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There’ll be another equity promoting first at the Telenet UCI World Cup Cyclo-cross Waterloo in 2018, with the ground breaking move to shift the women’s elite race to the marquee position.
Last September Trek, which is hosting the Waterloo-based world cup round, said it would put the funds up so the race could be the first in the top global series offer equal prize money for the women and men. This year it will shift the women’s race to that prized final slot on the schedule.
“Trek’s decision to move the women’s event to the marquee spot is absolutely huge, one of the biggest changes we’ve seen at the world cup level, second only to equal pay last year,” said Ellen Noble (Trek Factory Racing), in the release announcing the change.
The rider — who sparked the popular #bunnyhopthepatriarchy with her world cup barrier hoping ways — added: “This change sends the message to women athletes everywhere that we have a spot in this sport and our racing matters.”
It is not only a move that will help level the playing field for the riders, but one the organisers feel will be a great move for the fans as recently its often been the women’s race that has been the most hotly contested.
“It’s undeniable that over the past few years, the women’s field has been incredibly exciting and the athletes have never been more compelling,” said Trek’s Director of Sports Marketing, Tim Vanderjeugd. “This move not only elevates the women’s race, but it provides a more compelling viewing experience for fans of the sport.”
It probably also doesn’t hurt from a local fan perspective that the female riders from the United States have really been making a huge mark on the international scene. Katie Compton, who in an exciting battle at the World Championships this year took silver behind Sanne Cant, is ranked second in the world. Kaitlin Keough is third and they are also joined by three other American riders in the top 20, including Noble.
The races will also be live streamed again this year, with the men’s elite race beginning on Sunday, September 23 at 1:30pm Central US time, (4.30am AEST) and the women’s race at 3:15pm. You can find more information on the Trek website.