My daughter and I have been working through our TOS prep plans and did “half the road” together. It was a great film and really opened my eyes. Problem was I couldn’t answer the questions I was being asked, where is women’s road racing now? Has the pentagram of blame been broken?
I am seeing far more women in the MTB media (thank you RedBull TV, and many UK MTB magazines) and more girls coming to youth coaching sessions. But I know nothing of women’s professional road racing and where it is now. I (and my daughter) would be grateful for any insights.
I am not into watching a lot of racing.
But from what i know, currently the situation is a lot better.
There are big names that have both women and men cycling teams, salaries seem to be higher and there is definitely a lot more coverage.
Personally, when i watch, i prefer women racing because i find it more interesting and unpredictable.
Also bump on the topic cause i want to learn more
An interesting post! Like most womens sports it still seems to be lagging behind in both media time and also funding (GB Track aside). The closest I have seen the 2 is during the National road series and crit races around city centres with both getting a good bit of screen time.
There are moves although very slowy with regards to Grand Tours although they seem to keep females to a couple of days here and there, saying that you do not want to suddenly create a 3 week tour which will not have enough competition or possibly finishers if there is not sufficent time for training required.
Unfortunately in a sponsorship dominated sector like cycling trying to get funding which is reliant on screen time is particularly hard. It is chicken and egg. Without the funding/sponsorship you won’t get the screen time and without that the exposure to showcase the racing and therefore demand from fans for it. With out the demand from fans you won’t get the screen time so you won’t get the sponsorship!!!
Media is key, look at the effect that seeing the womens success at the world and olympics had but then it is not transfered over into clubs etc. Lots of clubs doing great work but
Also put into that an entrenched veiw that is across almost allsport that mens sport is better and therefore more important (apart from mabe tennis, athletics (even then there is a gap between the track and the field for womens events), swimming, gymnastics etc) it is very difficult to get the momentum going.
Being a man never underestimate the ingenuity and tenacity of famales who put thier mind to something and also the inate stupiditly of the male male sex. (That is what I tell my daughter).
These are my thoughts (and as I man I am not answering for the Womenfolk, just an opinion, lest I be berated for the temerity to speak out of turn) and I fully support womens sport and cycling in particular.
As a competitive cyclist in the 80’s (so big fan of Rebecca Twigg and Connie Carpenter-Phinney), race lackey for multiple OreIda Women’s Challenges, and - most importantly - a father of two daughters, watching this documentary just @#$% me off.
Half the Road inspired me to learn more about women’s cycling, too! After watching the video, I learned that the UCI has, among other things, instituted a base pay for women, done away with that ridiculous age rule, and made some improvements in sick/holiday and insurance policies for women riders. There’s still yet a long way to go to equality, but we as an audience, can help drive the change by demanding and consuming coverage of women’s races. I never had an interest in following racing previously, but I’m going to try to follow the women’s races and support the cause.
Also, if you’re interested in more from Kathryn Bertine, the force of nature behind Half the Road, she just recently published a memoir, Stand, which is available in electronic formats and hard cover.
Thanks I will have a look for this
I do find women’s racing more entertaining. More random stuff seems to happen which makes it more interesting.
For those of us outraged by Half the Road, here’s a possibility for putting our money where our mouths are: there’s a crowdfunding campaign on to make the women’s prize pool at this Saturday’s Strade Bianchi equal to (or maybe exceed!) the men’s. While the issue is multi-faceted, this is a way we, as spectators, can make a difference. The link to the campaign is at: https://gofund.me/129286f5