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"Our races are run on a shoestring"...

Just how would a women’s Tour de France work if it ran on the same roads and days as a the men’s event? That’s been the main question in forums and comments since Marianne Vos, Emma Pooley, Chrissie Wellington and Kathryn Bertine launched their petition for a women’s Tour de France to Tour supremo Christian Prudhomme last week.

That petition has now has over 16,000 signatures after just a few days.

Road.cc asked Emma Pooley how she and her co-petitioners saw a women’s Tour working if it ran alongside the men’s race.

“We have given a lot of thought as to how a women's TdF alongside the men's race might work,” Pooley said in an email, “though at the moment the main point is just to get the message out to cycling supporters and spectators, and to show that the demand for such a race is there from that side. The details would have to be discussed and finalised later.”

Follow the money

The big question is, where does the money come from? The Tour de France is a business and makes most of its money from sponsors, start and finish towns and VIP spectator packages. To fund a women’s race, more money is going to to have to come from somewhere, either the existing sponsors, or new supporters. But Pooley points out that compared to men’s racing, women’s racing is cheap. The prize money for the overall winner of the Giro Rosa, the biggest women’s race, is just 460 Euros.

“If it's to be the same race then it would have to have the same main sponsors, because the same podium should be used every day either immediately before or immediately after the men,” said Pooley.


The 2012 Olympic road race showed millions that a women's race could be hard-fought and exciting.

“If additional sponsorship were needed to fund the extra costs of the women's race, I think separate jersey sponsors could be recruited. Crucially though, the women's race would also have to be filmed and some of the footage shown live on TV, so that the sponsors get a return for their investment.

“I expect the Tour may claim to be cash-strapped and to need every Euro centime they can get from every sponsor, just for the men's race. But from the perspective of women's cycling, that's simply not true. There's plenty of money there compared to our races, which are run on a shoestring!”

Running the races together

The daily organisation of an extra race would be a big challenge, and there have been suggestions that the women’s stage could be run the day before or after the men’s. That would allow the women’s Tour to take advantage of the men’s race’s local publicity, but it would need an entire extra set of infrastructure. But Pooley says that’s not the idea at all.

“The key request (and, I believe, requirement for a women's event to be successful) from our side is that the men's and women's stages are all run on the same roads, on the same day and with the same stage finish,” she said. “That is the point about benefiting from the spectators and media that are there to watch the men's race anyway, and it also provides extra cycling viewing and entertainment for those spectators.”

Pooley says that while this would have its own logistical challenges, they would be minor compared to the logistics of the Tour as a whole, and add an extra aspect to a race that flashes by in seconds. 

“It also saves some some hassle by avoiding closing the roads for another day. The spectators are there to watch a bike race, why not give them two to watch? And since the whole Tour is already a huge logistical challenge, I don't believe that adding another race early before the men would be impossible or detract at all from the Tour - in fact, it would add to it.”


Emma Poole leading the 2012 Olympic women's race

No need for much extra media

Another issue that’s been raised is that of media and especially TV coverage. Again, Pooley sees this as a bonus of running the two races at the same time, rather than an obstacle.

“The extra media commitment would amount to an extra mobile film crew to show the actual action from our race. The whole of the world's cycling media is there, writing stories about the tiniest little snippets of information they can dig up. They must have time to cover a women's race!

“And one of the reasons our races don't recieve much media coverage at the moment is that it's too expensive to send journalists out to women-only races, especially for the media outlets that focus on women's racing. Eg our Giro Rosa / Giro Donne gets great coverage in Italy, but most international cycling media are busy at the Tour and can't send someone to cover the biggest race of our calendar.”

Places to stay

Pooley’s also not asking for female riders to stay in posh hotels (which is a good job as male riders don’t exactly stay at the local Ritz either). According to one source, the race books 1,200 hotel rooms for staff, teams and media. Pooley acknowledged the pressure the race puts on accommodation in host towns, but suggested an alternative for the women’s Tour.

