By Ryan Dabbs
Organisers of Belgian single day race Nokere Koerse have announced an increase to the prize money offered in the women's event will make it equal to what the men's riders will receive.
The women's prize fund will therefore triple in value, making Nokere Koerse the one-day race with the largest prize money in women's cycling.
In 2021, the UCI offered a prize pool of €18,800 to Nokere Koerse organisers for the men's race prize pool, while for the women's race they offered just €5,130.
However, working with the Belgian municipality of Kruisem, organisers of Nokere Koerse have announced that they will increase the funds available in the women's race themselves, matching the same €18,800 that the men's race receives from the UCI.
Nokere Koerse chairman Robrecht Bothuyne said: "Women's cycling is becoming increasingly important. The gap with the men must therefore be removed. Together with the municipality of Kruisem, of which the arrival place Nokere is a sub-municipality, we are now increasing the prize money for the women to the same level of the men. So that's a tripling.
"In addition, there is also our Pur Natur mountain prize of 1,500 euros, which has been the same for men and women for several years now. In this way we arrive at a prize pool of a total of 20,300 euros per game.”
This change also comes with organisers attempting to become part of the Women's WorldTour in 2022, a promotion from its current UCI ProSeries status.
Both the men's and women's race of Nokere Koerse will take place on Wednesday 16 March 2022 in the Flanders region of Belgium.
The women's race began in 2019, starting and finishing in the same location as the men's race. Between 2005 and 2016, Nokere Koerse was organised as a 1.1 event on the UCI Europe Tour, before becoming a 1.HC event and then subsequently a UCI ProSeries race.
Netherlands' Amy Pieters is the most recent winner of the women's race, riding for SD Worx, while Belgian Ludovic Robeet won with Bingoal WB in the men's edition in 2021.
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