Amstel Gold Race offers equal pay to men and women for first time

The winners of the race will each claim €16,000 if they cross the line first in Valkenburg

Marianne Vos
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The winner of the women's Amstel Gold Race will claim the same prize money as the winner of the men's edition from this year.

On Sunday, both the men's and women's pelotons will compete for a total prize pot of €40,000, meaning the two will be equal on pay for the first time, with the victors claiming €16,000 each.

“That is a big step forward. In total in the prize money for the women as with the men. That is 30,000 more than last year. A considerable increase,” Leontien van Moorsel, the race director of the Amstel Gold Race said.

“When you see where women’s cycling comes from and where we are now, it really makes a world of difference. The development to get more equality in cycling has taken off in recent years. And here we really want to be in the leading group.”

The Dutch classic follows other spring races including the Tour of Flanders in offering equal prizes for both the men and women. 

In 2021, the discrepancy in prize money between Omloop Het Nieuwsblad became one of the main talking points in the aftermath of Opening Weekend, with world champion Anna van der Breggen picking up only €930 for winning compared to Davide Ballerini's €16,000.

Race organisers have therefore been keen in 2022 to right this imbalance, with Flanders Classics saying that from next season all of its spring races should have equal prize pots.

“Five years ago we started again with a women’s edition. In recent years we have taken steps again and again to achieve more equality in the Amstel Gold Race,”  Els Dijkhuizen, marketing director of Heineken Netherlands, who is ultimately in charge of the race's sponsorship, said. “In addition, there is increasingly longer airtime for the women’s race at the NOS and we have gradually increased the prize money in recent years.”

The modern iteration of the Amstel Gold Race dates back to 2017.

Favourites for this year's women's race include Annemiek van Vleuten and Demi Vollering, both of whom finished on the podium behind Marianne Vos last year. 

In the men's edition, defending champion Wout van Aert will still be absent after his covid positive, but Tom Pidcock, Tiesj Benoot and Mathieu van der Poel are all expected to start.

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Adam Becket
Adam Becket

Adam is Cycling Weekly’s senior news and feature writer – his greatest love is road racing but as long as he is cycling on tarmac, he's happy. Before joining Cycling Weekly he spent two years writing for Procycling, where he interviewed riders and wrote about racing, speaking to people as varied as Demi Vollering to Philippe Gilbert. Before cycling took over his professional life, he covered ecclesiastical matters at the world’s largest Anglican newspaper and politics at Business Insider. Don't ask how that is related to cycling.