“As to the hotel logistics question: I think this is being exaggerated. At our races we often have 3+ hour transfers after stages. I'm sure this could be resolved. And if they needed to hold a women's race on the cheap for the first year or two, the organisers could try sending teams to stay with host families (as happens in the US for women's teams) or even sponsorship by a camper-van firm! Honestly, I know the men complain about the quality of their accommodation at the Tour but I'm sure I've seen much worse at women's races.”

Sponsor pressure

Ultimately, Pooley wants the demand for a women’s race to come from the sponsors, fuelled by the spectator support reflected in her petition.

“Ideally the pressure for a women's race would also come from the race sponsors: hence the petition of cycling fans and spectators of all kinds, not just female cyclists,” said Pooley. “If sponsors realise that there is a viewing public out there who want to watch the women race too, they'll push the Tour to put it on.

“In an ideal world, a women's race would be held purely for equality, but I realise that the world is not ideal, and that commercial pressures are the only ones that are really effective in professional sport.”

42 comments

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Darkerside [75 posts] 2 years ago
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All sounds eminently sensible.

I'd certainly get stuck into women's Fantasy Cycling with equal vigour as the men's (and with equally poor scores, no doubt)...

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themartincox [491 posts] 2 years ago
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"The extra media commitment would amount to an extra mobile film crew to show the actual action from our race"

This sentence alone suggests to me she hasn't really thought it through that well.

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Not KOM [79 posts] 2 years ago
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themartincox wrote:

"The extra media commitment would amount to an extra mobile film crew to show the actual action from our race"

This sentence alone suggests to me she hasn't really thought it through that well.

How so? They've already got the television feeds arranged, the mobile studio up and running, the cameras feeding back on the various monitors - wouldn't the women's race just work as another feed for the television company?

Plus, the TdF has got like ... four helicopters following it. They can spare one of those for a few minutes to cover the women too.

The only real logistical challenge I can see would be the live timings of the groups, and maybe another referees car. But feel free to say otherwise, if you think it's more complex.

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doc [167 posts] 2 years ago
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Comment: It is not "an eatra film crew". Race coverage at a reasonable standard is 3 motos plus a helicopter plus a comms aircraft.
It is not an "extra referee car" - by the way it's commissaires, you have been listening to the dumbed down C4 coverage, clearly. An international race has a required number of car and moto commissaires, a requirement for three neutral service cars, direction cars and motos, police assigned to the race.

The whole thing could be a great idea, but at the moment it's simply that, an idea, and the logistics are complex, as anyone who thinks it through will know.
Not that it can't be done, just that to do proper justice to professional riders you need the full package, not some race on a shoestring which will inevitably look and feel like a sideshow to the main event, which is exactly not what the objective is.

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mustard [73 posts] 2 years ago
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I actually think this could work; for the road stages offer towns somewhere down the course route of the mens race the opportunity to be host town for the womens stage depart for less than it costs to host the mens - i'm sure there are many towns that ould jumpp at the opportunity to maximise on the tour passing through but just can't afford the cost of hosting depart.

That money will fund the depart and probably accommodation for the women - the low standards they put up with for most of their season means they don't expect much! Jersey sponsors and title sponsor and you've probably got a lot of the logistics covered - women's teams are generally smaller too, staff wise.

As for the commentors (that's not a real word is it?) on the previous story - I've replied over there already but I'll add that if you take Rabobank as a prime example, doping doesn't scare sponsors off women's racing as it's mostly a non-story - they can't afford it! AND only health food or women's clothes brands can sponsor women's cycling?! that has to be up there with the most ridiculous of comments; what does a (French domestic) supermarket chain have to do with how fast a scrawny bloke can get up a mountain?

oops, getting a bit ranty and long winded in my posting

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mustard [73 posts] 2 years ago
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Bah - had commented on the previous story but it has disappeared into the ether, think I'll go out and ride my bike instead of repeating myself.

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seanboy [23 posts] 2 years ago
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this women is living in a dream world!!,its never going to happen,nobody wants to watch women cycling,just like nobody wants to watch womens football

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 2 years ago
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seanboy wrote:

this women is living in a dream world!!,its never going to happen,nobody wants to watch women cycling,just like nobody wants to watch womens football

And on what do you base that idiotic, sexist comment? Certainly not the viewing figures from the Olympics.

