CyclingTips Podcast, Episode 13: On equal prize money

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As of June 2016, men and women across all disciplines and categories now benefit from equal prize money at all UCI World Championship events. But that certainly isn’t the norm at most cycling events.

Take the Giro Rosa, for example. The most prestigious (and only) Grand Tour on the women’s WorldTour calendar, the Giro Rosa serves as a women’s equivalent to the men’s Giro d’Italia and sees the women’s peloton battle for the coveted Maglia Rosa over 10 grueling days. The payout for taking the overall win? A mere €1,050. This sum was doubled from previous years yet still pales in comparison to the €115,000 prize for the overall winner of the men’s Giro d’Italia.

Should the women’s prize purse be equal to that of the men’s race? Why does prize money matter? Should there even be prize money for any categories below the Elite level?

For our 13th podcast, we brought back Ella editor, Anne-Marije Rook, and special guests Kristopher Auer and Juliet Elliot to discuss these hot-button topics.

Kris Auer is a race promoter with forward-looking principles who was behind introducing equal payout at the prestigious Belgian Koppenbergcross race. With his support, the women not only received equal payout to the men for the first time in a major European UCI-ranked race, Auer also sent a very clear message to race promoters everywhere — women deserve equal pay. Period.

Our second guest, Juliet Elliott, is a multi-discipline bike racer, Assos model and journalist. A former professional snowboarder, Elliott was around when equal payout was first introduced in winter sports and hopes the same “build it and they will come” attitude will elevate women’s cycling.

With our two guests we explore the need for change in cycling, what some promoters are doing about prize money (and why), and what everyone needs to do in order to move toward equality in our sport.

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