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Two skinny J's
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Will it happen? I'll be surprised if it does I do however think by July it should be safe to run this race. I can hear the naysayers already but that's not what this is about.

I saw this article this morning and the the Article title is "Cancel the 2020 Tour De France- And Fix it for Good"

Got my attention and I know what I was generally thinking when I saw that title. The contents caught me off guard and not ready for the article. They waste no time getting to the point.
"Instead of figuring out what to do about the 2020 race, organizers should start planning for next year and use the opportunity to finally create a true women's Tour de France."

I was like ok, here we go again. I actually like the idea of a womens complete TDF and this guy presents a pretty legit way to accomplish it. It seems to me that sponsorship money has been the biggest pitfall for the women meaning not being paid well enough to make it a
career, not that the average guy is making a killing either as a general rule in the sport.

As for pay I think says it all.
A very important difference between men’s and women’s bike racing is the relative cost of building and managing a team. The typical budget for a men’s WT team averages somewhere between 15 to 25 million euros. For a men’s Pro Continental team, a typical annual budget ranges between two and four million euros. In comparison, the typical budget for a top-level women’s team is only around 1.7 to 2.5 million euros.

As everybody in cycling knows money as compared to football and basketball players pay is ridiculous. I mean we have quarterbacks whose 1 year salary could run en entire WT team. I personally have a great loathing for teams that pay that kind of money to an individual athlete...sorry I digress.

I did see this in another article tho that is an interesting stat.
ProCyclingStats has noted that when major men’s and women’s races are combined, the results of the men’s race get five times more clicks. However, a top women’s team can currently be run for only 10% of the cost of a comparable men’s team.

Both of those statements came from this article :
https://www.velonews.com/events/the-outer-line-the-best-has-yet-to-come-for-womens-pro-cycling/


I think I like this [art of the article best.
The Broadcast
Part of what makes the Tour so dramatic is the diversity of the stages: bunch sprints, mountaintop finishes, time trials! Each stage is a puzzle piece, and assembling them into an overall victory is equal parts luck, strategy, strength, and teamwork. At the same time, if we’re to be totally honest, this same diversity is what can make large portions of the race so mindnumbingly boring For every sprint you find yourself rewinding 13 times, or HC climb that has you teetering on the edge of your La-Z-Boy, there are hours and hours of transitional stages during which some rider you never heard of goes off on a doomed breakaway and you fall promptly to sleep.

But with concurrent men’s and women’s races you can reduce the boredom factor exponentially. There are always unpredictable moments of drama in the race, but for the most part we know which stages will be decisive and which will be dull. With this in mind, planning the broadcast for each stage is a simple matter of flip-flopping between them. What if, while the men were pedaling lazily along before a backdrop of castle porn and corny roadside art installations, you could switch it over to the women’s race, where they’re storming up the Mont Ventoux? Or what if you could watch the women’s team time trial in the morning, and then follow that up with an explosive mens’ sprint stage in the afternoon? After the first week of a gender-equal Tour de France you’d be wondering why they haven’t been doing this all along, and you’d realize that every race before this has been like listening to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with one speaker disconnected.

Also, don’t forget the Tour de France generally includes two rest days. If you stagger those, that creates four days where full focus is on either the men’s or the women’s race. If that’s not enough, add one more rest day to each race and you’ve got six days of exclusive coverage, three for each field.

Read the entire article here. It's not meant to be a greatly detailed piece but rather grabs some ideas and get on with it.
https://www.outsideonline.com/24115...mk7bDoZpGnPP67yUCqrvNzYTfuilNTwGAVMUCVk#close


So what's your take could it work? I think so and I like the idea f the format presented in the article as well.
 
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Oh, now you’ve done it.

I cannot guarantee that you have created an avalanche of bland, ill-considered text …. But get your hard hat anyway.

First, I really like women’s racing and watch it when I can …. Which isn’t often because it is rarely broadcast, and when it is, it is before the men’s race which already lasts several hours … I am not getting up at dark-thirty every day to watch the first race, simply because I need to sleep.

I wish there was women’s cycling more like there is women’s tennis---or even women’s soccer, which is unfortunately still small but at least it is televised. (There is also women’s cricket and Aussie-rules football---great stuff when one can find it,)

But …. The money is based on sponsorship, which is in part based on interest. Sure, if it were promoted more, maybe more people would watch … but sponsors don’t go by hope, they go be ratings, and if people don’t watch women’s cycling when it is on, sponsors won’t pay for it.

