The Exergy Tour on Wednesday announced that the first-year women’s race will offer a $100,000 prize purse.
Organizers believe the purse is the largest for a five-day race in women’s cycling history.
“One of the primary reasons we founded the Exergy Tour is to help gain notoriety and exposure for the advancement of women’s professional cycling and to encourage media, corporate sponsors, governing bodies, spectators and fans to recognize the value of women’s competitive athletics,” said James Carkulis, CEO of Exergy Development Group. “Offering a significant payout for this race elevates the excitement to a level equal in stature to men’s pro cycling. Our hope is for the Exergy Tour to bring opportunities for both marketing and the media to open up more possibilities for women’s cycling in the USA and abroad.”
The prize money is the most recent in a strong of cycling investments made by Carkulis’ alternative energy coalition. Exergy also sponsors women’s and men’s professional teams and the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross.
The Exergy Tour, modeled after the Women’s Challenge, which last ran in 2002, is a UCI women’s event, one of the final races awarding points before selections are made for the London Olympics. The race runs May 24-28 in and around Boise, Idaho.
“Thanks to the support of Exergy we now have, for the first time in many years, a world-class, UCI women’s stage race in the U.S.,” said Steve Johnson, president and CEO of USA Cycling. “This event will provide our top American women, who are among the best in the world, with the opportunity to showcase their talent and race on home soil.”