For the primary time for the reason that ‘80s, there will likely be a ladies’s Tour de France long-distance biking race happening this summer season. It kicks off this Sunday, July 24, from Paris, and 24 elite groups will race one another by the fields and mountains of France. They’ll cowl 1,035.5 kilometers over the course of eight days to cross the end line on July 31.
This time round, nevertheless, the Tour de France Femmes seems to be a bit totally different. For one, it’s introduced by the digital racing platform Zwift, and is formally referred to as the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift. There’s additionally a considerably bigger quantity of accessible prize cash than there was within the ‘80s. In response to VeloNews, it’s the richest ladies’s race in historical past, with an obtainable purse of €250,000 (about $255,000).
Against this, when Marianne Martin received the Tour de France Femmes in 1984, she acquired simply $1,000, which she shared along with her entire crew. That very same yr, the winner of the boys’s Tour de France acquired $200,000. Sadly, the gender pay hole hasn’t closed within the a long time since. The prize cash for the 2022 Tour de France Femmes could also be historic, however it pales compared to the boys’s Tour de France 2022 purse: €2.3 million.
In response to Martin, prize cash isn’t simply an added bonus for profitable a race—it will probably make or break a bicycle owner’s profession as a result of qualifying for elite races means first having to journey world wide to smaller races to compete, plus the price of coaching and gear. “I by no means raced for the cash,” Martin says, “however I needed to cease racing for the dearth of it.”
There may be nonetheless an extended highway forward on the subject of addressing gender inequality in sports activities (and simply on the whole). And to assist elevate consciousness of this reality, the digital platform Strava, a cellular app that connects runners and cyclists with on-line communites and challenges, has partnered with the Tour de France and Zwift, and pledged $1 million to fairness in skilled sports activities. The primary portion of that dedication goes to The Cyclists Alliance, an impartial union representing over 220 riders that advocates for equal pay and higher working circumstances.
In your half, among the finest methods to help these unimaginable athletes is to tune in to the competitors. Within the U.S., you possibly can watch the biking motion streaming on Peacock. Bon likelihood, cyclists!
If you wish to prepare to your personal bicycle race, whether or not it is a Tour de France or a Tour de Dwelling Room, here is a strengthening and stretching yoga circulate particularly designed for cyclists.