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”:
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.
July has been a month of getting back into the groove of things. It started off in Canada racing a UCI race where my team took 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. As upset as we were to not win the team really needed to get as many UCI points as we could to participate in the Worlds TTT this year. So even though we lost the day was a success.
After Canada I headed with the team to Oregon for Cascades Cycling Classic. This race could not have gone much better. We won the team GC, five stage wins and I wore the yellow jersey the entire week. My team rode great to support me through out the week. The most exciting part of the week personally was to win the four kilometer Wothy Brewing Prolouge by ten seconds after barely making my start.
Like most TT’s I was at the start just over ten minutes before my start. When I arrived at the start it was much more crowded than usual. There were about 50 men in line to get their bikes pre-checked on the jig (this ruler looking contraption the officials use to check that your bike meets the UCI standards.) The women had a separate line to have there bikes checked for their start where we were lined up in order of start times. Normally you have your bike checked about ten minutes before your start and then you “patiently” wait for your start time just behind the start gate. But this time they were trying to shuffle as many men through pre-check while checking our bikes for our starts. It was two minutes before my start and I was next in line the official told me he was going to check one of the men’s bikes first. Luckily one of my teammates was there giving me advice from her run on the course and she spoke up with me that my bike needed to be checked it was too close to my start. I wasn’t stressed because it had passed all year. But when it went on the jig I was told the bar extensions needed to come in a centimeter. My mechanic and director were right there to help me with the issue. While my mechanic Eric Maresjo fixed my bars while my director Ed Beamon kept me calm. We gave the bike back to the official to check the measurements and it passed this time. I looked at the clock it was fourteen seconds until my start. I straddled the bike my director pushed me to the start as I clipped in I came to a stop on the line and the official was counting down 5..4..3…. I looked down I was in my small ring on a down hill start. I thought oh well here we go. I did go, and really well too. I crushed the prologue and was the only female to go under five minutes, beating half of the Pro men’s field!!
I wrapped up July by heading to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs for a team pursuit camp. It’s my first time to do any kind of specific track work and my first time at the Olympic Training Center. It’s been great getting one on one instruction on the track and getting to know other passionate female cyclists that have dreams as big as mine.
Pretty soon I am off to Europe for more UCI racing and I can’t wait!
1. Just got back to Dallas from training in Pagosa Springs for two weeks.
2. Don’t have to wear a brace anymore on my wrist anymore.
3. Leaving tomorrow to race in BC for a few days.
Stage one of North Star is complete. Stage two is tonight. Nothing like a quick turnaround.
I finished 11th on the stage. The funny thing is Travis McCabe finished 11th also. We have a tradition of winning on the same day so maybe this a sign of success coming my way!!
Oh and the arm. It’s doing alright, taking it stage by stage.
Check out the results.