The Prudential RideLondon events will offer an equal pot of prize money to men and women this year to contribute to helping gender equality in cycling.
The men’s race, the RideLondon-Surrey Classic, is already the ‘richest’ one-day race in the world and the €100,000 pool of cash will be matched this year by the newly-named women’s RideLondon Classique, which is part of the new Women's WorldTour. The winner will take away €25,000, with prize money also on offer to the top 20 riders, as well as teams and winners of the intermediate sprints. Bradley Wiggins recently announced a new 46-mile sportive that will run alongside he 100 mile sportive event that forms part of a weekend of cycling in the British capital.
"We believe in equality in sport," said event director Hugh Brasher in a statement. "Last year, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic became the world’s richest men’s one-day race and we believe that it is right that the prize money for our new UCI Women’s WorldTour event matches that, setting a new standard for women’s cycling."
The Classique, taking place on a 5.5km London circuit a day ahead of the men’s race on July 30, will once again be shown live on the BBC and is one of the 17 events that make up the new Women’s WorldTour series.
The prize money announcement comes a week after a similar move from a fellow British race, the The Tour de Yorkshire, which has revamped its women's event with new sponsorship from supermarket chain Asda. The total prize pot of around €63,000, with around €20,000 on offer to the winner, is greater than the men's three-day event, and was set to be the most lucrative women's race in the world until today's move from RideLondon.
Laura Trott, who won the inaugural women's RideLondon in 2013, described the news as "fantastic", while the manager of her former Wiggle High5 team, Rochelle Gilmore, spoke of the significance of such moves in terms of the development of women’s cycling in recent years.
"It has been overwhelming to witness the massive changes in our sport during the past couple of years," said the Australian. "I’ve been involved in women’s professional cycling for eighteen years (fifteen as an athlete and three as a team owner) and I still can not actually grasp how rapidly single actions like this have developed our sport."
"As an athlete ten years ago, I would never have dreamt that a female cyclist would be rewarded with this level of prize money for doing something we love."