The new three-day edition of the RideLondon Classique will have limited live television coverage and a reduced prize pot when it starts in Essex on Friday.
After ending the men’s RideLondon-Surrey Classic, the race’s organisers announced in June 2021 that the women’s race would grow from a one-day circuit race to a three-day tour in 2022.
Despite being a Women’s WorldTour race - which stipulates a minimum of 45 minutes live coverage per day - only the stage 3 London circuit race will be broadcast live, with a highlights package available for stages 1 and 2.
The race will be shown by host broadcasters the BBC in the UK, who have been confirmed as broadcasters of the event for at least the next five years, and on Eurosport and GCN in Europe.
The race will also have a prize pot of €60,000 across the three stages, reduced from the €100,000 fund the one-day race used to boast.
The race introduced equal, €100,000 prize pots for both the men’s and women’s races in 2016, and was at the time the ‘richest’ race on the women’s calendar - though this has since been overtaken by the Giro Donne and Tour de France Femmes with €250,000 prize pots.
Event director Hugh Brasher told VeloNews in November that the race intended to maintain the prize pot of €100,000 in 2022, but it has since been confirmed that the pot has been reduced to €60,000.
Winning the one-day race previously earnt the winner €25,000, this year the overall winner will take home €10,000. The prize for a stage win is set at €1,500.
The event lost its long-term sponsor Prudential at the start of 2021, but this week announced car manufacturer Ford as their new ‘presenting partner’.
Though the question of prize money and parity in prize funds has been a point of debate in women’s cycling, many riders including Annemiek van Vleuten have expressed that live coverage is more important to growing the sport overall.
It is currently unclear how the lack of live coverage will affect the race’s WorldTour status, but failure to meet the minimum requirement has previously seen races demoted to Pro level.
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Matilda Price is a freelance cycling journalist and digital producer based in the UK. She is a graduate of modern languages, and recently completed an MA in sports journalism, during which she wrote her dissertation on the lives of young cyclists. Matilda began covering cycling in 2016 whilst still at university, working mainly in the British domestic scene at first. Since then, she has covered everything from the Tour Series to the Tour de France. These days, Matilda focuses most of her attention on the women’s sport, writing for Cyclingnews and working on women’s cycling show The Bunnyhop. As well as the Women’s WorldTour, Matilda loves following cyclo-cross and is a recent convert to downhill mountain biking.