Flanders Classics CEO Tomas Van Den Spiegel said on social media on Monday that the Flanders women’s race reached 764,000 Flemish viewers, a number that represents a massive increase in audience since 2019.
According to Van Den Spiegel, the 2019 edition of the women’s race drew 157,000 Flemish viewers. In other words, the home viewership of the women’s Tour of Flanders has increased by roughly 387% since three years ago. As Van Den Speigel pointed out, one major difference between this year’s event and the 2019 event was the timing of the women’s race.
These days, the elite women’s Tour of Flanders finishes after the men’s Tour of Flanders, allowing broadcasters to switch to covering the women’s race following the conclusion of the men’s.
The viewership numbers from Sunday’s race are the latest encouraging development for a race organizer that has publicly committed to efforts to promote women’s racing.
Through its Closing the Gap project, Flanders Classics has worked with consultancy firm KPMG to target specific aspects of cycling where inequalities continue to exist between the women’s and men’s side of the sport. In addition to focusing on making improvements to live broadcaster, the organizers also announced equal prize money for the men and women at the Tour of Flanders this year, with a goal of equal prize money across all of the organization’s Classics races from 2023.