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Jimbonic [136 posts] 2 years ago
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It's working for the Ride London Surrey 100!

OK, they're not sending out a train of cars for officials and service. But, the roads are closed off for wobbling amateurs (like me!), which has got to pose a far worse logistic problem! And, the media will be all over it.

What's the problem?

My wife was shocked and amazed that there wasn't a women's TdF. She's just getting into cycling (doing, not watching). And, I'm sure an event of the sort of stature as a TdF would really motivate her to step up a notch.

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JeevesBath [167 posts] 2 years ago
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The Rumpo Kid wrote:
seanboy wrote:

this women is living in a dream world!!,its never going to happen,nobody wants to watch women cycling,just like nobody wants to watch womens football

And on what do you base that idiotic, sexist comment? Certainly not the viewing figures from the Olympics.

While the tone of the comment may be off, the facts are correct. Olympics aside, where are the spectators? If it can be demonstrated that a women's race can draw in x number of spectators/TV audience, then I'm sure that sponsors and organisers would be able to see the cost/exposure benefit and therefore be more proactive. Can anyone show audience figures for the Tour that breaks down into male/female viewers? Can it be shown that a women's event would attract more women viewers? Are companies that sell products specifically to women enthusiastic about running their ads during breaks?

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Hector Ch [53 posts] 2 years ago
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It would be more than annoying to cut between two separate races being broadcast at the same time. With tons of commercials already being shown on ITV4 during their TdF coverage, it would make it unwatchable.

The idea of sponsors sponsoring both men's and women's teams at the same time is going to be rather expensive for the sponsors.

While the prize money mentioned in this article is ridiculously low, I would say a bit of patience is needed. Like with trees, it takes time to get them to grow. It's great to have a goal, but to earn it you have to get there under your own steam.

Marketing Rule 1: Make sure you have an audience first. Unless you're Sony or Apple, just because you want to do/make something doesn't mean anyone wants to buy it / watch it on TV. Once you have an audience, you can get the sponsors. This is the major obstacle.

Marketing Rule 2: Differentiate from the competition. Cycling already has a lot of competition between all the tours (take a look at the UCI programmes for the year) with the TdF being the holy grail. So, from a "growing women's cycling" angle, don't "tag it on" to the TdF, you'll simply make it an also-ran/side-show. Make it a stand alone event.

Media: Olympics aside, who watches cycling on TV? If the consumer cycling male to female ratio can be pulled across, I would imagine it's mostly males, but I doubt anyone has hard figures. Some research needs to be done here. One option is to petition local TV channels to show women's cycling, or go after EuroSport (who are making a much bigger effort into including women presenters in their Sports shows..). Personally I would love to watch it. Only I can never find it.

On a side note: maybe the Women's Cycling Association (don't know if it exists) should bring their case to a show like The Cycle Show on ITV4 ? Getting exposure via a medium like that could help.

Sponsors: Personally I find it hard to believe that they can't find sponsors (not the fault of women's cycling, but rather the sponsors). Surely a few multi-nation conglomerates (Unilever, P&G etc) who look to market tons and tons of products to women would be interested in sponsoring a few teams in exchange for exposure of their products? Especially in the Sports arena? Find the female brand managers at these companies and convince them to sponsor a team, or at least sponsor the prize money.

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bikeylikey [204 posts] 2 years ago
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I'm amazed that no one seems to be remembering that there used to be a women's TDF, back in the eighties. Why isn't that being looked at as a model for how to run it, the organisers of that being consulted - what worked/didn't work etc?

It was placed as an inferior relation, an addition to the main event. All this begs the question, 'are women banned from the TDF?' Is it a men only club?

Some form of sexism appears to be unavoidable, given the unfortunate fact that on average the fastest male cyclists are faster than the fastest women cyclists. I used to love seeing Beryl Burton beat the crap out of cocky young blokes, but sadly she was a rarity.

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mogrim [49 posts] 2 years ago
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Hector Ch wrote:

Marketing Rule 1: Make sure you have an audience first. ...

