Trek-Sagafredo has confirmed that it will fill the gap in prize money that existed for Paris Roubaix women’s winner Lizzie Deignan, with industry veteran and Trek leader Gary Fisher stating “(we’re) putting our $ where our mouth is.”
The move took Trek-Sagafredo’s intervention, as without the gap filling the prize winnings of the race would remain starkly different. The men’s race winner scoops €30,000 of a prize pot totalling €90,000. Meanwhile, the women’s race has a total prize pot of just €7,005 and the winner scoops €1,535.
Speaking to Eurosport, the team will make up the difference for Deignan as part of its pledge to bring about greater levels of equality in the cycling industry. What’s more, the same conditions will apply to all of its riders going forwards.
Earlier this year the team revealed that all riders, regardless of gender, would have the same basic salary (though individual rates vary).
Women’s pro cycle sport has faced headwinds to bring about parity and indeed still struggles to gain the same presence in the face of television deals and sponsorship still favouring men’s racing. The Women’s Tour is fighting for television coverage in 2022, which was for a short time looking nailed on to happen, but race organiser Sweetspot has since reverted to a highlights package.
Speaking to Velonews, Race Director Mick Bennett said that the contract with ITV 4, running until 2025, made the highlights program a more viable and highly viewed option rather than a limited window of live coverage. Poor 4G coverage was also blamed as part of the issue of delivering a live stream of the race.
ITV 4’s coverage is sub-licensed to Eurosport and GCN giving the race series a broader reach to both television and online viewers.
In a sign of the industry getting to grips with the issue of parity, the UCI has announced this year that it would increase the salaries of women’s WorldTour teams “as soon as possible” to match that of the men’s.