Sports

Equal payout in Superweek

Cyclists will compete for $120,000 in prize money during Superweek, a cycling series that includes the Tour de Delta and the Tour de White Rock. - PHOTO SUBMITTED
Cyclists will compete for $120,000 in prize money during Superweek, a cycling series that includes the Tour de Delta and the Tour de White Rock.
— image credit: PHOTO SUBMITTED

More prize money and an equal payout to male and female races is coming to BC Superweek.

Prize money for the nine-race series, to run July 4-13 this summer, has been increased by $10,000 to a total of $120,000. Money paid to the top three cyclists in women’s competition and the top three in the men will be the same.

BC Superweek runs from July 4-13, and is made up of the Tour de Delta (July 4-6), UBC Grand Prix (July 8), Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix (July 9), Giro di Burnaby (July 10) and the Tour de White Rock (July 11-13).

“Inequality between men’s and women’s cycling is a hot button issue these days,” said Lex Albrecht of Montreal, a member of the TWENTY16 Pro Cycling Team and a winner in Delta and White Rock last summer. “In most cases, the gap between prize money offered to men and women is exceptionally, and unjustly significant.”

Albrecht is the defending women’s champion of the MK Delta Criterium and the Tour de White Rock. She finished first in the Homelife Realty Hill Climb and second in the Peace Arch News Road Race at the Tour de White Rock in 2013.

BC Superweek organizers say the decision to offer equal prize money to both men and women is to assist in elevating the sport.

“BC Superweek organizers have stepped up to offer equal prize money to the top three finishers of both fields, showing their support for gender equality - which is important not only in professional bike racing, but in all aspects of life,” Albrecht said in a press release. “I’m proud to see such a great event like this at home in Canada.”

“Equality in the sport is very important for us to foster,” said BC Superweek Race Director Mark Ernsting. “We couldn’t ignore the increase in women’s participation and quality of performance over the last two seasons – and equal prize money to the top three men’s and women’s podium finishers is a great step to continue to recognize the growth of women’s cycling.”

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