Marketing Rule 2: Differentiate from the competition. ...

I think you're spot on with these two, just sticking another race on the same day runs a serious risk of being very much a sideshow, a warm up prior to the real thing that nobody takes very seriously.

I think Emma's underestimated the logistics angle, too - just getting another 10-15 tour buses up to the top of Ventoux would be a serious problem, and how do you get them down again when the men are already en route? Certainly most of the equipment could be reused, but you're also talking about 6 hours less to get it all set up, not a trivial amount of time when we're talking about races that change location daily.

(Part of me says let the women start an hour earlier, and see if we can't get a mass finish with men and women crashing over the line at the same time... be entertaining, if nothing else  19 )

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dave atkinson [6208 posts] 2 years ago
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if l'auto had observed marketing rule 1 all those years ago, then there wouldn't be a tour de france. they didn't have an audience, just an idea

just saying.

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a.jumper [846 posts] 2 years ago
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Yes! More races is good and the men already do so many that let's have more for the women!

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JeevesBath [167 posts] 2 years ago
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Dave Atkinson wrote:

if l'auto had observed marketing rule 1 all those years ago, then there wouldn't be a tour de france. they didn't have an audience, just an idea

just saying.

True, no audience existed at the time, but something must have indicated that there was a potential. I believe that the aim was to increase newspaper circulation wasn't it...?

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JeevesBath [167 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Hector Ch wrote:

It would be more than annoying to cut between two separate races being broadcast at the same time. With tons of commercials already being shown on ITV4 during their TdF coverage, it would make it unwatchable.

The idea of sponsors sponsoring both men's and women's teams at the same time is going to be rather expensive for the sponsors.

While the prize money mentioned in this article is ridiculously low, I would say a bit of patience is needed. Like with trees, it takes time to get them to grow. It's great to have a goal, but to earn it you have to get there under your own steam.

Marketing Rule 1: Make sure you have an audience first. Unless you're Sony or Apple, just because you want to do/make something doesn't mean anyone wants to buy it / watch it on TV. Once you have an audience, you can get the sponsors. This is the major obstacle.

Marketing Rule 2: Differentiate from the competition. Cycling already has a lot of competition between all the tours (take a look at the UCI programmes for the year) with the TdF being the holy grail. So, from a "growing women's cycling" angle, don't "tag it on" to the TdF, you'll simply make it an also-ran/side-show. Make it a stand alone event.

Media: Olympics aside, who watches cycling on TV? If the consumer cycling male to female ratio can be pulled across, I would imagine it's mostly males, but I doubt anyone has hard figures. Some research needs to be done here. One option is to petition local TV channels to show women's cycling, or go after EuroSport (who are making a much bigger effort into including women presenters in their Sports shows..). Personally I would love to watch it. Only I can never find it.

On a side note: maybe the Women's Cycling Association (don't know if it exists) should bring their case to a show like The Cycle Show on ITV4 ? Getting exposure via a medium like that could help.

Sponsors: Personally I find it hard to believe that they can't find sponsors (not the fault of women's cycling, but rather the sponsors). Surely a few multi-nation conglomerates (Unilever, P&G etc) who look to market tons and tons of products to women would be interested in sponsoring a few teams in exchange for exposure of their products? Especially in the Sports arena? Find the female brand managers at these companies and convince them to sponsor a team, or at least sponsor the prize money.

Now THAT would be a business plan...  16

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 2 years ago
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JeevesBath wrote:
Dave Atkinson wrote:

if l'auto had observed marketing rule 1 all those years ago, then there wouldn't be a tour de france. they didn't have an audience, just an idea

just saying.

True, no audience existed at the time, but something must have indicated that there was a potential. I believe that the aim was to increase newspaper circulation wasn't it...?

During the Dreyfus affair, yes. (Don't go there... mind you he was awfully good in "American Graffiti".)

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
JeevesBath wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:
seanboy wrote:

this women is living in a dream world!!,its never going to happen,nobody wants to watch women cycling,just like nobody wants to watch womens football

And on what do you base that idiotic, sexist comment? Certainly not the viewing figures from the Olympics.