Two related points: One, yes, it disgusts me that pro athletes in this country can make gigantic salaries while teachers have to buy their own class supplies. However, it is all about income potential … sponsors expect that they can make X millions of dollars via exposure by hiring athletes, so it makes sense to puff up the media importance of those athletes via media coverage---basically, make a gravy train to nowhere out of nothing and everyone jumps on board. And so long as Nike thinks people will buy Air Jordans ….. People are willing to pay teams megabucks for TV rights and licensing fees, because they can then make megabucks selling the star, the jersey, the bobble-head …..

It is a sign of the moral emptiness of our society, but economically it makes sense.

This leads to point Two: not a lot of people watch women’s soccer, despite the USA having one of the best squads in the world. Even fewer people watch women’s soccer leagues, despite the same players who compete in the Olympics, competing in those leagues.

So … sponsors aren’t offering lucrative promo deals, and networks aren’t as willing to pay big bucks to air the matches …..

(By the way, I know all this stuff is common knowledge… I am just a pedantic ass.)

Tennis is slightly different because there are fewer “stars” to promote, and only two at a time are on court, so it is easier to sell that personality-cult product. Everyone knows who Serena is (that Tex-Mex singer, right? Or was that Salome?) but nobody knows who plays defender on some Women’s Pro Soccer League (or whatever they call themselves nowadays) squad.

Women’s cycling is even less popular, and as with all cycling events, most of every race or stage tends to be boring …. “They are pedaling, there they go, turning the pedals, and now they are making the pedals go around …” Two hours of waiting for one Cat 3 climb or the one intermediate sprint. Add to that that only fans know who any of the riders are ….

It is great to demand equally pay for women riders, but pointless. The riders generate they money from which they are paid, and women riders generate less money. In tennis, the purses can be the same … but the purses are trivial compared to endorsement deals.

Tennis players don’t have a “salary.” They get appearance money and such, if they finish well. And they play only when they choose. Cyclists need to support the team and race whenever the team races, so they need a salary—but the money isn’t there to pay them a very good salary (not that it is there for the least-known riders on some men’s squads, as Rola643 notes.)

Some of the suggestions mentioned in the excerpt above …. If the men’s and women’s races were broadcast simultaneously …. Then there would have to be Two networks willing to devote long hours of airtime to a sport of questionable appeal. Here in the U.S. there aren’t a lot of networks fighting over the rights to cycling events. In fact, because NBCSN can’t cut the right deal, the Giro is never televised at all—one of three Grands Tours, and it is ignored.

Even if both races were broadcast simultaneously …. Likely both would have dull parts at the same time. Great to imagine that one would be dull and the other exciting …. But that isn’t how cycling works. The viewer has to bring a lot of interest to get through the inevitable dull periods. And also, if I am watching one race, I am generally not wanting to be jumping between channels to see what else is on.

Further, the races would need to be staggered carefully, because a lot of viewers would be pissed off if both finished at the same time---or one finished at the key juncture of the other race. Do I want to watch the sprint finish I have waited three hours to see---or do I watch the decisive climb of the other race?

Having two races in one day …. That is six or seven hours of cycling, and unless one is single and childless, or watches at work … who has time?

This is a thorny problem. I wish I had a solution because I would like to have twice as much cycling to watch. But it is a chicken-egg sort of thing: without a lot of exposure cyclists won’t be stars, and without star power cyclists won’t draw viewers or get endorsement deals, which won’t generate the money needed to buy big exposure and pay big salaries …..

Anyway …. Whatever. This will continue to play out for a while yet, and it will be interesting to watch …. If any of it gets televised. :)
 

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Why not run them together?!
Or, if that would be just too many at once, split them by an hour or two.

I’ll likely get slapped around for doing this but that never stopped me from stating the obvious before......

There’s something to be said for women cyclists and what they could bring to that event. Other than their ability on a bike they have a tremendous appeal to the male television audience.....

