2012 - Louisville Criterium

Racing: 

81 Comments

Agree... sort of

I agree with you on that however I remember way back in the day in the midwest where prize money still lives it WAS a big deal.... yet on the flip side those few times when we got trophies minus a check was also nice.

Why not have the return of trophies?

We got a stuffed eagle for

We got a stuffed eagle for Lousville. My kid loved it and it really fit the logo of the race. Roubaix has what feels like a 20lbs brick and Koppenberg did really nice plaques last year. I agree with the other posts, 90-100% of the prize purse should ALWAYS be in the SM and SW1-2 races.

Agreed. I'd rather have some

Agreed. I'd rather have some cool memento like a robaix brick or a jersey. Although I did buy a $50 bottle of wine with an amateur purse last year. So I guess it goes both ways. Either way, thanks to the promoters...

Nope. Nice try. We got

Nope. Nice try. We got medals. Like the ones my kids used to get in soccer. I like it. It's nice. My little girls said it was "awesome". I'm not asking for a super sweet prize. Sometimes I get socks. Or a pint glass. Each one holds a special place in my heart...or on my feet or in my cabinet. I'm a Cat 4. Just acknowledge that we are busting our asses too. While we assemble Easter baskets, lunches and throwing in 6 loads of laundry.

Why should my hard work to

Why should my hard work to train and place in a men's field be "devalued" in order to equalize prize lists for the women's races?

Why are there not more brands that cater to women (without demeaning them) supporting more events?

Yep!

As a spectator and sponsor, I want to see numbers of people, fast action, and excitement. 20 people going medium speed does not get me fired up about cycling. I know this isnt nice to say, but its the cold hard facts.

For real???

I quote, " there's no point to offering them equal prize money as it would be like pouring money down a rat hole"

Wow...very degrading! Considering we are no longer living in the early 1900's where women actually have voices now, can stand up for themselves and race bikes whenever, wherever and however they want to, I just cannot seem to justify the vailidty of your so called 'statement'.

I am a PROUD women's racer and have been racing triathlons and cycling races for years and while I have no intent to turn Pro anytime soon, that absolutely does NOT mean I should not be offered the same prize purse as a male racer. Absolutely ridiculous. I think it's so great that there are so many women's focused and women's only teams out there to promote the sport of women's racing and getting women involved in racing. Whether it's a field of 50 Cat 4 racers or a field of 16 Cat 1/2 racers, EVERYONE is out there racing for a purpose and it's beyond comprehension that there are individuals out there trying to say 'women don't deserve the same as men' If the only "reason" for people to show up to race is for prize money, maybe you should start analyzing the real reason people race. My team has amazing sponsors and it's our mission to support them in every way possible in addition to promote and support our sport of women's racing.

I've been in fields where we've had to be combined with the men and it's not a pretty sight. The only way to change and alter this is to POSITIVELY promote women's racing and encourage more women to come out and race. Speaking negatively and devaluing women's training efforts, racing efforts and "ROI efforts" is not going to do anything but push us further back and prevent the sport from evolving.

In response to your ROI from sponsorship, here are some marketing facts on women for you:
*Women account for 85% of all consumer purchases including everything from autos to health care
*Women process information and make purchasing decisions differently than men
*•Women spent 80% of all sport apparel dollars and controlled 60% of all money spent on men’s clothing

please site your source

wow, slow your roll Gina. Where are you getting those bottom three statistics? Over what time period? What segments of sport apparel are you speaking of where women represent 80% of dollars and "controlled 60% of all money spent on men's clothing? Did you have someone standing at cash registers across the country judging the gender of the purchaser and intended gender of said clothing? I could be reading this incorrectly but my powers of deduction are screaming for me to call BS on your statements nullifying anything you have to say here

I've got a bridge to sell ya

You read that site before you posted it right? Not just skimmed it? I work in research. If you believe everything you've read on that site I have this great bridge I'd like to see you. Don't worry I can put it online so it is legit. It doesn't even address the main question the poster above you asked. And for the most part it discusses how women's influence in the decision making of household purchases has gone up. It in no way disects the share of dollar allocation. Intact when you look into it more CNN had a very interesting article not too long ago about equal pay in America and what women make relative to men in the same line of work. In most cases women still make less. Which I honestly as a father and husband thinks is crappy. I think most people on here are smart enough to know that is a real problem that plagues our society. So how do women represent 90% of all consumer purchases if they are paid on average 70 cents on the dollar and represent roughly half the population?

If you have a mother, a

If you have a mother, a sister or if you are lucky enough to have any females in your life, unlikely, but possible...then you would understand that despite income disparities, women do control most household purchasing and household wealth management decisions(regardless of who makes the bacon Mr. Caveman). Stop the pissing parade and pecker joisting and go ride your dang bikes already!

If you'd stop looking for

If you'd stop looking for reasons to be offended, you'd realize that "pouring money down a rat hole" is just a figure of speech, meaning to waste it. It has nothing particularly to do with women's racing as opposed to racing in general.

The comment about lack of ROI for sponsors speaks to the issue that almost always the prize money is taken from the entry fees. This leads promoters to try to figure out how to best distribute the prize money in such a way as to encourage more entrants.

Some have said that if entry numbers are what is driving prize money, then the cat 4s and 35+ 4s should get more money. I disagree. Those two groups are going to have high entries whether there's prize money or not. Raising the cash prizes in the hopes of increasing entries would be like pouring money down a rat hole.

