Marianne Vos: I'm like a kid waiting for her birthday, I'm so excited about La Course by Le Tour TODAY

89km race around Paris to be aired in 157 countries - but the women's prize money is less than the men's

by Sarah Barth   July 27, 2014  

Marianne Vos (CC licensed image by Ludo29880:Flickr)

Marianne Vos has said she feels like a child waiting for her birthday ahead of 'La Course by Le Tour', an 89-km ride around Paris for the women’s pro peloton.

Set up by the ASO in response to a petition signed by more than 97,000 people, La Course is the first time women have been able to race as part of the Tour de France since 1989.

"Last year I got a tad grumpy because I was snowed under with hundreds and hundreds of emails, some by the top names in women's cycling saying, 'We want something to happen'," said race director Christian Prudhomme.

"When we met them they spoke about bike racing but also about exposure and media coverage."

As a result there will be full coverage of today’s event at 2pm, being broadcast in 157 countries, and the winner collecting 6,000 Euros, rather less than the 8,000 Euros collected by a man in a Tour stage.

Marianne Vos said: "I'm really enthusiastic about La Course because we will get a lot of media attention,.

"Every year you make a step it's a process. This is really a big step forward," she added. Vos has won a total of 16 world titles on the road, track and in cyclocross.

"The ASO has taken a big step forward. They opened the doors to women cycling," she told Eurosport.

16 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

Couldn't make the purse equal? For the sake of €2,000? Angry

Prudhomme you are a sexist tightwad, IMHO of course.

Hope the women have a great race, although with Vos riding it will be a race for 2nd place!

posted by Nixster [192 posts]
27th July 2014 - 8:28

58 Likes

I'm a big fan and supporter/advocate of women's cycling, but I'll play devil's advocate here. Success in sport is purely performance related. Let women recieve the same prize money as men, but equally, let them compete against men. The reason for unequal prize money isn't sexism, just as seperate male/female contests are not sexist, it is about the balance of things.

posted by DrSport [12 posts]
27th July 2014 - 10:16

55 Likes

Why is Prudhome sexist? The men have ridden for three weeks over hill and down dale. The women turn up for one day and expect to be paid the same. Unfortunately it's purely commercial. The men will pull in more sponsorship/advertising and have done for the last three weeks.

Now if the women want to ride the same course at the same time and just as fast, then give them the money. If the women want to ride an easier route in a different time, then they should be given a proportion of the money. You wouldn't accept a female worker doing the same job to be paid the same for doing less! Or even Cav to be given the same as Nibali in prize money.

Yes the women need enough to live on and shouldn't need a second job. But to give them the same for doing less? Is that not positive sexism?

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [435 posts]
27th July 2014 - 10:33

50 Likes

I think the women would like to ride a longer race, Multi staged. Really looking forward to watching it.

posted by Abbie [58 posts]
27th July 2014 - 10:41

47 Likes

I'd like to see Vos stack up with the men.

"I can't believe I ate the whole thing..."

Cooks's picture

posted by Cooks [509 posts]
27th July 2014 - 10:48

50 Likes

FED UP hearing about Vos for this race, I couldn't give a toss about here. It is all about Kathryn Bertine.

She lost just about everything pushing for this race to get the go ahead.

http://youtu.be/2YfAYJPUBVQ

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9291 posts]
27th July 2014 - 11:32

44 Likes

Looking forward to it. Unlike in some other sports, the spectacle of women's cycling is by no means inferior to the mens. They may be riding a little slower, but that does not impact what we see on TV.

Would love to see more womens cycling events, a big stage race would be awesome.

posted by robthehungrymonkey [82 posts]
27th July 2014 - 13:11

51 Likes

@YorkshireWhippet, it's a stage payment, and the final stage of the tour is traditionally considerably less taxing than the others.

My point was that, for the sake of less than the cost of the bunting, they could have made the purse the same as for the final stage and had equality of opportunity for that stage. And made a statement of intent by doing so.

The women's tour of Britain is far ahead of what's proposed for La Course. As others have said, it's not that the women want shorter races.

posted by Nixster [192 posts]
27th July 2014 - 21:05

43 Likes

The women don't want shorter racers, but they are limited in mileage by the UCI, also, can't have a race longer than 10 days.

Plus, on Eurosport, the winner was announced as getting 17,000 Euros. The sprints competition was worth around 5,000 Euros.

Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9291 posts]
27th July 2014 - 22:08

31 Likes

There will only be more women's races in the media if there are the viewers, spectators, and advertisers. It's a simple matter of marketing, they need to do more publicity. They are all gorgeous, fit, successful, wholesome, and good role models, what advertiser wouldn't want to be associated with that?

posted by DrSport [12 posts]
27th July 2014 - 23:29

26 Likes

€6000, €8000....? Who cares. Having watched countless uncontested sprints for €1500 or whatever I don't think it's the reason people like to race bicycles.

posted by caaad10 [150 posts]
27th July 2014 - 23:39

26 Likes

Nixster wrote:
@YorkshireWhippet, it's a stage payment, and the final stage of the tour is traditionally considerably less taxing than the others.