Clothing Bicycle Tire Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Wheel


Bicycle Bicycle helmet Wheel Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Tire


Bicycle Wheel Tire Land vehicle Bicycles--Equipment and supplies


Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Bicycle helmet Photograph Microphone Shorts


Bicycle helmet Smile Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Helmet Sports equipment


Bicycle Water Bicycle helmet Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Sky


Bicycle Bicycle helmet Tire Land vehicle Bicycles--Equipment and supplies


Bicycle Bicycle helmet Tire Bicycle jersey Bicycles--Equipment and supplies


Bicycle Footwear Bicycle helmet Face Bicycles--Equipment and supplies


Clothing Bicycle helmet Glasses Smile Sports uniform


Bicycle Tire Sky Wheel Bicycles--Equipment and supplies


Bicycle Footwear Sky Wheel Bicycles--Equipment and supplies


Bicycle Hair Wheel Tire Bicycles--Equipment and supplies


Water Bicycle wheel Sky Wheel Dress


Bicycle Face Hair Bicycle helmet Bicycles--Equipment and supplies


Water Bicycle helmet Bicycles--Equipment and supplies Helmet Cloud


Bicycle Bicycle helmet Wheel Tire Bicycles--Equipment and supplies


While I did slip in a few oddities, these all represent real female cyclists and true and marketable athletes or images.

Yes, I’d love to see them riding the same course at the same time or females starting before the men, so they’d be finished about 15-30 min before the men.

For more than just sex appeal, this would draw more people to watch “The Tour” period. That translates directly into more money for cycling and better products for us.
 

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I've always wondered why they didn't do something like that. I know it has been attempted in unofficial pre-race rides, etc.

As a person who rides with women quite a bit in a group ride setting as well as casually with my wife - not only is the 'sex appeal' something that may bring in viewers (male and female in some cases) but women can be just as much of beasts as dudes can, which makes for interesting viewing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've always wondered why they didn't do something like that. I know it has been attempted in unofficial pre-race rides, etc.

As a person who rides with women quite a bit in a group ride setting as well as casually with my wife - not only is the 'sex appeal' something that may bring in viewers (male and female in some cases) but women can be just as much of beasts as dudes can, which makes for interesting viewing.
Absolutely agree and we can start right here as @fpl1 girl is fast and quiet good rider. Locally there is a handful of ladies that race and they will hurt you ( well at least me :D) on those shop rides.
 

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One question have women pros sought out riding Le Tour ?

sounds like a dumb question on the surface but seriously how many pro women want to do it? if we take the current races and look women's events are less days and km then men's take the Giro for example.

it seems to me that if the Tour has a women's event it might be less days and or less km per day. I can't speak for the women's pro peloton but it seems they have not asked for the women's races to be equal to the men's. payout excluded. again the Giro de Italia is an example of less km and less days for the women's race.

I would love see the women have version of Le Tour but think it should be separate from the men. mostly because if done at the same time riders like Sagan will still garner all the attention from media vs if the event is separate the fast women can get proper coverage.

also the fact is women are not actually at the pro level as fast as the men. look at breakaway numbers and it is clear a woman could not hang on in a breakaway group. simply look at watt to weight ratio numbers. this is not to say fast women can not hang with fast men at the amateur level of cycling. but at the top level the guys are faster and by a fair margain. look at Strava segments and the QOM is typically not even close to the KOM for heavily ridden road segments.

glad to see interest in women's cycling!! =)
also I do not think a mixed race is a bad thing. just maybe not on an event as tough as Le Tour
 

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as for salary. honestly cycling is awesome. that said why any pro cyclist makes a lot baffles me. how many bikes does even big names like Sagan sell? or wait a second his largest sponsor or salary payer isn't even a bike company. they are pretty lucky to get what they get in my opinion. I do believe Trek sold some bikes because of Lance but for the most part sponsors paying pro cyclist probably never even come close to getting their investment back.

podium payouts should be equal but outside that it should be up to the sponsors as what they see a riders value to be. after all a pro can turn down an offer and get a job at Wendy's and pay for their own racing. sorry to sound harsh but really no one has to race a bicycle and signing a contract is a choice.

other pro athletes sell out stadiums for owners who get rich and thus over pay to try to have jersey and seat sells increase. I guarantee more people have spent money to see Tom Brady throw an odd shaped ball than see Yates finish a Tour stage. anyone know Adams jersey number from last year's tour without using Google? anyone know Brady's number from his last Superbowl? obviously I kinda cheated there as Tom always has the same number and it is known by more people than just a time keeper. regardless the point is, yes pro throwers of balls get more cash than pro peddle spinners but to be fair it is the choice of those who pay them and if a cyclist wants football money he or she should have trained to toss a ball instead of spinning a crank.

