“That doesn’t make sense to me, for an event which already has a very successful model. I live in Oudenaarde at the moment and when you go out on Tour of Flanders day there are so many VIP tents that they page huge amounts of money; the buses, the coaches that transport the VIPs between different places. There are so many of them it’s just ridiculous and all of those people are paying huge amounts of money,” said the British cyclist for cyclingweekly.co.uk.
“I’d imagine that one bus load would be able to equalize the prize money for women, so… I don’t understand why the UCI can’t put that in place,” added the KONA Factory Team rider.
Wyman would like to apply the same method that has been implemented in cyclocross, which means that every women’s race would be broadcasted live. As the experience from Belgium shows, there is a great demand for women races.
“There is a gap, it needs to be closed but it’s not going to happen overnight. We do know that women’s sport is very exciting, we know it can draw really big audiences but we need more media coverage and more commercial investment,” agreed Helen Grant, the UK Minister for Sport, with Wyman in an interview with BBC Sport.
“You know in ‘cross, and in men’s cycling a lot as well, you’ve actually got a very saturated market and the sponsorship has come in and there’s not many more places to get sponsorship from. But as soon as you open up a new market by having this extra hour of television coverage that we have in 24 races this season, suddenly you’ve got another market,” believes Helen Wyman.
Do you agree with her? Could this be the solution to the prize money inequality?