2013 Fort Follies Grand Prix.

Date: 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

32 Comments

Actually, it's a sad state of

Actually, it's a sad state of Women's racing in Colorado. But, there are about 16 hours to go for pre-reg and I'll bet they take walk-ups.

They have raised about $10,700 of their $15,000 goal.

CO men's racing at the top end isn't much better. Too many cats/classes, timed crits, little money at the top end, not a single NCC or NRC race, etc.

We are "saved" by the Cross Nationals.

I thought re-joining with

I thought re-joining with USuC was suppose to bring us lots of Senior Men Pro-1s and a NRC race or two. But since being re-assimilated numbers have gone down of both road races and road racers. Glad it's helping cross, soon that is all we will have left in Colorado.

The crit in FoCo is nothing

The crit in FoCo is nothing more than a poorly conceived attempt to appease the "equality for women racers" crowd. In reality, it should insult all women cyclists. While the "real" racers are out doing a "real" race, we let the girls ride around the block for awhile. You know, if we give them a little something, they'll be quiet and leave us alone.

It's like the women are a side show. We could just as easily bring out a bunch of buskers to entertain the crowds while we wait for the real excitement to happen.

Who's pointing the finger at who

I'm not sure if your statement is correct but lets say it is, who is to blame for the drop? BRAC for the categories, racers for not racing or putting down the $$$ when the race is great, USAC for failing to bring big domestic pro racing to Colorado, promoters for not providing a good product?

IMO it is all of the above

I think Whitney deserves

I think Whitney deserves credit for organizing a women's race in the first place since none of the promoters are doing it. The event is taking walk-ups, so I would expect a field well in excess of 30 women...and the race has attracted some of the best females in the country. The problem is that the event is times in conflict with a NCC event, meaning that many women will choose to race that event instead so as to acquire as many points as possible in the series.

Most promoters deserve big

Most promoters deserve big thumbs up. I bet dealing with the US PRO had its hurdles.

This is Crit is the biggest money race in CO. I don't follow all sports but certainly for Cycling.

Morgul Bismark had $2500/10 for the M P12. Fort Follies has $3000 for the winner alone.

If I am wrong then someone show me different.

I hope there's more than 30

I hope there's more than 30 women but history says otherwise. Check out the NRC 2006 Parker Mainstreet Omnium that Rick Garrick put on with $30K (if memory serves right)--I don't remember how much the women got but it was certainly one of my wife's biggest paydays. Fact of the matter is, as others have stated, there aren't a lot of 1/2 women in Colorado and women don't tend to travel here to race--it is what it is.

Hope the men can match it someday

As someone in this thread mentioned, Colorado racing is not government run, it is private. It was the promoter that is getting the prize list money.

So given how exciting men's racing really is I would hope that they could get a promoter to have a nice prize list like this race has. The only barrier to making this happen is not trying.

Women only make up 13% of

Women only make up 13% of bike racers.

http://www.usacycling.org/corp/demographics.php

Seems like other sports have a greater percentage like triathlons.

http://www.usatriathlon.org/about-multisport/demographics.aspx

Will this big money race actually get a field that has 50 racers?? I hope so.

I bet there is a sprint every other lap for points (sprinters prize) and primes.

Should be a good race.

I don't really have a horse

I don't really have a horse in the race but I don't understand the "equal payout" crowd. If women only make up 13% of the USAC membership, fields are always smaller and the racing is more exciting for the men why do they deserve an equal payout?
The cross and road races are funded by the men's entry fees since there are an overwhelming majority that are men. I guess I just don't get it. I'm sure the payout for winning an NBA championship is more then a WNBA championship and rightly so as the NBA drives vastly more revenue.
I see far more men out there buying bikes, wheels, helmets, shoes, garmins, etc. then I do women. So rightly the promoters and businesses should market to their target customers and reward them more heavily.
This is PRIVATE amateur or professinal racing....it is not a government run school where Title 9 applies.
I would love to see more women racing but the reality is paying more for the p-12 race is not going to drive more women to start out in the cat 4 race.

I do have a horse in the race

I do have a horse in the Fort Collins race, she is local Steamboat Springs racer Amy Charity and she has worked her ass off for two years to rise from amateur to pro status with the Vanderkitten team. Her dedication and commitment to training rivals most "pro" male racers I have ever met and her fan base in town exceeds any of the male racers we have. To tell someone like this who has put in that much effort that they are not going to get a respectable payout because "more women are not going to come out for the money" and "I see more men buying bikes, wheels.." is absurd. Who wouldn't be discouraged from trying to reach the highest level of cycling if you put in a ceiling because there are not enough people in the group!?

The pro women field at the Steamboat Stage Race is typically 20 to 30 riders smaller than the Pro men, but I can say with certainty as the promoter that our sponsors, spectators and local racers all want to see high level female racing, even if the field is only 20 riders. One high profile female racer like Jeannie Longo created as much publicity and traction with our sponsors as a number of the other amateur fields combined. Would Jeannie have come if we paid $500 instead of $2500? If I was a professional female and saw that, I would consider it an insult. And yes, watching a talented and competitive female race does drive more women, just like Amy, to try competitive cycling.