kinda the whole teachers are underpaid thing. be a pastry chef instead then. we all have the ability to find out what a field pays before we train for the job. once we are qualified we still have the option to turn down contracts. basically taking a gig then complaining it pays poorly is silly to me.

as a woman I can say without a doubt women who are paid to ride a bike are actually over paid not under paid. I doubt a single person I know can say in honesty that a pro woman cyclist was ever the root cause of money they spent. excluding if someone has a daughter who races and they paid for her kit before sponsors took on the burden. my point being as much as I love cycling and love watching pro races especially women, I do not know what benefits any company has in sponsoring them individually. sadly if I owned any business other than a bike or bike industry company I would never sponsor cycling. it just does not in my opinion have a benefit to the sponsors. I love the sport and am glad companies sponsor it but really can't figure out how it pays off for them. team sky was as famous as a cycling team gets and quite frankly in many cases this hurt Sky reputation wise. I am not sure it was ever anything more than tax right off for them.
 

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No reason to think women couldn't train to ride 21 stages. Obviously they will not be as fast as the men, but that is the whole point of women's cycling---a platform where women who want to race bikes can compete against each other.
I don't know if women riders want a 21-stage race as a whole ... but until they make enough money for more of them to train and ride full time, and until there is a reason to train to ride a 21-stage race, I guess they would not.

I would expect the stages to be shorter, which would be tough because the finish lines cannot be moved (timing, transfers to the next stage, etc) and for mountain stages, there is no way to move mountains .... so the women might need different start lines ..... or if they were to ride the full men's courses, they would have to be given a Lot more time.

On the other hand, women marathoners seem to run 26 miles no problem, and women triathletes still compete in and complete Ironmans, so .....
 

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kinda the whole teachers are underpaid thing. be a pastry chef instead then.
i take EXTREME exception to this.

perhaps you think pastry chefs matter as much as teachers? Perhaps you have no children, or your children are old enough that you haven't been home-schooling them this past month?

Teaching is a very hard job and Much more than a job---it is a calling. People who want to make money don't teach---and people who really want to teach are incredibly important to the structure of society. Teachers Are underpaid, because greedy politicians know that only some people are willing to do the job, but also that those people generally really care about educating children. But .... no teachers, no doctors. No teachers, no bikes. No teachers no carbon fiber, no new frame designs .... no design and no construction.


No teachers, no internet. No Moon landing, No cars, no airlines. Do you really think a bunch of kids could be thrown into a room with a pastry chef and learn to do anything but make frosting and batter? We are freaking Lucky that there are people who will put up with the long hours, the bureaucratic BS, and the lack of supplies and support. You want to live in Somalia? One generation without teachers and we are there.

No, I am not a teacher .... but I see how this nation has suffered because of substandard and politicized education, and I understand that most parents are too busy, or simply insufficiently educated, to actually teach children what they need to know.

You do realize that the entire concept of the United States as a representative republic is based on the idea of an educated electorate, right?

/rant off. Let us return to our regularly scheduled programming.
 

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No reason to think women couldn't train to ride 21 stages. Obviously they will not be as fast as the men, but that is the whole point of women's cycling---a platform where women who want to race bikes can compete against each other.
I don't know if women riders want a 21-stage race as a whole ... but until they make enough money for more of them to train and ride full time, and until there is a reason to train to ride a 21-stage race, I guess they would not.

I would expect the stages to be shorter, which would be tough because the finish lines cannot be moved (timing, transfers to the next stage, etc) and for mountain stages, there is no way to move mountains .... so the women might need different start lines ..... or if they were to ride the full men's courses, they would have to be given a Lot more time.

On the other hand, women marathoners seem to run 26 miles no problem, and women triathletes still compete in and complete Ironmans, so .....
actually that could be benefit? maybe, shorter stage with same finish is pretty much what could work.

I think the women could do the number of stages and even the miles of course. I personally have done quite a few of the famous Tour climbs having grown up in France. of course not ridden them as fast as pro women would but point is they of course can do the stages.

there may be no need shorten anything. I think the reason women ride shorter stages is much like why they play less sets in tennis a time issue. if women ride slower even if only one or two mph then a 120 mile stage takes a fair bit longer on the bike which even at a slower pace more time in the saddle creates more fatigue.

in the end the women should have a tour and I think we all agree on that. now just the formatting remains. really I don't know how that would work best but would like to see it. a lot of amateur coed events have a mixed mass start and are awesome! for example dirty kanza has a mixed gender mass start. works great.
 

