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Re: [USAICO] UCI Women

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  • Myles Romanow
    I think perhaps we should pay equal prize money to the women that receive UCI Points, and then drop back to UCI mandated payout for the remainder. I
    Message 1 of 29 , Jan 12, 2011
      I think perhaps we should pay equal prize money to the women that receive UCI Points, and then drop back to UCI mandated payout for the remainder.  I understand bruce's point about needing to be top professional athletes to contest these events, and there may be two sides to that story.  

      at a smaller race perhaps the fields aren't as stacked, and the difference between a top 5 and top 15 is much more pronounced.  Are these women racers that may not be ready for absolute prime time, or more recreational athletes?  Perhaps.  But, it is also likely that they are newcomers to the fields, working their way up.  

      Perhaps the solution is to have c1 ladies events that feature equal payouts as deep as their are UCI points granted.  
      Perhaps also c1 events should get the extra 10 minutes of racing.  I do understand that if Worlds, and WC and nationals and C1's go to a longer format there will be a disparity between them and c2 events.. Personally I do not think it is a large secret that I think the women's races should go to 50 minutes, the thought that there aren't enough truly elite women that posses the same amount of skill and speed that a dutch teenaged boy has to me is a little disheartening.  That needs to change, if not across the board, at large scale events.  (c1's, world cups, nationals, worlds..)  

      Yes it's true with absolute beginners racing for 40 minutes, or 30 minutes, the truly elite fields need to do "more".  I certainly think it is time for that.  It may even serve to attract more women to the sport, who don't view a 40 minute race as an all out burn and potentially a waste of their time.  Who knows?

      For the record I will not be in attendance at worlds. Good luck to all, I am anxious to hear how things turn out. 


      On Wed, Jan 12, 2011 at 12:15 PM, Adam Myerson <adam@...> wrote:


      Thanks for soliciting input on this.

      The mandatory women's race for all events C1 and higher was, for me, the most important thing I got done while I was on the Commission. Of all the proposals I made, it's the one I'm most proud of, and it was met with a lot of resistance from the old guard. It won't affect anything in the US, where we lead the way in the number of women's UCI events, but it will have a huge impact in Europe, where women's racing is still a sideshow, and a step below the U23's in popularity, attention, and priority.

      As for prize money, the way we've approached it this year with our events is to pay the women full equal prize money, but to fewer places than the men. So in a C2, if the men are 25 places and the women 15, all 15 of those places are equal to the first 15 of the men's prize money. So their overall prize list is lower, but the dollar amounts per person are equal.

      We think this is good form of parity. We want to develop the women's fields, so we want to pay them more. But it also addresses the economic difficulty of pouring resources into that development. We've seen over and over again that equal prize money does not directly guarantee a bigger turnout, and the sponsors are not always there.

      I will say, while that's easy enough to do for a C2, that would be very difficult to do financially for a C1. Even if the desire was there, the money may not be.

      When determining race length, you have to consider the sporting and entertainment value of the event. This isn't simply a workplace issue where there is equal pay for equal work. This is also an entertainment product. At what race duration is the race essentially "over," and gaps between riders simply get bigger and bigger? The duration of the race shouldn't be in relation to the men, it should be based on what duration provides a quality event on sporting and entertainment merits in each class.

      I do think the old standard of 30, 40 or 45, and 60, is no longer desirable. None of our grassroots racers want to only race for 30 minutes. At 40, they feel like they're getting a good product. But if the 3/4 women are racing for 40, then clearly the Elite women should do another lap, and 50 minutes would be appropriate. On the other hand, if that last lap has no entertainment value and makes the race look worse, then it will do more harm than good to the women, and the sponsorship value of their event. It's a difficult balance to strike. I support the idea of a 50 minute women's race, but only if the fields are deep and competitive. Perhaps, like the men, the World Cups can be 10 minutes longer, at 50 minutes, as a place to start.

      I do support the idea of 2 classes of women's races, and perhaps the prize money questions can be taken account with that approach.


      On Jan 11, 2011, at 7:20 PM, crosssportif@... wrote:

      To the Group:

      I'm in the process of working on a report and possible reform proposal for the UCI Cyclocross Commission on behalf of our UCI Women's category. At present, there are several interconnected developments providing impetus:
      • the support from several US organizers who've provided equal prize money to x number of top placing women. 
      • the UCI 2011-2012 rule requiring all C1's to have a women's event. 
      • the strong statements our women are making: specifically, Katie Compton's international results and leadership and Georgia Gould's petition (from 2008?) with 3,546 signatures currently. See http://www.petitiononline.com/equalpay/petition.html
      • the natural maturation (depth, breadth, and calendar) of UCI women's racing, thus acting as catalyst for delineation of point values between women's C1 and C2 events
      I suspect the phasing in of any reform might need to be taken in several steps/stages, so I'm working with that process in mind. Fortunately, we already have the above mentioned momentum. 

      To date, my focus has been on various point system models and my sources have been many of the top women as well as team managers and coaches. 

      In addition, I'm interested in hearing from US organizers. So, I will take comments for the next two weeks, up until the world championships on prize money, points, or any other angle. Then, I'll prepare a proposal for our 2011 spring commission meeting and provide a full report at the USAC Cyclocross Summit in April. 

      If you have some constructive thoughts on this, please let me know. 

      Geoff Proctor
      Member, UCI Cyclocross Commission

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