Held annually since 1887, Catford CC claim their Hill Climb is the oldest continuously run bike race in the world... and following an advert which stated the club were going to offer £300 for the overall winner and just £75 for the 1st female for the 2019 event this weekend, some were accusing Catford CC of still being stuck in the past.
Ah equality... wait, no apparently not... . You get 75% less for winning if you're female. pic.twitter.com/anNlT2QmRB
— James Ward (@jamesward01) October 10, 2019
The ad shared on social media (above) caused a stir on Twitter and hill climb forums on Facebook, and complaints were made to Catford Cycling Club calling for changes to the prize pot. A cyclist taking part in the famous climb this Sunday told road.cc that the issue was raised a number of weeks ago, and after it became apparent the majority of hill climbers were in favour of a redistribution, this morning entrants received an email from the club with the new prize pot.
Catford CC have scrapped prizes for 'overall' winners, and will now offer £100 for the 1st place male and 1st place female, £50 for 2nd, and £25 for 3rd. They have also restructured prize money for veteran and junior finishers in the same way, with cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd male and female veteran finishers, and 1st junior male and female finishers.
It's not the first time hill climb events have come under scrutiny for failing to offer equal prizes and prize money; recently it emerged that the upcoming Welsh National Hill Climb Championships will give a trophy to the male winner, but there wouldn't be one for the female champion because the organisers say they didn't have another donated to them. A crowdfunder was created to have a trophy made, raising over the £500 target in 24 hours.
road.cc understand that numerous prominent cyclists in the hill climb community are currently in discussions with Cycling Time Trials to make a rule that prize money has to be equally distributed between genders at all CTT-sanctioned events.
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.