Prudential RideLondon to offer biggest ever prize fund for women's cycle race

Barbara Guarischi, centre, won the women's race at last year's RideLondon event

The women's race at Prudential RideLondon 2016 will offer the biggest prize fund ever for a women's event with a total of 100,000 euros on offer.

The purse, worth ?78,600, eclipses the ?50,000 fund which will be on offer at next month's women's race in the Tour de Yorkshire - which was a record when it was announced last week.

The rebranded RideLondon Classique will take place on Saturday July 30, one day before the men's RideLondon-Surrey Classic, which will have the same size prize fund to make it the richest one-day classic in history.

Event director Hugh Brasher said: "We believe in equality in sport. Last year, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey Classic became the world's richest men's one day race and we believe that it is right that the prize money for our new UCI Women's WorldTour event matches that, setting a new standard for women's cycling.

"This is the same policy that we have operated at the London Marathon for many years."

The individual winner of the race will collect 25,000 euros (?19,600), with 10,000 euros (?7,860) going to the winning team.

Double Olympic champion Laura Trott, who has raced in each edition of the event and won the inaugural women's race in 2013, said: "This is fantastic news. Women's cycling is being given the recognition it deserves. Prudential RideLondon has pioneered incredible change in women's cycling, first with live television coverage, then live cameras on bikes last year and now with record prize money and parity with the men's race."

This year the women's race will have UCI WorldTour status, bringing the biggest teams and best riders to London.

The 66km race will take place on a 5.5km circuit around central London, taking in The Mall, Constitution Hill, Parliament Square, the Strand and Trafalgar Square.

Last week, the Tour de Yorkshire announced that its women's race would boast a total prize fund of ?50,000, with ?15,000 on offer to the winner.

After that announcement, world champion Lizzie Armitstead welcomed the commitment from organisers, but warned that a focus on prize money alone would miss other issues in women's cycling.

"There's so many things we need before we have equal prize money," she said. "I don't want races to be put off inviting me to race because they don't have ?15,000 if I win it. I'd rather have the opportunity to race up the Cauberg (finish of the Amstel Gold Race in Holland, which has not had a women's edition since 2003).

"That's what I would like and I think those steps should be first in women's cycling."

The debate about prize money in women's sport was reignited earlier this month when the chief executive of the Indian Wells tennis tournament, Raymond Moore, claimed the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) "rides on the coattails" of the men's game.

Moore subsequently stepped down.

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