Elite women fields are small and have shown time and again that whether there's prize money or not, the entries don't go up. Thus, paying higher prizes would be like pouring money down a rat hole.

Depending on the race, and the big races going on outside the state, there is a much better chance of getting big turnouts in the elite men's field by increasing their prize list, and thus increasing their prize list would likely not be a waste.

IMO, the best thing for the growth of the sport would be to consistently offer more money for the cat 3s, so that more cat 4s would stop worrying about winning cat 4 BAR (which is like being the smartest guy on the short bus) and upgrade as soon as possible. Maybe then we'll get even more new racers and more repeat racers in the cat 4s since they won't be dealing with sandbaggers shooting for a series prize.

Womens Racing

I know the women train hard, love the sport just as much as any of the men. I have raced for over 25 years all the way to the Pro level and now the 'fossil' category. Now, I have moved into a promotors role. There is no way anyone can really believe womens racing deserves the same prize money as mens of the same catgory. Sports, of any type, has sponsorship appeal and value based on numbers from spectators, advertising, speed, excitement,and popularity. You may not like this answer, but its the hard facts of the business end. As a sponsor, the worst thing that could happen is you put up a big prize list, invest a lot of money, and 20 people show up! Sorry, but that is a bad investment in any way you look at it. Having listened to whining from bike racers for years, and still today, sponsorship is a 2 way street. Not someone looking for a chance to pay for your hobby. Because thats what it is. A hobby. Now some of you you reading this may get all worked up about it but lets take a step back for a minute and look at it from a business point of view.
You have your OWN BUSINESS and hard earned money -lets say- and you decide a good way to SPEND YOUR MONEY is advertise by sponsoring racers or an event. Lets just say you are tight on budget so you really NEED it to pay off with customer traffic. So, you put up maybe $5000 of your OWN MONEY! Now, 19 people show up. They do the race and then leave. How many times are YOU going to come back and give $5000 cash for that?
I love cycling and am a bigger fanatic about it than probably 99.9% of you on this website. However, I am a business person as well and objectively, cycling has lost its spectator appeal- except on a very high level- US Pro Cycling Challenge. I fall asleep trying to follow smaller races. Womens racing does have some appeal but it will never grow with 19 people showing up.
That being said, more events like The Yeti Beti event will do more for womens cycling and participation than any race from what I have studied. And I have studied it close from all angles. I dont pretend to know everything but I do know 'events' for women are expanding the numbers quickly because of the number participating and a general overall better attitude. Numbers rule the game of business. Thats the cold hard facts.

sponsorship for women's cycling

I'm so glad you don't sponsor women's cycling.
Your viewpoint leads me to believe you would have the women cycling in bikini's to get the numbers to justify watching a race. Sponsors like you--I wouldn't buy what you have to sell. Please let us know what business you own so we can make an informed decision where we put our dollars.

Get off your high horses...

When did it become about getting paid to enjoy your hobby? How many of you can honestly say that you started racing as a way to supplement your income? It's ridiculous. Everyone of you started racing because you liked riding and wanted to push yourself to get better. Unless you're the best of the best, you don't deserve to get paid. Let me say that again...you don't deserve to get paid.

I used to race and averaged about 20 races a year. I did it because I enjoyed competing and pushing myself. If I happened to make back my entry fee or get a little swag, I was stoked. I raced because I enjoyed racing...pure and simple. But, I couldn't take the negativity. You guys blame the promoters who spend their free time, their weekends, their time away from families putting on these races for you...FOR YOU. You've got it all wrong, you should be thanking them for the service they're providing, not bitching because you didn't make back $20 for coming in 8th place.

I now work in the cycling industry and review lots of sponsorship requests. You guys should all be embarrassed and ashamed. So many of you act like you deserve something...like you're doing something so special by showing up and riding around an office park for 35 minutes. Get off your high horses...all of you...men and women...and get back to just enjoying competing. You're not doing much for your "sponsors" by riding around an office park...you're just trying to look pro and it's maddening.

If you want to increase female participation, racing isn't going to do it. Sorry, that's reality and that's how a lot of companies feel in this day and age. The way to do it is through mentoring programs like the Yeti Beti Bike Bash and the Rebecca "Gold" Rusch Tour. I've seen them work and hope more and more similar programs spring up. I love women and I love seeing women riding bikes.

Seriously, all of your selfishness of me, me, me, money, money, money is doing no one any favors. So, please quit your complaining and take a good hard look in the mirror and ask yourself why you're really do it.

Fer God sakes, can we move

Fer God sakes, can we move on? We already decided that everybody, yes everybody includes women and juniors get NOTHING. Maybe cold shriveled hot dogs to the top 35+3 racers, but that's it!

You read the hot air in these

You read the hot air in these comments and then you read about something of actual significance that speaks louder than all the "experts" on women's cycling and promotion of bike events- An international women's specific stage race in Idaho with a $100,000 prize purse.

http://velonews.competitor.com/2012/04/news/olympic-selection-goes-throu...

I guess all these big time sponsors have been duped and will be pouring money down a rat hole. My wife and I will also be pouring money down a rat hole when we travel to watch the racing in Idaho. Why would these successful companies not see the "cold hard facts" that all of the experts have pointed out.

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