Just over a week ago promoters of the Basque women’s race, Emakumeen Euskal Bira, received a complaint from their local Women’s Institute members about their promotional artwork.
The poster was deemed distasteful for reducing the women racers to sexual objects, and the complaints sparked the interest of the wider cycling community and much debate over where the blurry grey line of acceptable starts and begins.
Though the poster isn’t anywhere near as overt as the controversial E3 Harelbeke monstrosity that shocked us last year, it does place a huge emphasis on the physical attributes of the riders as last year’s winner Kasia Niawiadoma (Rabo-Liv) appears to blow a kiss to the camera and the other is characterised by her long, golden braid (it IS the most aero hairstyle).
The poster was quickly removed, in a promising reaction that shows the organisers were keen to right their wrong. Then last week, the race tweeted that they had two potential new designs, created by Spanish rider Lourdes Oyarbide.
— Emakumeen Eusk. Bira (@EEmakumeenBira) February 18, 2016
They asked followers (the race has 304) to retweet their favourite, and a victor was chosen.
Though it’s a shame the initial poster slipped through the net, we’re so pleased to see the race organisers listen to feedback, and take steps to make it right.