Why no coverage of womens cycling?

by fred22   July 5, 2012  

I'm pretty sure its one of the major races in the season for women yet road cc doesn't seem to have noticed.
?

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posted by fred22 [206 posts]
5th July 2012 - 9:38

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Ladies road racing can be almost as exciting as the men.

I cannot understand why the media coverage of the womens prestigious road races are not televised? Also the cycling magazines do not report on these events in great detail.

Ladies cycling is certainly becoming far more popular; and needs to be publicised a lot more.

posted by Mostyn [387 posts]
5th July 2012 - 9:52

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Less TV coverage and mainstream media coverage means it's much more difficult for other media outlets to cover the races.

I imagine that whoever writes the road.cc TdF reviews will be sat watching them on Eurosport or ITV4, if the Girro Donne isn't on the TV how is a smaller outlet without the budget for dedicated correspondents supposed to cover it? Just copy and paste stories from larger outlets?

It's a cycle that's difficult to break, smaller media outlets are important for building interest but they can't cover the sport without the larger outlets, and the larger outlets won't fork out for coverage unless there's a market there which requires interest, which the smaller outlets can't build...

Without someone akin to Mark Cavendish "breaking" the women's sport in mainstream british media I doubt that things will change any time soon. Just look at how long it's taken women's football to get into a position where their games are on TV (and even then very rarely).

Hopefully people watch the women's road race at the Olympics and that kick starts the process of moving towards more popularity and coverage.

posted by drheaton [3350 posts]
5th July 2012 - 10:02

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Mostyn wrote:
Ladies road racing can be almost as exciting as the men.

I cannot understand why the media coverage of the womens prestigious road races are not televised? Also the cycling magazines do not report on these events in great detail.

Ladies cycling is certainly becoming far more popular; and needs to be publicised a lot more.


I agree with your whole comment aside from 'can be almost'. This is where the problem lies. It IS as exciting as mens' racing.

posted by folgesvenn [2 posts]
5th July 2012 - 10:28

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drheaton wrote:
Less TV coverage and mainstream media coverage means it's much more difficult for other media outlets to cover the races.

I agree entirely with your comment above (and the remainder of your post), as well as those of the other contributors but my point is that it hasn't even been mentioned.

posted by fred22 [206 posts]
5th July 2012 - 11:09

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It was on Eurosport the other day, called the Women's World Cup.

I watched it, it was quite interesting, they had loads of interviews, edgy camera angles and those little films like the BBC have on people like Marianne Vos and Lizzie Armitstead.

Also Track Racing gets the same coverage, ever heard of Laura Trott?

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1725 posts]
5th July 2012 - 11:37

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fred22 wrote:
drheaton wrote:
Less TV coverage and mainstream media coverage means it's much more difficult for other media outlets to cover the races.

I agree entirely with your comment above (and the remainder of your post), as well as those of the other contributors but my point is that it hasn't even been mentioned.

It's difficult to mention something that's hard to get information on. New wires like AFP will report winners and possibly overall standings but not much else, even Cycling News only provide results and some minor commentary on the results, without widely available TV coverage it's hard for media outlets to report on womens cycling. Eventually you'll get dedicated correspondents going to these things but seriously, who's idea was it to run it alongside the TdF?!

At the minute though I'd say that men's cycling isn't much better off in this country, the only reason we seem to be getting an influx of cycling news right now is that Cav and Brad actually have a chance of winning something. If it wasn't for both of those riders do you think the BBC would be running live text for this year's TdF or mentioning results in their sports bulletins?

Finally there's also the problem that pretty much every top level of sport widely available and watched is men's sport. Football, Tennis (most people watch the mens games, fewer watch the womens), Cricket, F1, Cycling, even Athletics are pretty much dominated by men at the highest level when it comes to viewing figures. When it comes to pushing women's sport cycling's probably some way down the line but Raleigh's right, the track is one area where there's equality, but only because we're quite good...

posted by drheaton [3350 posts]
5th July 2012 - 12:11

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The Nats womens race was good viewing, even though I knew the result beforehand.

Unless Road.cc can get someone in situ to provide a daily write-up, I imagine it's difficult to source adequate material to provide effective coverage. To be fair, it's not just cycling either, most other sports have a huge gender gap in terms of media coverage and, consequently, pay levels, which must be hugely galling for the athletes. Ironically, I think women's track cycling suffers less (at least in terms of UK TV coverage) - not sure how much of that is down to easy-on-the-eye breakthrough figures such as Vicky P.

I agree though, it would be good to see more coverage.

Dodging the saccadic masking

posted by notfastenough [2607 posts]
5th July 2012 - 12:20

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By highlighting the problem of very little media coverage, we may bring it to the attention of those who make the decisions to cover a particular event.

I said "almost as exciting as mens cycle racing" I should have said : Ladies Road Race Cycling is every bit as exciting as the mens road racing!

posted by Mostyn [387 posts]
6th July 2012 - 10:27

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It has been suggested that the riders get more proactive in promoting their sport, particularly with the popularity of online social networking - blogs, twitter etc. Matrix-Prendas (http://www.onthedrops.cc/) and their riders are working hard on this front and the likes of ds_stef and CXHelen are worth following on Twitter. The tie-up between the Johnson Health Tech races and Tour Series crits is an excellent way to get women's racing on TV, the best medium of them all.

There is in-depth coverage of women's racing over at Podium Café, it's a good place to keep up with the news. An example from 2012 Giro Donne - stage 7 images, video and discussions on this page:

http://www.podiumcafe.com/2012/7/5/3139299/giro-donne-2012-stage-7-maria...

Another site giving some oxygen to women's cycling is http://cyclopunk.blogspot.com/

The main cycling magazines don't have the time/energy/inclination/income (not sure which) to feature women's sport. I suspect advertisers are only really interested in MAMILs with deep pockets and impressionable young racer-wannabes. And if you're wondering why Loaded et al haven't woken up to showing attractive, active women in tight-fitting clothing then bear in mind they are about sexist, soft-porn titillation, not empowering women or growing interest in the sport.

I'm sure the team at road.cc can only do so much, and the current situation is really a reflection on the lack of real interest in women's racing. That's not to say it doesn't have appeal, just that until people know about it then they won't know about it, if you get what I mean.

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posted by Simon E [1776 posts]
6th July 2012 - 14:47

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