of Britain, race set to debut in May 2014
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Monday, August 05, 2013

Equal prizemoney promised for women’s Tour of Britain, race set to debut in May 2014

by VeloNation Press at 11:23 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Britain
 
Initial format will be for a five day televised event

Tour of BritainFollowing on from the recent news that a women’s Tour of Britain will be held in 2014, more details have emerged about the stage race. SweetSpot, which last week secured the rights to continue organising the men’s event, will be involved in the women’s race, which is expected to feature daily television coverage.

According to the Guardian, the race will feature equal prizemoney to the men’s event. “It will be the only cycling event in the world where women are not second best,” stated Guy Elliott, who will play a key role in putting the race on.

“We will finish in town centres and pay the same prize money that Bradley Wiggins or Mark Cavendish would get,” he promised. “The goal is to wrap a social agenda for change in health and social terms around a sports event, to send a strong message to women that they don't have to be second best.

“It's a game changer. It cannot carry on that we discriminate against women in sport from the age of 15.”

The event is expected to be held in May, and he states it is likely to be located in the east Midlands, East Anglia and the south-east. He said the proximity to the continent and thus ease of access is an important consideration in using that area, as well as the previous hosting of the Tour of Britain and the Tour series in the area.

Last month British Cycling president Brian Cookson confirmed that a women’s version of the race would be held.

“At British Cycling we’ve got hold of the issue and are coming to the end of tendering for the organiser who will be responsible for our biggest international event, the Tour of Britain, for the next five years,” he stated then, referring to the contest which SweetSpot ultimately won. “It was really important to me that we used that process to secure a transformation in elite women's racing so I'm pleased to be able to confirm that there will now be a five-day international stage race for women in Britain in 2014.

“The event will be separate from the men's race, but it will be promoted to a high standard and will, I'm sure, be the first step in having a full equivalent Tour of Britain as it develops.”

It is understood that the initial five day length of the race will likely expand over time.

Cookson is running against current UCI chief Pat McQuaid in the presidential elections and has said that promoting women’s racing is a priority for him.

He also pledged to help push for a women’s Tour de France, saying that he was helping to set up a meeting between Marianne Vos, Emma Pooley, Tour owners ASO and others.

The French event will begin in Britain in 2014.

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