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RideLondon Classique: Brodie Chapman says riders ‘disrespected’ by lack of live coverage

FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope rider praises expansion of race, but fuming at lack of TV coverage.

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Brodie Chapman (FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope) said the limited television coverage of the RideLondon Classique has left riders feeling “disrespected” and “puts the sport going backward.”

The race, first launched in 2013, has this year grown from a one-day event to a three-day tour, but only the final stage in London is being broadcast live. UCI regulations stipulate that races at WorldTour level must provide a minimum of 45 minutes of live coverage per day.

“Disrespected,” was the word Chapman used to describe how riders felt about the lack of coverage. “Because our sponsors pay for us to do this, racing, and they pay for this to exist by sponsoring teams. And in return, you would expect that they would get exposure for their brands, but without live TV you don’t get exposure for the brands, which really puts the sport going backward.”

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The race has drawn significant crowds in Essex and London, but Chapman underlined the importance of treating the race as a professional sporting event.

“At the same time, professional sport is entertainment and we want our fans to be able to see how good women’s cycling can be and without live TV, you don’t get any of that, so it is disappointing.”

Chapman has not been the only person criticizing the lack of coverage, with Jumbo-Visma’s team manager Esra Tromp asking on stage 1 where the stipulated 45 minutes of live coverage was.

The RideLondon organizers confirmed Friday that the BBC, the race’s broadcast partners for the next five years, intended to broadcast all three stages of the race live from 2023.

“The organizers have said they’ll have it next year, and I expect nothing less,” Chapman said.

Despite the lack of live coverage on stages 1 and 2, Chapman praised the addition of two extra days of racing.

“It’s been super-fun,” she said. “We’re pretty happy it’s been made into a three-day race, because it gives us a couple of extra days to enjoy the UK. So far it’s been a little bit nervous racing: new roads, and definitely a deceptively tough parcours.

“The rolling roads mean you have to be on all the time. But as we’ve seen, it’s a race for the world-class sprinters, and it’s been good to see them battle it out. We’ve got Vittoria Guazzini in the young rider’s jersey, so we’re really happy with trying to hold onto that jersey.”

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