Is it a risk that the Pro 1-2 women's field might be 10 riders this year? Absolutely and we can adjust our prize purse accordingly, but I see a huge gain if we grab a few high profile ladies to come race in Steamboat. And equal payout alone may not leads to huge numbers of women rising to the pro ranks, but it is definitely a piece of what is needed.

Ok and great story! I am not

Ok and great story! I am not putting down her effort and hard work at all. However we live in the real world not one where everyone gets a participation medal. Just because I said I don't agree with equal payout doesn't equal me putting down her or any other woman. If you are a promoter and want to support equal payout then more power to you. If the free market does not support equal payouts at other races then it doesn't. I would be interested to know if Amy Charity started racing because she thought she could make money winning Crits? My guess is she started because she loved competing and it didn't matter what the prizes were when she was a Cat 4...
Now once you get to that level you make decisions on what to race based on payout and sponsor obligations and I completely understand that.
In fact I stay and cheer on Georgia , Katie and many others at every cross race I can and appreciate everything they do.

Uh, of course women's racing

Uh, of course women's racing attracts fewer racers and spectators, as sponsors and teams don't make the same monetary investments in women's racing. You can't expect to see the same size fields for women, who race professionally while holding down "real jobs," as you do for men who have salary guarantees, better sponsorships and time to do nothing but train. Women are in it for the love of the sport as opposed to making it a full-time job as is true for most of their male counterparts. And while men benefit from a multiplicity of development options and U-23 teams, women are challenged to find even PRO TEAMS willing to invest in them. If you want to attract women to the sport, you have to shell out the dough to make that a reality. And when they DO make it to the professional level? Earlier this year, several of my pro female counterparts and I chose to boycott the Iron Hill Crit on the east coast because we were relegated to a 40 minute race alongside the amateurs with a meager payout less than 10% that being offered the men. It's offensive, actually.

The real factors against

The real factors against womens' sports are : History, Tradition, Social Norms, and gender roles.

Cold Facts.

Everything else is secondary because of these.

You can not change these in just a few years if ever.

Women were not allowed to enter the Boston Marathon officially until 1972.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOGXvBAmTsY
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Marathon

Cycling is not the top American household sport.

Mens' and Womens' sports will never be "equal". I work for more athletic women though.

That is quite the gravy train

That is quite the gravy train then.

That is just insulting in the other direction too.

At least SSSR has a graded entry fee. Less fee, less prizes. Less prizes, less fees.

Wish I could get $500 for just showing up (FoCo). Just doesn't seem right.

Some races are a pure embarrassment when the women's fields are so small or even ONE and they get all the prizes.

Look at some of the BRAC races. 20 women over 6 fields with 1-2 people in some fields.

Where is the challenge and sportsmanship in that?

Promoters need to exercise the "right to cancel or combine fields if minimums are not meet".

Why not just give "Longo" an appearance payment?

Another thing....."we can adjust our prize purse accordingly" is wrong. Once you hit the USAC minimum field size you have to honor the "contract".

I am not following you on the

I am not following you on the just showing up to get $500 at foco? The Fort Collins race pays 15 deep and has 39 racers pre-registered, with a good number who are on professional teams. Is paying that amount of prize money to a field of 39 women really that unfair? A promoter is able to generate enough sponsorship to run a women's only race and you are crying unfair?

And I don't do appearance payments for Steamboat, but we do give comp entries and lodging incentives to riders, male or female, that we think will add value to our race. I know, crazy huh?

And you got me on the USAC default minimum field size, are you proposing we cancel or combine even further some of the fields? Because every year 75% of the feedback I get is regarding "too many combined fields" along with a threat that no one is going to race combined, regardless of their field size or ability level.

That is quite the gravy train

That is quite the gravy train then.

That is just insulting in the other direction too.

At least SSSR has a graded entry fee. Less fee, less prizes. Less prizes, less fees.

Wish I could get $500 for just showing up (FoCo). Just doesn't seem right.

Some races are a pure embarrassment when the women's fields are so small or even ONE and they get all the prizes.

Look at some of the BRAC races. 20 women over 6 fields with 1-2 people in some fields.

Where is the challenge and sportsmanship in that?

Promoters need to exercise the "right to cancel or combine fields if minimums are not meet".

Why not just give "Longo" an appearance payment?

Another thing....."we can adjust our prize purse accordingly" is wrong. Once you hit the USAC minimum field size you have to honor the "contract".

Equal money should be defined

Equal money should be defined this way:

Equal base pay plus equal percentage of racers in field.

If equal is defined by base pay only, then my incentive is to race in the small fields of 15 that pay 20 deep. By defining equal with an equal base AND an equal percentage, no one of either sex can complain about not receiving equal pay and ALL have an incentive to recruit other riders to their field.

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