While the tone of the comment may be off, the facts are correct. Olympics aside, where are the spectators? If it can be demonstrated that a women's race can draw in x number of spectators/TV audience, then I'm sure that sponsors and organisers would be able to see the cost/exposure benefit and therefore be more proactive. Can anyone show audience figures for the Tour that breaks down into male/female viewers? Can it be shown that a women's event would attract more women viewers? Are companies that sell products specifically to women enthusiastic about running their ads during breaks?

"The facts are correct"?
Why, other than to back up an incorrect opinion, cast the Olympics aside? It was a massive event and more comparable to the TdF than any other cycle race. You cannot base the potential audience for a Women's TdF on events which are small (no offence).
As for advertising to Women, the TdF already does this bigtime. Even in this day and age it is usually the Woman of the household who decides where to spend the food budget. Supermarket chain Carrefour have sponsored the Polka-dot Jersey for over twenty years. They must think they're getting a return on the money.

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dave atkinson [6208 posts] 2 years ago
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a petition that's reached 25,000 signatures in a few days could indicate there was a potential. be interesting to see how high it goes.

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thebungle [103 posts] 2 years ago
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The TdF has to be one of the most complex (daily) logistical challenges in the sporting world out there, it really isn't a case of sending the ladies out an hour or so earlier.

What happens if the mens race catch the stragglers?

Would you want live coverage or recorded coverage?

If the coverage is run concurrently how would you prioritise?

Take Ventoux, at what point would you switch from the ladies to the mens race?

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 2 years ago
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Proper timing could ensure that the Men's Race didn't run into a peleton of Women stragglers.
I'd suggest switching from the Men's to the Women's race (and back again) when something interesting happens. That's how they do it with simultaneous Football matches. This would of course mean more exciting cycling, and less of Phil padding out the commentary with lengthy descriptions of Corsican Small Gauge Railways, but that's a price I'm willing to pay.

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Farky [183 posts] 2 years ago
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Theres way more chance of doubling up at the Dauphene as its a 7 day event usually based mroe in areas requiring less road closure concerns...the mountains!

No chance of a same day TdF. Just look at the issues with the Aussie bus at the stage end in Corsica. Traffic sometimes has to use the same route as the race, travelling prior to the caravanne. Just where do you squeeze in another race?

It would be fantastic to see and would make so much mroe of the efforts on the day with little increase from press and benefits all round for sponsors and public.

Id love to see it.

Logistically its a non-starter.

Concentrate on a 7 day French event. Thats what is missing from the calendar due to a few falling off due to finances.

Financially&logistically support a 7day womens French road race at the Dauphine or similar standalone event elsewhere in the year.

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JeevesBath [167 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
The Rumpo Kid wrote:
JeevesBath wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:
seanboy wrote:

this women is living in a dream world!!,its never going to happen,nobody wants to watch women cycling,just like nobody wants to watch womens football

And on what do you base that idiotic, sexist comment? Certainly not the viewing figures from the Olympics.

While the tone of the comment may be off, the facts are correct. Olympics aside, where are the spectators? If it can be demonstrated that a women's race can draw in x number of spectators/TV audience, then I'm sure that sponsors and organisers would be able to see the cost/exposure benefit and therefore be more proactive. Can anyone show audience figures for the Tour that breaks down into male/female viewers? Can it be shown that a women's event would attract more women viewers? Are companies that sell products specifically to women enthusiastic about running their ads during breaks?

"The facts are correct"?
Why, other than to back up an incorrect opinion, cast the Olympics aside? It was a massive event and more comparable to the TdF than any other cycle race. You cannot base the potential audience for a Women's TdF on events which are small (no offence).
As for advertising to Women, the TdF already does this bigtime. Even in this day and age it is usually the Woman of the household who decides where to spend the food budget. Supermarket chain Carrefour have sponsored the Polka-dot Jersey for over twenty years. They must think they're getting a return on the money.

