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  • winkybiker

    Prize money should equal. It should be zero for everyone. Put the money back into the sport.

    • Derek Maher

      Hi winkybiker. Cash prizes have always been paid out for bike racing whether Pro or amateur its kind of a tradition. Although the money paid out was not going to make any rider rich. Yesterdays London Nocturne Crits first prize was £275 for the winning female and the same for the male winner it was more about the glory than the cash.

      • winkybiker

        Yep, it’s about the glory. In a sport that claims to struggle for enough financial support to even host races, it makes little sense to give any if that money to a few select competitors. Put the races on, and racers will race. Even Gran Fondos have prize money. I just can’t figure out why.

    • Dave

      Agree. Prizemoney is completely unnecessary for world and national championships.

      A good compromise would be to refund the entry fees and a stipend for travel costs to the placegetters.

      • winkybiker

        I think there should be zero prizemoney for any sporting event, professional or otherwise. If people want to be paid to play games, then let them earn their money on the basis of how much we are willing to pay them to do so. After all, what they are providing is entertainment, that we may, or may not be willing to watch. Their “pay” should be based on a share of revenue from gate-takings and media fees, as well as related to how much sponsorship they can attract. This removes all discussion regarding equal prize-money and the misguided notion that the athlete’s value is somehow determined by how hard they “work”, other than as it relates to their watchability.

  • Derek Maher

    Just how much do the teams get for winning a TTT. Does the UCI pay out the prize money or the host country/city or town. I am all for equal cash for both genders. However I can see a situation were the sponsor simply halves the overall purse and splits it between both to keep costs down.

  • Excellent, and about time.

    • Marc

      This prize money thing is sexism at its finest. You’d think that in this day and age we would have evolved and see men and women as equal. But apparently we don’t. Take the road race for example. Roughly 20,000 euro’s in prize money for the men’s race, the same amount for the women’s race. The men’s road race takes about 6.5 hours, the women’s road race about 3.5. That is a prize money of 3077 per hour for the men, 5714 for the women. How come women get paid almost 86% more than men?

      • Let’s wait until funding for women’s development squads, team, travel and equipment budgets, sponsorship and endorsement incomes, logistical support, and media coverage are _at least_ equal before we start crying foul about the gross inequity male athletes face compared to their elite female counterparts.

        The difference in hours trained between the man on the podium and his female counterpart is surely not even half the difference in support they receive on their way there.

        The obstacles that elite women athletes have to surmount – social, cultural, financial, familial – to make a professional living from competition (if that’s even possible for any but a select few) far outweigh those faced by men. Does it offend us so much that women are recognised for their efforts with equal prize money?

        We could quadruple the prize money for women’s racing and still be grossly under-paying women per hour in terms of their professional commitment.

        • Marc

          I don’t see why the UCI has to make up for the unwillingness of a team or a sponsor to pay women the same as men. It’s up to for example Orica-GreenEDGE to allocate as much many per female rider as per male rider on their squads if they strive for equality. Just as it is up to the UCI to do their part: real equality in prize money. Equality works both ways.

          • The UCI isn’t making up for anything other than its own shortcoming in the way women are recognised, in one small aspect of the sport (prize money). I think it’s to be applauded for that. The teams will need to walk their own paths, but this decision is at least a small step.

            The potential is there from a media coverage and entertainment standpoint: the women’s road race at the London Olympics was far and away one of the best one day races I’ve ever seen.

            I’m afraid equality doesn’t work both ways, Mark. So long as inequity is rife, equality (as a value) works in support of those who aren’t on equal footing, until real equality is reached. That footing is made unequal in the first instance by attitudes and biases we have the privilege of not having to encounter or consider as men. Whether we (knowingly) hold those attitudes ourselves or not. I have come to believe that the vast majority of men proclaim not to hold the very attitudes our words and actions imply. “Equality works both ways” is another “I’m not racist but…”.

            The argument you make illustrates the point: I can think of no forum where prize money has ever been equated to an hourly wage other than this one. In no discipline of the sport, whether grand tours, criterium, classic or on the track, in mountain biking or cyclocross is prize money adjusted for, equated to or commonly thought to be representative of the length of the race. But you call on that logic to argue (rhetorically) for a reduction in women’s prize-money. It’s as if removing the bias of gender — when you win a UCI race, you receive the same prize you’re male or not — somehow deprives men of something? The only thing men could possibly be deprived of in this decision is some small piece of the privilege we hold over women.

            Actions like the one the UCI have taken are deliberate statements aimed at reversing that the idea that it’s normal, and by some logic (hours raced in your example) justified, that women deserve less for their efforts than men do.

            That we’re even having this debate this is a sign of that bias.

      • jules

        the question is why the elite women aren’t allowed to race 6.5 hours, like the men. the notion that Lizzie Armistead or any of the others would not last that long is laughable. they are elite riders.

        • Marc

          Agree. Either let the women race for 6.5 hours and keep the prize money as it is, or lower the prize money for the women’s race so they get paid the same per hour as the men do.

          • mass1ve

            Does cyclocross then only get 1/6th the prize money of a road race, given it is only an hour long, not 6.5hours?
            What about athletics 100m sprint? How much should you get for less than 10 seconds?
            Prize money per hour surely is a ridiculous measure.
            Equal prize money between men & women is to give recognition that mens & womens races are both races between elite athletes.

  • Liz Otto Hamel

    Glad to see further evidence that men’s and women’s efforts are equally valued at the top of the sport. Would be interesting to know more in general about how prize money influences teams’ development and agendas.

  • jules

    I understand why prize money is not equal in some events. Principally it’s down to what sponsors are willing to provide and this will vary between events. The sad reality that men’s events still tend to attract more sponsor interest than women’s. This isn’t necessarily deliberate or overt sexism, it’s more symptomatic of how women’s sport is under-appreciated.

    But for events like the World Champs, men’s and women’s events are part of the same event and package. In that circumstance, making prize money unequal requires a conscious decision to under-value the women’s events. It’s good to see the UCI have done the right thing here.


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