Women’s cycling is gaining interest and popularity year after year. Discipline is no longer badly handled, but there are still differences with men and pain points. Marijn de Vries and Ine Beyen gave their perspective on several items during the Velofollies.
A spurza surfer asked analysts Marijn de Vries and Ine Beyen a pertinent question: The marathon is 42km for women and men, but why are the women’s races still visibly shorter than the men’s?
“This has something to do with the history of the race,” former rider de Vries began explaining during last weekend’s Velofollies.
“In athletics, men and women have been treated more or less equally for some time, in cycling, women have been staying smaller for longer.”
“I stopped myself for 7 years, and the maximum distance for women’s races was from 130 to 135 kilometers.”
“It was said then that the International Cycling Union, which makes the rules, ruled that otherwise women would have to urinate on the road and that they could not.”
“It is of course possible and the length of the race has now been increased to around 165 kilometres. In the Tour there was a stage up to 180 kilometres.”
“I think women can handle the same distance as men. You might also ask yourself if the men’s races shouldn’t be shorter to keep them interesting? The women’s race is now very professional: I don’t see why it couldn’t be.”
I think a woman can handle the same distance as a man. You might also ask yourself if the men’s races shouldn’t be shorter to keep them interesting?
Should both camps grow towards each other, Ain Bien wondered? “There are differences in every sport. Just look at the duration of a tennis match and winning sets.”
“The races can be longer and it’s allowed on the WorldTour too. Yes, women can handle that, but the top has to be wide enough, otherwise you get more contrast between the teams in the peloton.”
“Fortunately, now many teams are betting on a hierarchical structure with an under-23 division. This is a very important step.”
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Can teams accommodate a racing offer?
In Payne makes the bridge to something she herself refers to as a “pain point”. Women’s cycling is becoming more professional every day, but there are also growing pains and teething problems.
“There is now a minimum wage and this salary will increase every year (€32,102 in 2023). There is also a minimum wage for neoprof (€26,849), which is a new category that has been introduced. This is a requirement, just like maternity leave.”
“But if you look at the WorldTour calendar, you’ll notice that there are a lot of races. The WT 15 teams should always be at the start, but often they only have 15 riders under contract.”
“It’s dangerous, because they have to fill the starting field every time. So you have to be able to make big enough teams.”
If you look at the WorldTour calendar, you’ll notice that there are a lot of races. 15 WT teams always have to be at the start, but they often only have 15 riders under contract. This is dangerous.
Adjustments to the calendar – with the Vuelta now at the start of May – don’t seem to help immediately either.
“I think it’s a strange season in that regard. The selections have to be made, and also with the World Cup that follows right after the round.”
“to Lotte Kopecky It is a very big advantage that the World Championships on the Road and the World Championships on the Track follow each other during the World Super Championship in Glasgow in August, but I don’t know if it would be wise to combine the Tour with the World Championship. Maybe you should go to the Giro and the World Cup.”
(Read and look at the women’s almanac below)
“Round and Run: Balancing in 2024”
Once again, Marine de Vries emphasized that the birth of last year’s Tour de France was a “game-changer” for the women’s champions.
“Now everything is more professional. Teams are stronger with better preparation: there’s more money, better materials, better guidance.”
Although the dominance of the round may also be a block in the leg. “Especially next year, the situation on the calendar with subsequent Olympics will be very difficult.”
“The relationship with the Giro and the Vuelta must be carefully considered, but in that period (end of July after the men’s Tour) there is a lot of media interest. This will be a balancing act in 2024.”
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