Top North American cyclo-cross rider Katie Compton has commended Cincinnati UCI3 Cyclo-cross Festival organisers on closing the gap between men’s and women’s prize money, after they unveiled a massive $10,000 USD prize pool for the women’s event. Compton labeled the difference between men’s and women’s prize pools unfair, given the costs involved with competition are the same for both genders.
“Just looking at the C1 prize list for women compared to men makes me angry,” said Compton. “It's just not right that the women make $250 for a win when the men's winner makes over $2,000. It costs us the same amount of money to get to the races and we work just as hard and we should be equally rewarded.”
The monies on offer in Cincinnati make up a large portion of the $27,000 USD on offer during the October 9-11 event. Last year the race matched the prize money for the top five men and women.
“I think it's awesome that the Cincinnati weekend has so much prize money for the women,” said Compton. “I think it's the only weekend of my cross season where I have the potential to cover travel expenses and actually make money.”
Women’s sport has waged a long battle for equality in sporting prize money. Women’s tennis in particular has been vocal in calling on organizers to reduce, and abolish the gap between prize money for male and female athletes. Luna cyclist Georgia Gould submitted a petition to the International Cycling Union in 2007 after gathering support from fellow competitors.
Compton will host a special women’s-only cyclo-cross clinic in Cincinnati on the Wednesday prior to the Festival. It will offer women of all ages and abilities to learn the sport from the most accomplished cyclo-cross racer in American history.
“I want to encourage women to come out and learn new things, or get a refresher on skills they already have,” said Compton. “A little practice in the early season always helps.”
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