The momentum for women's cycling continues to build with events across North America raising the level for the sport. The organisers of the Tour of Utah have added an event for women, Colavita has stepped in to make the Tour of Somerville eligible for National Criterium Calendar status for the women, BC Superweek announced equal prize money for the genders, and the Tour of California will stream its two women's events, a circuit race in Sacramento and the Folsom time trial, live on its Tour Tracker.
In other women's race news, Evelyn Stevens won the Pan-Am time trial title in Puebla, Mexico, and fellow American Megan Guarnier took bronze.
Utah adds circuit race
For the first time in the history of the Tour of Utah, the women will take to the stage with a circuit race at the Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. The venue serves as the finish for the men's stage 3.
The Women's Edition will utilize a 2.2-mile section of the course for a 15-lap circuit race. The women will race at 12:30pm local time, and finish an hour before the men are expected to arrive.
The Tour of Utah is currently accepting requests for entry from professional teams, domestic elite and established teams, and qualified riders who seek to join a composite team. Interested teams and individuals should visit www.tourofutah.com to complete the request form. Requests for invitation close on Friday, June 6, 2014. Teams will be announced starting June 16.
Colavita helps Somerville join NCC
The Tour of Somerville's Mildred Kugler Women's Open has not been a part of the National Criterium Calendar, or the National Racing Calendar before the road and criterium events were separated, since 2010, but the support of Colavita has changed that this year.
Colavita's sponsorship enabled the women's pro race to qualify for the NCC status, thanks to John Profaci, a long-time advocate for women's cycling and the Vice President of Marketing at Colavita. "I'm absolutely thrilled to see the continued success of the Tour of Somerville in my home state of New Jersey," Profaci said. "We are very proud to provide sponsorship for a race of this caliber. It's a race that has been important for amateur and professional teams sponsored by Colavita for more than ten years."
The Colavita/Fine Cooking team this year includes 2013 NCC Champion Erica Allar, who is seeking her third straight overall title.
BC Superweek will have equal prize purses
Organisers of Vancouver's BC Superweek announced this week that men and women will have equal prize purses for the top 3 finishers at all nine races in this year's series.
The overall prize money for the BC Superweek series will be up $10,000 from $110,000 in 2013 to $120,000 this year.
Montreal's Lex Albrecht (Twenty16), the defending women's champion of the MK Delta Criterium and the Tour de White Rock, was named an ambassador to last year's BC Superweek, and sees the advent of equal prize money at this year's series as huge for women's cycling.
"Inequality between men's and women's cycling is a hot button issue these days. In most cases, the gap between prize money offered to men and women is exceptionally, and unjustly significant," Albrecht explained.
"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. I'm proud to see such a great event like this at home in Canada."
Online registration is available on the new BC Superweek website, with early registration discounts in effect until June 6th. Discounts are also available to riders entered in all stages, and teams that sign up six riders for the entire BC Superweek series can register an additional three riders at no cost.
BC Superweek runs from July 4-13, and is made up of the Tour de Delta (July 4, 5, 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, 12, 13). For more information, visit www.bcsuperweek.ca.
Tour of California races on Tour Tracker
Women get two races at this year's Tour of California. The invitational time trial continues for the fourth straight year, while the former Sacramento circuit race returns on May 11, after last being held in 2010.
The women race in Sacramento at noon, local time, on May 11, and can be followed live on the Tour Tracker. Similarly, the time trial progress will be broadcast at noon on Monday, May 12.
Stevens earns automatic Worlds spot with Pan Am time trial title
Evelyn Stevens has earned an automatic bid to the individual time trial at the 2014 UCI Road World Championships in Ponferrada, Spain, thanks to her victory in the Pan American Continental Road Championships in Puebla, Mexico yesterday.
Stevens topped Serika Guluma Ortiz (Colombia) by 12 seconds in the 19.8km test, while fellow American Megan Guarnier was third.
Competition resumes on Saturday with the women's and U23 road races. Guarnier will team up in the 88.8-kilometer women's road race with Maura Kinsella (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Lauren Komanski (Twenty16 Pro Cycling).
Laura Weislo has been with Cyclingnews since 2006 after making a switch from a career in science. As Deputy Editor, she coordinates coverage for North American events and global news. A swimmer in her younger days, Laura made the change to cycling later in life, but was immediately swept up by a huge passion for the sport. Riding for fitness quickly gave way to the competitive urge, and a decade of racing later she can look back on a number of high profile races and say with confidence, "I started". While her racing days are over for the most part, she continues to dabble in cyclo-cross and competing against fellow pathletes on the greenways of Raleigh, North Carolina.
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