Refreshingly, the prize money for the UCI Women’s WorldTour event at Prudential RideLondon 2016 will be the highest ever offered for a women’s one-day race and - perhaps more importantly - will match the prize money offered at the world’s richest one-day men’s race the following day.
The prize pool is €100,000 for the new Prudential RideLondon Classique, which will be televised live by BBC Sport from central London on Saturday 30 July. The prize pool is the same for the men’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic, "the richest one-day Classic in history", on Sunday 31 July. There's a full breakdown of the prize money on the RideLondon site.
“We believe in equality in sport,” explained event director Hugh Brasher, also event director for the London Marathon and five other mass participation events.
“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. This is the same policy that we have operated at the London Marathon for many years.”
Brian Cookson, UCI president, added: “Prudential RideLondon has set new records for cycling every year. It is the biggest festival of cycling in the world and it is wonderful to see that the new UCI Women’s WorldTour race has been awarded full parity with the men’s event.”
The race will be shown live on BBC TV for the fourth successive year. It was the first women’s race in the UK, outside the Olympic or Commonwealth Games, to be broadcast live.
Double Olympic champion Laura Trott has raced every year in Prudential RideLondon and won the inaugural women’s race. Trott said: “This is fantastic news. Women’s cycling is being given the recognition it deserves. Prudential RideLondon has pioneered incredible change in women’s cycling, first with live television coverage, then live cameras on bikes last year and now with record prize money and parity with the men’s race.”
Wiggle High5 Team Manager Rochelle Gilmore added: “It has been overwhelming to witness the massive changes in our sport during the past couple of years. 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.”
The Prudential RideLondon Classique was awarded UCI WorldTour status for 2016 by the UCI. The 2016 race will take place on a spectacular 5.5km circuit in central London, beginning on The Mall in St James’s Park, going up Constitution Hill, turning at the top to come down and on to Birdcage Walk, then passing Big Ben and turning left on to Whitehall and right on to the Strand before turning again to come back up the Strand, through Trafalgar Square, Admiralty Arch and back on to The Mall.
The UCI Women’s WorldTour race is part of Prudential RideLondon with more than 100,000 riders expected to participate in events over the weekend of 30-31 July 2016.
The new UCI Women’s WorldTour comprises 17 events in three continents and began at the Strade Bianche earlier this month.