Strade Bianche: Longo Borghini donates fan-raised prize money to women's cycling projects

Elisa longo Borghini finished second at Strade Bianche
Elisa longo Borghini finished second at Strade Bianche (Image credit: Getty Images)

Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) has announced on International Women's Day that she will donate her share of the prize money raise through crowdfunding ahead of Strade Bianche to further support women's cycling projects.

crowdfunding campaign launched ahead of Strade Bianche saw more than 500 enthusiasts of women’s cycling come together to raise €26,903 to be distributed to the top five finishers after the race by The Cyclists’ Alliance.

"I’m honoured and touched, as a woman and as a rider, that someone was willing to donate money to support the cause of prize money equality between women’s and men’s cycling. This generosity is a vote of confidence, a great boost in support of the entire women’s movement. Thank you, that you from the bottom of my heart," Longo Borghini wrote.

"To make this gesture even more important, my Trek-Segafredo teammates and I have decided that our prize shares collected through crowdfunding, starting with mine at Strade Bianche, will be set aside and committed to support women’s cycling projects," Longo Borghini wrote. "We will soon decide how and where we will spend the money, but on this special day we think it’s important marking a new step in the long and difficult road of women’s empowerment."

The crowdfunding campaign was set up by fans to raise the women’s winning prize offered by RCS Sport from its current total of €2,256 to match the men’s winning prize of €16,000 at Strade Bianche.

The prize money discussion was at the forefront of news following the women's 1.Pro edition and the men's WorldTour race of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad two weeks ago when it was revealed that World Champion Anna van der Breggen (SD Worx) earned €930, which was about five per cent of what Davide Ballerini (Deceuninck-QuickStep) earned €16,000 for winning the men's Classics opener in Belgium. 

At both events, the total purses were mandated by the UCI prize scales whereby the 1.Pro women’s race total purse is €4,660 and the Women’s WorldTour total purse is €7,005, while the men’s WorldTour total purse is €50,000 for group 1 and €40,000 for group 2 events, respectively.

Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (SD Worx) won Strade Bianche ahead of Longo Borghini, Van der Breggen was third, Annnemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) fourth and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) fifth.

Longo Borghini thanked fans for making donations toward equalising prize money between the men's and women's fields at Strade Bianche, and promised to donate her funds to help support future projects in women's cycling.

"Thanks again to all those who have donated and happy 8th of March to all the Women in the world," she wrote.

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