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Cyclocross Magazine spoke with Helen Wyman, after “great strides in the name of women’s cyclocross” were made at the UCI Cyclocross Commission meeting last Monday.
Wyman, a UCI Cyclocross Commission member, has long been an outspoken advocate for gender equality in cyclocross and is credited for bringing about many of changes when it comes to equal payout and racing times.
Wyman joined the UCI Cyclocross Commission in September 2013 and has served for three ‘cross seasons thus far. In her time in office, Wyman has increased prize money for women in every way possible. She equalized Category 2 race prize money for the Elites, doubled the Category 1 payout, slightly increased the payouts for individual World Cup rounds and significantly increased the overall World Cup ranking prize purse.
Wyman has also seen other changes take shape. Women now race for a minimum of 40 minutes, with a maximum of 50 minutes. Additionally, there is now a U23 Women’s classification for National Championships with UCI points, a European Championship event and a World Championship event. They too race for 40 minutes, up to a maximum of 50 minutes.
Wyman and the commission are now working to equalize the Elite Women’s and Elite Men’s prize money for all UCI Category 1 races starting with the 2016-17 season. There are also talks regarding the U23 Women’s category and selection and classification for World Cups. They have discussed how and when to bring in a separate U23 Women’s event, although currently the earliest Wyman sees it happening is for the 2018-19 season.
“I won’t stop pushing. I have two more seasons on the Commission, and intend to do all I can to help the future riders in my four years. Then I’ll hand it over.” – Helen Wyman