The prize pot for the Women’s Tour will be more than doubled in 2018, meaning that the female peloton will be riding for the same prize money as their male colleagues enjoy at the men’s Tour of Britain.
With its €35,000 (£31,000) prize pot, the Women’s Tour was already the most lucrative event in women’s cycling, but the extra €55,000 being made available by sponsors OVO Energy will mean that the prize money is now in line with the Tour of Britain at €90,000 (£80,000).
The structure of the prize money allocation has also been brought in line with the Tour of Britain, with equal prizes for the general classification and stage classifications, and prize money down to 20th place on each stage and on GC.
Lizzie Deignan, who won the race in 2016, said that she was glad that race organisers had brought the prize money in line with the Tour of Britain, but was disappointed that gender parity on pay was still an issue in cycling.
“I’m so excited about the Women’s Tour,” Deignan said “The race is the pinnacle of women’s professional road cycling in the UK, and it’s an important step to offer equal prize money to the comparative men’s race.
“To be honest, I wish gender parity wasn’t an issue in cycling; I think I speak on behalf of most women in the peloton when I say I just want to get on and compete and be recognised fairly for what we do.”
There are also changes to the race’s route for the 2018, with the event continuing to be five stages in length, but expanding across the country. In a notable move into Wales, the final stage will be a hilly trek across Snowdonia towards the finish in Colwyn Bay.