Two-time world champion Giorgia Bronzini has told Cyclingnews that more should be done in order to lessen the gulf between men’s and women’s prize money at races.
The Italian, who rides for Wiggle Honda, praised the work that has gone into improving the structure of the women’s sport in recent years but stressed that the discrepancies in prize funds still needed addressing.
Bronzini pointed to the Giro d’Italia and Giro Rosa as an example. In 2014 the men’s race held a prize fund purse totalling 1,378,000 Euro. Each stage win was worth 11,000 Euro and a day in the pink jersey was worth 1000 Euro. The final overall winner received 200,000 Euro. In comparison the Giro Rosa held a purse of 17,666 Euro with the eventual winner taking home just over 500 Euro.
Under normal circumstances the winners of stage races share their prize money with their teammates.
“With the prize money, we’re really, really far away from where the men are. If you look at the maglia rosa at the Giro for example. If you win the Giro Rosa you win 500 Euro [525 Euro in 2014],” Bronzini told Cyclingnews.
“I thank the organisers of the Giro because they put the race on, of course, but if one day I win the Giro, and I split the money with my teammates. If I do that I’m left with maybe 50 Euro. We’ll then I can go and eat a pizza with my friends. The women must have more when it comes to sponsors, and television to improve. More sponsors are coming and that’s great but there just needs to be more consideration,” she added.
Bronzini is currently taking part in the Ladies Tour of Qatar and on the eve of the race sat down with a number of other female riders to discuss the state of the women’s sport. Although she highlighted the issue of prize money she also added that the sport had improved immensely in other areas.
“In the last year’s things have really grown up a lot in women’s cycling and it’s not all bad because there are a lot of good things in our sport and in the improvements. As riders we show that we want to show what we can do and our races are exciting to see, sometimes more than the men’s flat stages at the Giro,” she said.
“There you see a break go with a few riders, they’re caught with 15km to go and there’s a sprint. So some days, if I’m watching, I sleep until they catch the break and there’s a sprint. But if you look at our races, even the flat stages, that doesn’t happen so much. Of course the men are racing for longer distances so the racing has to be different.”