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The fans have spoken, and they say that they believe in equal prize money for the women’s peloton.
In a matter of five days, more than 1,000 people donated €25,578 to the GoFundMe account Equal prize money for the Women’s Peloton, increasing the payout to the top-five female finishers at Saturday’s Strade Bianche from €6,298 to €31,876.
The total payout to the top-five men from the race organizer was €31,600.
Cem Tanyeri, who set up the account on Monday after feeling frustrated that more wasn’t being done to address the disparity in prize money, said that he was blown away by the engagement.
“This has been an amazing week, I’ve really enjoyed the energy these fans have created,” he told VeloNews. “I don’t want to jump the gun, but it seems we have a shot at getting a systemic solution in place.”
Without the efforts of Tanyeri and fans, