Professional women's road cycling today got a significant boost with the announcement that the UCI has agreed a major sponsorship deal for the Women's Road World Cup.
The Sufferfest, the world-leading and well known producer of indoor training videos, will sponsor the series which consists of 9 international events, with 7 yet to run this year.
“Our short history shows the commitment we have to women’s cycling and this new partnership with the UCI is a natural progression for us. Three years ago we created a cycling training video featuring women’s professional racing and since then we’ve continued to build on our content featuring the best female cyclists in the world.
We have also sponsored several women’s teams and we were the first corporate backer of Half the Road, a new documentary on Women’s Pro Cycling. We are now looking forward to our investment supporting the UCI Women World Cup and continuing to assist with the growth of women’s cycling."
David McQuillen, Founder of The Sufferfest.
As part of the deal, Sufferfest messages will be included in promotional clips used online and on TV. Sufferfest will also work together with the UCI to promote and advertise the Women's Road World Cup through the network of gyms that use Sufferfest videos.
Sponsorship support is an all-important element in boosting professional women's cycling, as is media coverage, and the recent announcement that a number of major broadcasters including the BBC will be featuring all nine races, in the form of round-ups, was another significant boost.
UCI President Brian Cookson commented on the partnership that “The Sufferfest is well known for their effective training videos and the UCI Women Road World Cup is one of the most challenging series in any sport, so there is a natural synergy between our respective organisations. Bringing them together makes perfect sense.
Following the recent announcement relating to enhanced broadcast coverage, this is another significant development for women’s cycling and we will continue to build on the momentum we have established."
The UCI seems to be delivering on the promises Brian Cookson made last year to boost support for women's cycling, with the appointment of the UCI's first female Vice President, the appointment of at least one woman on every Commission, and the creation of the Women's Cycling Commission.
With more high level and high profile events on the race calender like The Women's Tour and La Course by Le Tour de France, alongside increased media coverage and sponsorship, the future is looking good. 2014 will be an exciting and potentially game changing year for the women's pro peloton.
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