When I stated the facts are correct, it refers to the 'fact' that viewing audiences for women's football are lower than that for mens. Likewise I'm sure if you compared it with women's rugby, cricket etc.
The Olympics is a massive event every four years and cannot be considered in the same way, as I'm sure that viewing figures for athletics world champs are way below those of the Olympics.
You assert that women must watch the TdF because otherwise supermarkets wouldn't sponsor teams. That's hardly a factual response either. As I said in my post - "if it can be demonstrated that.." viewers will tune in, then that goes a long way to justifying holding a women's race.

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thebungle [103 posts] 2 years ago
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Ok, so Marianne Vos has powered up Ventoux and has just passed the Simpson memorial en route to a famous victory but wait the peleton are 20km behind and have just hit the start of the climb, who do you concentrate on? A simple point but one which shows the difficulty.

As for simultaneous football matches, it just doesn't happen except for last day of the season drama and even then it's only a picture in picture in order to keep track of the other score.

Avatar
The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
JeevesBath wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:
JeevesBath wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:
seanboy wrote:

this women is living in a dream world!!,its never going to happen,nobody wants to watch women cycling,just like nobody wants to watch womens football

And on what do you base that idiotic, sexist comment? Certainly not the viewing figures from the Olympics.

While the tone of the comment may be off, the facts are correct. Olympics aside, where are the spectators? If it can be demonstrated that a women's race can draw in x number of spectators/TV audience, then I'm sure that sponsors and organisers would be able to see the cost/exposure benefit and therefore be more proactive. Can anyone show audience figures for the Tour that breaks down into male/female viewers? Can it be shown that a women's event would attract more women viewers? Are companies that sell products specifically to women enthusiastic about running their ads during breaks?

"The facts are correct"?
Why, other than to back up an incorrect opinion, cast the Olympics aside? It was a massive event and more comparable to the TdF than any other cycle race. You cannot base the potential audience for a Women's TdF on events which are small (no offence).
As for advertising to Women, the TdF already does this bigtime. Even in this day and age it is usually the Woman of the household who decides where to spend the food budget. Supermarket chain Carrefour have sponsored the Polka-dot Jersey for over twenty years. They must think they're getting a return on the money.

When I stated the facts are correct, it refers to the 'fact' that viewing audiences for women's football are lower than that for mens. Likewise I'm sure if you compared it with women's rugby, cricket etc.
The Olympics is a massive event every four years and cannot be considered in the same way, as I'm sure that viewing figures for athletics world champs are way below those of the Olympics.
You assert that women must watch the TdF because otherwise supermarkets wouldn't sponsor teams. That's hardly a factual response either. As I said in my post - "if it can be demonstrated that.." viewers will tune in, then that goes a long way to justifying holding a women's race.

You asked if Companies that advertised for Women would be interested in being associated with the TdF. I made no assertions other than to show they already are. I don't expect the potential audience for a Womens TdF to be exclusively Female. I watched Male and Female Olympic events, most people I know did the same.
I know the Olympics is a massive event. So is the Tdf.
The TdF is, in terms of media hype, more comparable to the Olympics than it is to the UCI World Championships.
Other than actually staging a Women's TdF, I cannot demonstrate what the audience would be. But the facts seem to indicate that this idea is a goer. But then again, you seem to consider that my facts and statistics carry less weight than the juvenile "nobody wants to watch women cycling."

Avatar
a.jumper [846 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
The Rumpo Kid wrote:

Why, other than to back up an incorrect opinion, cast the Olympics aside? It was a massive event and more comparable to the TdF than any other cycle race.

It was also one of the few to get something like comparable coverage to the comparable mens race.

Most womens cycle races get far less coverage, so it seems pretty understandable that its current audience is smaller.

With any luck, BC, sweetspot, ASO or someone will do a few surveys to figure out if there's a large enough potential audience now to make the numbers work somehow or at least explain why not. I think we've come a long way since the 1980s...

Avatar
The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
thebungle wrote:

Ok, so Marianne Vos has powered up Ventoux and has just passed the Simpson memorial en route to a famous victory but wait the peleton are 20km behind and have just hit the start of the climb, who do you concentrate on?