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SprocketGirl .... I wonder what women's cycling could learn from women's tennis?

i doubt Peter Sagan sells many bikes .... but people tune in to watch him race, and all the companies which sponsor the race broadcast get their commercials in front of a ton of people because those people want to see Sagan race---or whoever their favorites are, or just to watch the race. ( I know I used to watch Cycling on Eurovision and one of the prime sponsors was some Italian cook-top or range or range hood which sucked vapors into the stove top ... I don't listen to commercials, so I am not clear, but that was usually one of the commercials that aired at each break. Pretty sure Sagan wasn't the appeal.)

The question is, could women's cycling be promoted the way women's tennis was (or women's golf) where stars were created and promoted and made into stars by being presented as stars ... until they became stars.

As I mentioned above it is a chicken/egg thing. Someone has to put up the money to get the ball rolling to generate enough money to get the ball rolling. But it did work with women's tennis.

Part of the problem might be that many sports fans are male, and women on a soccer field or in a peloton don't look sexy because they are tiny. Part of it is the mentality that "men are better at sports" which ignores the reality that within certain limits .... each person in that bracket is good or not. (After all a heavyweight boxer is not Better than a lightweight boxer, but the lightweight wouldn't survive most of the time.)

You say you would never sponsor women's cycling. Fair enough. (I have to say though, that your apparent misunderstanding of sponsorship, e.g that Peter Sagan was used primarily to sell bikes---makes me doubt that your expertise in general. Insurance companies, investment businesses, and banks sponsor golf .... not because Tiger Wood uses that insurance company or that bank or invests with that broker, but because people who Might use those services watch Tiger Wood play golf.)

I am sure that in the 1950s people would never sponsor women's golf or tennis as stand-alone sports. Things change---and this conversation is about how to change things. Right now women's cycling attracts a smaller audience, which means it has less sponsor appeal and generate less income However, women's sports in general are that way---with a few very big exceptions. And those exceptions exist because the athletes and some supporters decided to mount a campaign to increase the awareness of and interest in, and thus the purses and sponsorship opportunities for, athletes in those sports.

I am sure that women's tennis in the pre-Billie Jean King era generated a lot of conversations like this one .... and to me it is sort of silly to say that tennis could do it but cycling cannot. To me the interesting discussion is what specific hurdles do women in these sports face, and how can they be overcome, so that more women's sports can have the same stature vis-visd men's sports that tennis does?
 

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actually that could be benefit? maybe, shorter stage with same finish is pretty much what could work.

I think the women could do the number of stages and even the miles of course. I personally have done quite a few of the famous Tour climbs having grown up in France. of course not ridden them as fast as pro women would but point is they of course can do the stages.

there may be no need shorten anything. I think the reason women ride shorter stages is much like why they play less sets in tennis a time issue. if women ride slower even if only one or two mph then a 120 mile stage takes a fair bit longer on the bike which even at a slower pace more time in the saddle creates more fatigue.

in the end the women should have a tour and I think we all agree on that. now just the formatting remains. really I don't know how that would work best but would like to see it. a lot of amateur coed events have a mixed mass start and are awesome! for example dirty kanza has a mixed gender mass start. works great.
I wish I had read this response before I wrote the long screed that followed it.

I agree that the issue is the details, not the basic idea of letting the women have more prominence in the sport.
 

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i take EXTREME exception to this.

perhaps you think pastry chefs matter as much as teachers? Perhaps you have no children, or your children are old enough that you haven't been home-schooling them this past month?

Teaching is a very hard job and Much more than a job---it is a calling. People who want to make money don't teach---and people who really want to teach are incredibly important to the structure of society. Teachers Are underpaid, because greedy politicians know that only some people are willing to do the job, but also that those people generally really care about educating children. But .... no teachers, no doctors. No teachers, no bikes. No teachers no carbon fiber, no new frame designs .... no design and no construction.


No teachers, no internet. No Moon landing, No cars, no airlines. Do you really think a bunch of kids could be thrown into a room with a pastry chef and learn to do anything but make frosting and batter? We are freaking Lucky that there are people who will put up with the long hours, the bureaucratic BS, and the lack of supplies and support. You want to live in Somalia? One generation without teachers and we are there.

