Women’s Cycling Interview

I was recently interviewed by the Sacramento Bee newspaper. Here is the full article to read through where the author discusses the issue of how “Women’s professional cyclists pursue parity with men’s sport”:

http://www.sacbee.com/opinion/the-conversation/article19978011.html

I would like to expound on the things I said in the interview here. First, my primary thought is that “I want to be paid fairly, not equally.”  Currently there is a serious gap in the level and depth of competition between the men’s and women’s pro fields.  In most races our fields are half the size of the Men’s race, not to mention the amateur ranks have an even more dramatic difference. This means the quality is spread thin as well and so there are very few riders capable of winning a race in the women’s events. That gap IS getting closer all the time as more women get into the sport and take it more seriously. I believe that when the level of competition and exposure rises, so will our pay.  The competition will grow over time through support and viability. I have seen it grow a lot even in my short career so far. The question of what money will do to competition is a complex sociology debate that I’m not prepared to undertake! The exposure part is difficult. We as women cyclists are providing a lot of the same product as the men, an exciting race with personal elements and stories. We have to get media and sponsors to respect us as being equal to men in that regard. That we are interesting to their ‘customers’ or good for their brand image as the case may be.  That’s where the money comes from anyway. The media provides coverage that the sponsors see as a good investment.  When that happens there will be equal pay. At the Tour of California NBCSN is covering the men’s race fully every day. Sponsors want that exposure. For NBCSN to cover some highlights of the women’s races is NOT as big of a draw and that is a perfect example of why there is less money in women’s cycling.

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