Well that depends. Is Marianne Vos on Her own, or racing neck and neck with Lizzie Armitstead? And what's happening in the peleton? (I assume you mean the Men's peleton).
Regarding my comparison with Football, I meant when they actually cut away from one match to another.

Avatar
JeevesBath [167 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
The Rumpo Kid wrote:
JeevesBath wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:
JeevesBath wrote:
The Rumpo Kid wrote:
seanboy wrote:

this women is living in a dream world!!,its never going to happen,nobody wants to watch women cycling,just like nobody wants to watch womens football

And on what do you base that idiotic, sexist comment? Certainly not the viewing figures from the Olympics.

While the tone of the comment may be off, the facts are correct. Olympics aside, where are the spectators? If it can be demonstrated that a women's race can draw in x number of spectators/TV audience, then I'm sure that sponsors and organisers would be able to see the cost/exposure benefit and therefore be more proactive. Can anyone show audience figures for the Tour that breaks down into male/female viewers? Can it be shown that a women's event would attract more women viewers? Are companies that sell products specifically to women enthusiastic about running their ads during breaks?

"The facts are correct"?
Why, other than to back up an incorrect opinion, cast the Olympics aside? It was a massive event and more comparable to the TdF than any other cycle race. You cannot base the potential audience for a Women's TdF on events which are small (no offence).
As for advertising to Women, the TdF already does this bigtime. Even in this day and age it is usually the Woman of the household who decides where to spend the food budget. Supermarket chain Carrefour have sponsored the Polka-dot Jersey for over twenty years. They must think they're getting a return on the money.

When I stated the facts are correct, it refers to the 'fact' that viewing audiences for women's football are lower than that for mens. Likewise I'm sure if you compared it with women's rugby, cricket etc.
The Olympics is a massive event every four years and cannot be considered in the same way, as I'm sure that viewing figures for athletics world champs are way below those of the Olympics.
You assert that women must watch the TdF because otherwise supermarkets wouldn't sponsor teams. That's hardly a factual response either. As I said in my post - "if it can be demonstrated that.." viewers will tune in, then that goes a long way to justifying holding a women's race.

You asked if Companies that advertised for Women would be interested in being associated with the TdF. I made no assertions other than to show they already are. I don't expect the potential audience for a Womens TdF to be exclusively Female. I watched Male and Female Olympic events, most people I know did the same.
I know the Olympics is a massive event. So is the Tdf.
The TdF is, in terms of media hype, more comparable to the Olympics than it is to the UCI World Championships.
Other than actually staging a Women's TdF, I cannot demonstrate what the audience would be. But the facts seem to indicate that this idea is a goer. But then again, you seem to consider that my facts and statistics carry less weight than the juvenile "nobody wants to watch women cycling."

When did I ever say "nobody wants to watch women's cycling"? What facts and statitistics did you present, other than "I watched it and so did people I know"?
I watched many women's cycling events during the Olympics too, but a four year 'juggernaught' is different to a regular annual event, and attracts many viewers otherwise disinterested in sport.
For comparison between mens/womens sporting events, look at the viewing figures for the Wimbledon finals in 2011 (for fairness, the last year when Murray wasn't included):
Men's final: 6.87million
Women's final: 2.67million
So yes, I would still say that it is a FACT that many women's events have lower viewing figures.
For the proposal for a women's TdF to be considered seriously, it also has to be demonstrably commercially viable to the organiser -the Olympics doesn't because it is funded by the home nation. Viewing figures are a fundamental part of that equation.
You seem to think I'm arguing against a women's race - I'm not. Just that they have to be able to show a return on investment for potential backers/organisers in order to make it profitable....as yet I haven't seen anything to support that. It's been all about the logistics of arranging the race.

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 2 years ago
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JeevesBath wrote:

When did I ever say "nobody wants to watch women's cycling"? What facts and statitistics did you present, other than "I watched it and so did people I know"?

You didn't say "nobody wants to watch women cycling" Seanboy did, and you said "the facts are correct".
I have presented the figures on numerous occasions, and am surprised you haven't noticed them yet. So once again:
Olympic Road Race peak viewing figures::
MEN'S 5.7 Million
WOMEN'S 7.6 Million

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