Organisers of the Prudential RideLondon women's race have announced an incredible prize fund which puts the event on par with the most lucrative one-day men's event in the world.
The announcement comes about a week after the Tour de Yorkshire unveiled their huge women's prize fund. The budget totals 100,000 Euros, the same amount on offer for the men's event the following day.
The women's Prudential RideLondon Classique, won last year by Barbara Guarischi now of Cayon//SRAM, will take place on Saturday July 30 and will be televised live by BBC Sport from central London.
“We believe in equality in sport... it is right that the prize money for our new UCI Women’s WorldTour event matches that [of the men's event]."
Event Director Hugh Brasher, who is also Event Director for the London Marathon and five other mass participation events, said: “We believe in equality in sport. Last year, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic became the world’s richest men’s one day race and we believe that it is right that the prize money for our new UCI Women’s WorldTour event matches that, setting a new standard for women’s cycling. This is the same policy that we have operated at the London Marathon for many years."
Brian Cookson, President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), said: “Prudential RideLondon has set new records for cycling every year. It is the biggest festival of cycling in the world and it is wonderful to see that the new UCI Women’s WorldTour race has been awarded full parity with the men’s event."
The individual winner of the Prudential RideLondon Classique will take home 25,000 Euros in prize money and the winning team will pocket 10,000 Euros. There will be three Continental Tyres Sprints classifications in the race offering a further 12,600 Euros in prize money.
The race, which was the first in the UK outside of the Olympic and Commonwealth Games to be broadcast live, will be shown live on BBC TV for the fourth successive year.
"Women’s cycling is being given the recognition it deserves."
Double Olympic champion Laura Trott, who has raced every year in Prudential RideLondon and won the inaugural women’s race, said: “This is fantastic news. Women’s cycling is being given the recognition it deserves. Prudential RideLondon has pioneered incredible change in women’s cycling, first with live television coverage, then live cameras on bikes last year and now with record prize money and parity with the men’s race."
Wiggle High5 Team Manager Rochelle Gilmore commented: “It has been overwhelming to witness the massive changes in our sport during the past couple of years. I’ve been involved in women’s professional cycling for eighteen years (fifteen as an athlete and three as a team owner) and I still can not actually grasp how rapidly single actions like this have developed our sport.
“As an athlete ten years ago, I would never have dreamt that a female cyclist would be rewarded with this level of prize money for doing something we love."
The Prudential RideLondon Classique is included in the inaugural Women's World Tour calendar, and takes riders over a 5.5km course in the centre of the capital. Each lap begins on The Mall in St James’s Park, goes up Constitution Hill, turns at the top to come down and on to Birdcage Walk, before passing Big Ben and turning left on to Whitehall and right on to the Strand before turning again to come back up the Strand, through Trafalgar Square, Admiralty Arch and back on to The Mall.
The race forms part of an entire weekend celebrating cycling in the capital - the proceedings including the 100 mile sportive that has captured the hearts of many. There will also be family friendly entertainment throughout the city, with more details being unveiled closer to the big day in July.