Get access to everything we publish when you join VeloNews or Outside+.
Elisa Longo Borghini is putting her money where her heart is.
“We will soon decide how and where we will spend the money, but on this special day we thin[k] it’s important marking a new step in the long and difficult road of women’s empowerment,” Longo Borghini wrote on her Instagram page.
Last week Strade Bianche became the focus of an international conversation on pro cycling’s disparity in prize money, after the lopsided prize purse from Omloop Het Nieuwsblad prompted calls for more equality in payouts. A fan named Cem Tanyeri set up a GoFundMe account to raise funds for the women’s prize purse at Strade Bianche, and after five days the account brought in €26,668 for the top women.
Tanyer wrote on the site that he intended to distribute the cash to the top-five finishers. The winner would receive €6400; second place €5,000; third €3800; fourth €2800; and fifth place €2000.
Longo Borghini finished second overall, bringing her €5,000. Traditionally, teams split up the prize winnings between the riders and staff at the event. Longo Borghini said she instead will distribute the raised funds.
“I’m honored and touched, as a woman and as a rider, that someone was willing to donate money to support the cause of prize equity between women’s and men’s cycling,” she said. “The generosity is a vote of confidence, a great boost in support of the entire women’s movement. Thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.”
Longo Borghini said that she and her Trek Segafredo teammates plan to spend all of their prize earnings that come from crowdfunding campaigns on projects for women’s cycling.
On this special day we – my @TrekSegafredo teammates and I- have decided to make a new step in the long road for women's empowerment in sport.
Happy international women's day to all of us! pic.twitter.com/euTxSVq1wH
— Elisa Longo Borghini (@ElisaLongoB) March 8, 2021