The organisers of the Giro Donne have pledged a five-fold increase in prize money as well as a promise of two hours of live television broadcast for every stage.
The prize pool will increase from €50,000 to €250,000, announced alongside the 2022 route, the race set to take place from June 30 to July 9 across nine stages.
The €250,000 of prize money, with €50,000 going to the overall winner, matches the amount offered up by the Tour de France Femmes as the Giro Donne faces competition from the revamped French stage race returning this summer. The Giro Donne's general manager argues, however, that there is no competition between the two races.
"Once ASO, this very big organisation, decided to introduce the Tour de France Femmes again, it is a strong sign that women's cycling is growing fast," general manager Roberto Ruini said. "I think there is no competition but it is a big opportunity to develop the race together and women's cycling movement together. The prize money that we set at €250,000 is a big sign of this growth."
The 2022 Giro Donne begins with three stages on the island of Sardinia, starting with a short time trial of under five kilometres.
A rest day then follows as the race transfers to the mainland, a transition stage around Cesena before heading north.
The queen stage will see the riders tackle the Passo Maniva but other stages to Bergamo, Aldeno and San Lorenzo Dorsino will also provide tough tests for prospective victors.
Defending champion Anna van der Breggen is now retired, but big names such as Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar), Trek-Segafredo's Elisa Longo Borghini, Lucinda Brand and Elisa Balsamo, and Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) are all expected on the start line.
A new three-day women's race has also been announced for August, which will see the peloton tackle the Pyrenees.
The Tour Féminin International des Pyrénées (2.1) has ambitions to eventually make WorldTour status and this year will take in the Col du Soulor, the first part of the Col d'Aubisque, as well as a final stage starting and finishing in Lourdes.
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Hi. I'm Cycling Weekly's Weekend Editor. I like writing offbeat features and eating too much bread when working out on the road at bike races.
Before joining Cycling Weekly I worked at The Tab and I've also written for Vice, Time Out, and worked freelance for The Telegraph (I know, but I needed the money at the time so let me live).
I also worked for ITV Cycling between 2011-2018 on their Tour de France and Vuelta a España coverage. Sometimes I'd be helping the producers make the programme and other times I'd be getting the lunches. Just in case you were wondering - Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen had the same ham sandwich every day, it was great.
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