No, I am not a teacher .... but I see how this nation has suffered because of substandard and politicized education, and I understand that most parents are too busy, or simply insufficiently educated, to actually teach children what they need to know.

You do realize that the entire concept of the United States as a representative republic is based on the idea of an educated electorate, right?

/rant off. Let us return to our regularly scheduled programming.
I did not intend to mean teachers are not underpaid. I was raised by one. my thought is more that they know the pay before they go into the field. I agree they should be paid more but taking the job then complaining makes me ponder ones ability to make sound choice and qualifications to educate. meaning, yes politicians are poor at best and teachers deserve more money. however, if the electoral process is based on education and politicians see no importance in paying teachers or education this would in turn be the failure of educators. (that is kinda a joke, I think)

again, I did not mean offend anyone as I see huge value in education and think teachers are underpaid. the point was more along the concept that if one is in a field of work and thinks they deserve more money they are infact in that equal to many. I know very few people regardless of field who say they are paid what they should be. sometimes in written form English is tricky in conveying ones thought to others. Educators deserve more money and while I believe it is a calling to most some are just in it for a paycheck just like most all fields of employment there are good and bad people. I chose the two fields (baker and teacher) on purpose because obviously one has a much greater value to society. Though I imagine many in both feel underappreciated as this is part of the human condition. In the end both are probably undervalued at times and underpaid. my point was actually not made well which is, pro cyclist in many cases are paid more than people who are far more important to society (such as teachers, or even a pastry chef). we all have free will and calling or otherwise do not have to work for any pay scale, we can even not work at all if chose. there are typically positive consequences for positive choices and negative consequences for negative choices. thus not working may lead to hunger and cold but it is still an option. while I personally value a teacher over a cyclist, football player, or baker on a pay scale. it seems not matter as value is based on perception and in the end salary paid by someone who makes a valuation of one's asset to society or corporation. I do not determine pay scale but just the same stand by my thought that a teacher should know what teaching pays long before they sign the first contract they are offered. if seeking more money quite simply seek a different field. this does not mean we as society should not change who is best compensated. more so that few in modern times or at least in our society are forced to do anything for pay. yet oddly all or near all are forced to do something for pay.

back on point if women cyclist have financial value beyond what they are being paid then they as a group should demand more and stop pedalling. in the end by pushing things a bit I hit a nerve. see teachers are underpaid cyclist are most likely in nearly every case overpaid for what they do, while in my humble opinion it is the grandest of all accomplishments, it is also not actually worth a single dime to society. a guy or gal paid to ride a bike is pretty darn fortunate such silly endeavours as sport receive any compensation at all. is there gender equality in sports? hmmm not sure we want equality of any measure in sports at all. after all podiums are to show we as humans are not equal. a woman in the peloton can demand be salaried equal to Sagan and her team could demand she equal his fame off the bike and riding on it. after all that would be true equality. of course if there was true equality in cycling there would be no gaps or breakaways or dropped riders on mountain passes. in the end if everyone pedalled a cycle in equal manner we wouldn't even have need for races.

sorry to create debate, it is in my nature to see things from an odd angle. quite fairly it probably is the result of privilege and possibly education. I assure all, that I agree with everything you wrote. educators are a blessing to the world. maybe second to whoever first decided one could pedal a pair of wheels about.
 

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SprocketGirl .... I wonder what women's cycling could learn from women's tennis?

i doubt Peter Sagan sells many bikes .... but people tune in to watch him race, and all the companies which sponsor the race broadcast get their commercials in front of a ton of people because those people want to see Sagan race---or whoever their favorites are, or just to watch the race. ( I know I used to watch Cycling on Eurovision and one of the prime sponsors was some Italian cook-top or range or range hood which sucked vapors into the stove top ... I don't listen to commercials, so I am not clear, but that was usually one of the commercials that aired at each break. Pretty sure Sagan wasn't the appeal.)

The question is, could women's cycling be promoted the way women's tennis was (or women's golf) where stars were created and promoted and made into stars by being presented as stars ... until they became stars.

As I mentioned above it is a chicken/egg thing. Someone has to put up the money to get the ball rolling to generate enough money to get the ball rolling. But it did work with women's tennis.