My point was that, for the sake of less than the cost of the bunting, they could have made the purse the same as for the final stage and had equality of opportunity for that stage. And made a statement of intent by doing so.

The women's tour of Britain is far ahead of what's proposed for La Course. As others have said, it's not that the women want shorter races.

It's a stage payment eer what? La Course was not part of a womens multi stage event, it was a on the day event. La Course did not follow the same route as the mens, i.e. the lead into Paris before hitting the Champs. The women had not been competing for nearly three weeks beforehand. There is no way you can compare la Course with le Tour they are two completely different animals.

Let's look at it another way. Why don't you go away and look at the massive leap forward that was taken this year, instead of the negativity of what's missing.
For the first time ever,
1. women raced on the Champs.
2. on the same ay as the men
3. on the same day as the last stage of the biggest annaul sporting event in the world
4. got tv coverage, that was live during the day.
5. showed the world that female racing is as good or better than mens.

Ultimately, you still have not justified calling Prudhome a sexist. He's done more for women racing this year than the last 100 years of le Tour.

posted by Yorkshie Whippet [435 posts]
29th July 2014 - 8:37

15 Likes

Yorkshie Whippet wrote:

Let's look at it another way. Why don't you go away and look at the massive leap forward that was taken this year, instead of the negativity of what's missing.
For the first time ever,
1. women raced on the Champs.
2. on the same ay as the men
3. on the same day as the last stage of the biggest annaul sporting event in the world
4. got tv coverage, that was live during the day.
5. showed the world that female racing is as good or better than mens.

Ultimately, you still have not justified calling Prudhome a sexist. He's done more for women racing this year than the last 100 years of le Tour.

Not to be nitpicky, although I will, it's not actually the first time ever that women raced on the Champs, on the same day as the men, etc. The original Tour de France Féminin that was replaced multiple times by shorter races, axed, etc finished on the Champs when it was first held in 1984 up until, I think, 1988. It also covered some of the route before the men came through, approx 700 miles. 1984 Maillot Jaune winner Marianne Martin stood on the podium in Paris alongside Laurent Fignon with Maria Canins doing the same alongside Bernard Hinault the following year.

Of course, there was no live coverage and few were probably aware of it happening apart from those who lined the TdF routes that the women were also using an hour or so before, so that's the major difference between then and La Course now. It's probably a leap forward in terms of where women's cycling is now particularly in trying to encourage a worldwide audience (therefore, encouraging sponsors for women's races), but certainly not much when considering where it could be or has been before.

posted by Ghostie [93 posts]
29th July 2014 - 10:50

22 Likes

Yorkshie Whippet wrote:
Nixster wrote:
@YorkshireWhippet, it's a stage payment, and the final stage of the tour is traditionally considerably less taxing than the others.

My point was that, for the sake of less than the cost of the bunting, they could have made the purse the same as for the final stage and had equality of opportunity for that stage. And made a statement of intent by doing so.

The women's tour of Britain is far ahead of what's proposed for La Course. As others have said, it's not that the women want shorter races.

It's a stage payment eer what? La Course was not part of a womens multi stage event, it was a on the day event. La Course did not follow the same route as the mens, i.e. the lead into Paris before hitting the Champs. The women had not been competing for nearly three weeks beforehand. There is no way you can compare la Course with le Tour they are two completely different animals.

Let's look at it another way. Why don't you go away and look at the massive leap forward that was taken this year, instead of the negativity of what's missing.
For the first time ever,
1. women raced on the Champs.
2. on the same ay as the men
3. on the same day as the last stage of the biggest annaul sporting event in the world
4. got tv coverage, that was live during the day.
5. showed the world that female racing is as good or better than mens.

Ultimately, you still have not justified calling Prudhome a sexist. He's done more for women racing this year than the last 100 years of le Tour.

WRONG WRONG WRONG.....It is not a step forward at all. It is a step up towards what used to be.

Women have races on the Champs before, on the same day as the men, on the same day as a last stage and is showed the world that female racing was on an equal standing as the men, hence they even shared a podium.

podium 1984.jpg
Gkam84's picture

posted by Gkam84 [9291 posts]
29th July 2014 - 11:24

20 Likes

Amazing to think it had all that happened exactly 30 years ago while La Course was being pushed as some terrific groundbreaking historical thing. There were mountains, an ITT and sprint stages all on the way to Paris. Even the winner had the same Christian name. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ergwsAZ9CCs

posted by Ghostie [93 posts]
29th July 2014 - 12:03

13 Likes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tour_de_France_F%C3%A9minin
While La Course is a positive thing taken all by itself, in the larger scale it seems like a case of two steps back, one step up.

Zombies don't ride bikes.

posted by Markus [46 posts]
29th July 2014 - 14:13

4 Likes