Women’s Tour de France prize pot fraction of men’s purse

(Photo by Dario Belingheri/Getty Images,)

For the first time in more than 30 years, women will compete in a multistage Tour de France event.

As the men’s event comes to a close in Paris on Sunday, the women’s will kick off, featuring some of the world’s best riders.

Tour de France organizers, however, are being called out for the women’s event prize of €250,000. Though Amaury Sports Organisation’s purse, furnished by headline sponsor Zwift, is this year’s largest, it is just a tenth of the men’s €2.2 million prize.

“If the women are racing over eight days and the men 21, then no, I don’t think it should be a 50-50 split,” cycling activist Kathryn Bertine told The Telegraph. “But it absolutely should be equal to what men are earning in those eight days. It’s insulting that they [ASO] are promoting this as the biggest prize money ever and it’s only one-tenth of the men’s prize purse. Record prize money cannot be a band-aid for the fact that if it isn’t equal, it isn’t equal.”

The winner of Tour de France Femmes will take home €50,000, with a €200,000 pot divided among stage winners, jersey holders and top finishers.

All male riders who finish in Paris will receive at least €1,000, while €200,000 and €100,000 will be reserved for podium places.

“I wouldn’t expect the prize money to be the same as the men when it’s not the same kind of race, in terms of the types of stages or length, but that’s where our battle will continue,” said Louise Gibson, who co-founded the Internationelles team that in has ridden in stage the men’s Tour in protest for a female equivalent. “It’s not equality. We’ll keep battling until there is something as prestigious as the Tour de France that women can aspire to race.”

The eight-stage event will start Sunday, with the race averaging 80 miles per stage.