Grand Gala UCI in Abu Dhabi 2015
  • Rob Booth

    “to tune in for broadcasts”
    This one is really hard with the commentary team used over the past year on the UCI channel. A better packaged broadcast package would help attract viewers. There is no way Ant McCrossan calling a race will encourage anyone but the most ardent cycling fan to watch a race.

  • Gavin Adkins

    How long did it take Gillot to ‘clarify’ what happened? Why did they not anticipate that the (almost) ‘no girls allowed’ Gala would go down like a fart in a Santa suit? Have any female award winners actually confirmed that there was a written offer of travel and accommodation to attend? What were the terms?

    There are volunteer run cycling clubs with better communications strategy and execution than the UCI.

  • jules

    given that the awards seem to have been for events/competitions previously won during the season, is it possible the women just didn’t see the point in turning up (e.g. Lizze A – “my grandparents had a wedding anniversary” lol)? although oddly the men did.

    • Dave

      The men weren’t there for themselves, they were there for their sponsors.

      If any of the awards had been won by riders from UCI Women’s Teams which are attached to a WorldTour team, I expect that the increased level of professionalism would have seen them there.

    • Anne-Marije Rook

      This is why I think any race preceding the Gala should feature a women’s race (even if it’s a one day race) to give women a reason to travel to whatever faraway land the gala is held in.

  • PetervdVeen

    “Still, it was good to see such a social media out-pour in regards to the absence of female athletes –even if, in this case, it was perhaps a little unjust to the organisers.”

    Seriously fans asking questions is unjust? Maybe some of those fan or media indeed had the tone of condemning the UCI without waiting for answers but UCI needs to remember that fans have been asking for more equality for years now and the media recently joined in. UCI didn’t start at 0 with women cycling but at -100 and we (fans and media) have every reason to be sceptical seen the past. UCI is indeed making progress in equality and sometimes you can make stupid mistakes but expecting fans to stop pressuring the UCI to be more equal because you are doing something good would be in vain. If we stop now hardly everything fans did the past 10 years would be almost useless.

  • Annie.

    It might be interesting to know the exact reason why the other female award winners weren’t able to attend. If there was something “female-specific” about their excuses – maybe due to team organisation, this should be adressed. If not, it should be provided for the event getting equally important for women, as well as awards being equally handed out to them (which could be disputed though, as there’s a lot of pros and cons for both positions).

    Another question that came to my mind, is if women even had the chance to kind of expect being invited at the base of past awards to female athletes? What’s the history of the event?

    • Anne-Marije Rook

      Hey Annie. It’s a brand new event. As I mentioned in the article, perhaps now that riders and teams know to mark their calendars for this event, let’s hope for a bigger turnout of female athletes. Even better, it would be great if any race preceding the event featured a women’s race (even if it’s a one day race) to give women a reason to travel to whatever faraway land the gala is held in.

  • Derek Maher

    Just maybe a lot of the women could not afford the trip to this out of the way gala event. Even if you get a free flight ticket you still incur personal expenses. The girls don’t make a lot of cash from the sport and their teams are mainly run on a shoe string budget. When things improve in the future we might see them attending more of these functions ?.

  • ChoateAlum

    I think the real takeaway here is that the gala should be held on the same weekend and in the same city as the UCI Road World Championships.


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