Part of the problem might be that many sports fans are male, and women on a soccer field or in a peloton don't look sexy because they are tiny. Part of it is the mentality that "men are better at sports" which ignores the reality that within certain limits .... each person in that bracket is good or not. (After all a heavyweight boxer is not Better than a lightweight boxer, but the lightweight wouldn't survive most of the time.)

You say you would never sponsor women's cycling. Fair enough. (I have to say though, that your apparent misunderstanding of sponsorship, e.g that Peter Sagan was used primarily to sell bikes---makes me doubt that your expertise in general. Insurance companies, investment businesses, and banks sponsor golf .... not because Tiger Wood uses that insurance company or that bank or invests with that broker, but because people who Might use those services watch Tiger Wood play golf.)

I am sure that in the 1950s people would never sponsor women's golf or tennis as stand-alone sports. Things change---and this conversation is about how to change things. Right now women's cycling attracts a smaller audience, which means it has less sponsor appeal and generate less income However, women's sports in general are that way---with a few very big exceptions. And those exceptions exist because the athletes and some supporters decided to mount a campaign to increase the awareness of and interest in, and thus the purses and sponsorship opportunities for, athletes in those sports.

I am sure that women's tennis in the pre-Billie Jean King era generated a lot of conversations like this one .... and to me it is sort of silly to say that tennis could do it but cycling cannot. To me the interesting discussion is what specific hurdles do women in these sports face, and how can they be overcome, so that more women's sports can have the same stature vis-visd men's sports that tennis does?
greatest point ever!

yes a female cycling star is near a must to put the sport on the map.

I agree also that I am not actually qualified to determine the value of sponsoring sports or cycling. I also agree that name recognition is the point of sponsorship. I was thinking few people watch cycling (compared to other sports). it just does not spectate well for one thing. and even of those who watch most watch the guys. therefore as a sponsorship opportunity it seems a gamble.

a look at Instagram tells me Puck Moonen has more followers than Emma Pooley who host gcn and is a former world champion. Puck however is unusually pretty and a great cyclist with amazing personality and charm. she is witty and manages her social media exceptionally well. she actually is a better contract for a sponsor. wait, Pooley has won tons more cycling events. this goes along with what you penned about star power. in that everyone knows Tiger Woods, Maria Sharapova, Tom Brady and few know the two cyclists I just named. a smart sponsor would take Pucks pretty face and let her be a star. though it would be easier if she won. as Sharapova is a beauty but what I recall most was seeing her win Wimbledon with thundering serves and lack of play at the net. also a very consistent backhand that I have unsuccessful tried to imitate. could be that she is nearly a foot taller than myself or possibly she practiced more ;P .

anyhow, I totally agree with what you wrote.
 

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Well guess I gotta opine too. Good passionate discussion above with no one calling anybody else a bad name etc - ha.

Personally I would also watch women’s racing. The closest anyone has come to doing men’s and women’s was tour of California....and they didn’t make it. Tour of Flanders does both in a very cycling crazy country.

Here’s the deal - all pro sports are a business. Many have different models but most are organized by owners of teams who bound together and formed a league for their mutual benefit. Secondly Some sports that are not team based like golf/tennis are obviously different. They have individual tournaments that are owned my someone or some entity and they try and make money and a profit by creating a purse that players can compete for the prize money but sell tickets and sponsorships to fund the purse and cost of holding the event. But again no salary commitment to any players. Thirdly you have cycling. Almost all the money Is made by the race organizers (race owners). Most teams break even after paying salaries etc. if they are lucky. Currently there is no reason for these owners to give away more money. Hello ASO. They are a cash machine. Another challenge is main revenue source for these races is tv licensing and sponsorships. No tickets, no skyboxes, no concessions, etc. Until the riders band together like the PGA, LPGA, ATP etc did none of that will change. That’s how things changed in those sports and prize money began to increase substantially. However those sports have built in revenue streams that cycling doesn’t have.

Also women’s tennis only pays equal pay in the 4 majors and the Palm Springs tournament (which is owned by Larry Ellison - one of the richest dudes in world who can afford it).

It would take some big stars like a Sagan, Froome, Bernal etc to organize them better.

Anyways - trying to type all this in an iPhone and remain coherent.

Just think it’s hard to make comparisons with all these other pro sports. One think I do know is you can always follow the money if you want to see changes.

I write all this as someone who is constantly reminded that his girl is soo much stronger on a bike than he is.
 
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