The pay gap between women and men in sport is a discussion that has gained more and more column inches in recent years. Who can forget the heated Wimbledon equal pay debate that was finally agreed to in 2007?
It’s no secret that while some sports do offer equal pay, cycling is not one of them, and still seems a long way off achieving this. Just last week, Wiggle Honda rider Elisa Longo Borghini who took home a pretty measly £871 for her victory at the Tour of Flanders. Meanwhile the men’s winner Alexander Kristoff pocketed £14,365.
Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Longo Borghini expressed her frustration about the monstrous gap. “I won the same that you’d win in any World Cup race, €1213. Now, how is it possible a woman wins the same as a rider who places 20th in the men’s race? In 2015? It’s not fair.”
There are a number of factors that work against equal pay in sport including longer distances of men’s events, media coverage, sponsorship and viewing figures. It is an uphill battle for sure.
It does appear that women’s cycling is heading in the right direction though. We saw mainstream coverage of events such as the Women’s Tour and La Course last year. La Course also offered prize money equal to that of a stage win for the men at the Tour de France. Little by little we are seeing the profile of women’s cycling rise. We can only hope that with this increased exposure comes with it a fairer division in the prize purse between women and men.