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Women’s prize money trebled to match men at Belgian one-day race Nokere Koerse

Prize fund for women at semi-classic will total €18,800 next year, leading to calls for other events on the UCI calendar to follow suit

Nokere ​Koerse, the Belgian one-day semi-classic, has trebled the prize fund for next year’s women’s edition of the race to match that available to male riders.

The news was confirmed in a tweet this morning from the race organisers.

There have long been calls for women’s prize money at elite level to match that on offer to men – a recent example being Paris-Roubaix, where men’s winner Sonny Colbrelli took home €30,000, while Lizzie Deignan, winner of the inaugural women’s edition, won just €1,535 – although her Trek-Segafredo team made up the difference to match the Italian’s purse.

There have been one-day women’s races with more prize money in the past – with the RideLondon Classique, which next year will take place over three days instead of one, maintaining its existing €100,000 prize fund.

Meanwhile, there will be a total of €250,000 available at the debut edition of the Tour des France Feminins next year, which will make it the richest race in women’s cycling.

President of Nokere Koerse, Robrecht Bothuyne said: “For our men's race the UCI has set a prize money of €18,800. That’s 3.5 times more than for the women’s race (€5,130).

“However, women’s cycling is becoming more and more important. The gap with the men when it comes to prize money must therefore be closed.

“Together with the municipality of Kruisem, the arrival point Nokere is a sub-municipality of Kruisem, we are now increasing the prize money for the women’s race to the level of the men. On top of that we also have our ‘Pur Natur mountain prize’ of €1,500, which has been the same for men and women for several years.

“This brings us to a total amount of €20,300 per race. Danilith Nokere Koerse is the one-day race with the highest prize money in women's cycling. We also link this to our candidacy for the Women’s World Tour.”

Race director of the women’s race Gil Steyvers. said: “As a Women's ProSeries race we already pay a decent starting fee to the participating teams. It is a multiple of what teams get in lower categorised races and is also close to the starting fee for the men’s teams.

“Now we are stepping up our efforts to close the financial gap by rewarding the women equally for their performance.

“We hope the top teams and top cyclists appreciate our efforts and will also be at the start in Deinze on March 16th.

“Thus we want to strengthen our candidacy for the UCI Women's World Tour. We are convinced that our race can be an added value in terms of sport, appearance and therefore financially.

“We therefore hope that the UCI will approve our candidacy for 2023.”

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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