Coffee Talk - Increasing Exposure for Professional Women's Cycling

Women's cycling has grown in the past 10 years right? I see and know more women cyclists now than ever before and rides like Venus de Miles and area women's only-ish cycling clubs seem to be exploding around the Front Range but the 2012 Pro Cycling Challenge will not be entertaining a women's field like in the days of the Red Zinger or HP International Cycling Challenge... elite level women's cycling is not matching this growth. The co-founder of Cervelo has an interesting suggestion for raising exposure for women's cycling, Make it mandatory for every WorldTour race to also organize a women’s race. Also on the same article, a commenter going by the name of "Connie" (hey, I think I know a famous cycling Connie) explains the history of women's cycling at the Red Zinger and death of it at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

Gauging from comments we got from a similar topic a few months ago on Measuring the Growth of Cycling, many comments stated that it was not role models that drove their passion for cycling but good venues and support from the cycling community. But we ARE influenced by role models, so it begs the question, how do women cycling role models influence our community?

Interview with CyclePassion Models... not the pin-up vid

But other groups are also trying to get more exposure to women's cycling and one of those is Cycle Passion. Cycle Passion is a provocative women's cycling calendar turning 12 of the top women's cyclists into "Cycling Goddesses". In the video above some of the models in the calendar speak of why they signed on to be a model and it's value.

Coffee Talk is my chance to rant and your chance to chime in. What do you think it will take to propel the popularity of professional women's cycling to that of what it was 20-30 years ago? (days of Red Zinger) That sounds weird, has women's cycling improved or gone downhill.... I guess it is how you spin the numbers and your end goal, right?

News Item: 

37 Comments

you could pretty much make

you could pretty much make the same argument for Katie Compton. She used to CRUSH the SM3 field (and go on to win SW Open later in the day) and held her own the Senior MEN Open on a number of occasions. And she's only gotten better since that time.

Sadly, that has also made her races a little less interesting to watch in the states. The first few times I saw Katie crush the women field, it was amazing. After a while, it got to be a little boring. Except for Katerina Nash. Nash makes it exciting and she's just as good as Katie. And it doesn't hurt that she is smokin'

Saying someone is talented

Saying someone is talented and more talented than someone else is not degrading.

Fabian Cancellara is more talented than almost every cyclist, man or woman, if you feel degraded by this, I feel sorry for you.

There are always athletes better and faster, sometimes they are men, sometimes women.

Yes...the best men are better

Yes...the best men are better than the best women...but in golf, you have to be an awfully good golfer to beat the best women. The majority of men cannot do this.

Running is an easy one. The best men run a 2:0? marathon, the best women run 2:2?. How many men who run can run sub 2:2?. Not many when you look at the total amount of men competing in a marathon.

Golf

wtf does this have to do with promoting womens cycling?

I LOVE watching women's Crits/Cross for a bunch of reasons including one that apparently shouldn't be mentioned (but by and large is accurate :) and if that makes me a pig well... ...guilty) but mostly because I love the competition.

What I think sucks for the ladies is that unless you're over 35, you go straight from training wheels to racing against near pro's. That can't be a lot of fun. I race 4's and if I upgraded, there's no way in hell I'd make it more than 3 laps before Danny Summerhill's wake knocked me off the course. I suppose some of that issue is self-fulfilling in that the women who have upgraded stop racing at some point and when less than 10 show up for a particular field, I don't blame promoters for not devoting precious time slots for the sparsely attended categories. (not sure that run on sentence makes any sense but screw it)

In regards to GOLF, it's not an apples to apples comparison, Men play longer courses by far and to no surprise if you look on the LPGA/PGA sites on average Men drive the ball over 20yds further than the longest hitting woman. Most of the other stats demonstrate that it is a completely different game.

Promoting women's

Promoting women's cycling...

This has to do with promoting women's cycling because without talent/demand what is there to promote. Why are we not promoting Cat 35 4 Stages races...there is huge demand. lots of competition and maybe some talent.

Women have to race against the pros when they upgrade from Cat 4 to Cat 3 because there is no competition and a limited talent pool to field Cat 3 races.

Can anyone answer what the reasons are to promote women's cycling besides they may or may not look cute in their kits? Any reason that can be said about women's cycling that is above and beyond promoting a cat 3 men's event gets bonus points.

different demographic for

different demographic for sponsors to target and sell merchandise/products. at the end of the day, this is why professional sports exist. to make money.

promoting a men's 3 event does not bring in a largely different demographic. promoting a women's race does. at least has more potential to.

that is why women's teams have sponsors like Luna and men's teams have sponsors like Clif Bar.

personally, all this talk of growing women's cycling is pretty pointless. women know it exists. you can see that b/c of rides like Venus De Miles. Riders are out there, they just don't want to bike race. A LOT of them do triathlons b/c it's perceived as less threatening (most women I talk to are scared of coming in last or not being fit enough. guys just have a new category made up for them :) ) and less dangerous.

Pages