The winners of the men’s and women‘s editions of the Tour of Flanders will be paid the same from this year, it was announced on Monday.
In an interview with the Belgian newspaper From Tijd , Tomas van den Spiegel, CEO of Flanders Classics, the race organiser, said there would be €50,000 offered as prizes for both races. The winner of each edition will win €20,000.
“This season we are working to increase the price of the women’s edition of the Tour of Flanders to €50,000,” said Van den Spiegel.
“[That’s] the same amount that is divided among the winners of the men’s race. From 2023, we intend to equalize the prices for all our spring races.
Flanders Classics also runs Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Gent-Wevelgem, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Scheldeprijs and Brabantse Pijl, all of which have female counterparts.
Late last year, he claimed women’s cycling needed more investment from TV shows and seed money in teams to improve equality within the sport, rather than focus primarily on equalizing available prizes at races.
“We still face many obstacles,” he said this week. “No money is paid yet for the TV rights of women’s races. For income from sponsorships and VIP packages, we are still too dependent on men’s races that are run on the same day. We have to find a product that can exist on its own as much as possible. “
In 2021, the price gap between Omloop Het Nieuwsblad became one of the main talking points following the opening weekend, with World Champion Anna van der Breggen raking in just €930 for her win over €16,000 for Davide Ballerini.
The imbalance received some criticism, but still seems to be in place for this year’s event.
The Equal Price movement is part of Flanders Classics’ “Close the Gap” initiative, which it is working on in partnership with KPMG. It aims to improve the situation of women’s cycling in Flanders.
The classics season kicks off this weekend with Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, followed by Kuurne-Brussels-Kurrne on Sunday, which is not organized by Flanders Classics and has no women’s edition.