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Nokere Koerse triples women’s prize money to match men

Belgian race boosts winner's purse to €18,800, making it the richest one-day payday on the women's calendar for 2022.

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The one-day semi-classic Nokere Koerse announced it will triple the prize money for its women’s race in 2022, bringing it in line with the men’s event.

That means the women’s winner will receive €18,800 – more than three times what has previously been handed out.

The new increase sees the Nokere Koerse become the most valuable one-day race in women’s cycling — a crown previously held by the RideLondon Classique, which will be a three-day race from 2022.

“Women’s cycling is becoming more and more important. The gap with the men when it comes to prize money must therefore be closed,” said race organizer Robrecht Bothuyne. “Together with the municipality of Kruisem, the arrival point Nokere is a sub-municipality of Kruisem, we are now increasing the prize money for the women’s race to the level of the men.”

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The current prize pots are based on UCI minimums, which sets the bar far higher for men’s events compared to women’s.

The push in prize money comes as the race seeks to get a prestigious spot on the women’s WorldTour calendar for the 2023 season. The women’s race was first launched in 2019 and held its second edition this year — with Amy Pieters (SD Worx) winning — after canceling in 2020 due to COVID-19

“We are stepping up our efforts to close the financial gap by rewarding the women equally for their performance. We hope the top teams and top cyclists appreciate our efforts and will also be at the start in Deinze on March 16th,” race director Gil Steyvers said. “We want to strengthen our candidacy for the UCI Women’s World Tour. We are convinced that our race can be an added value in terms of sport, appearance, and therefore financially. We, therefore, hope that the UCI will approve our candidacy for 2023.”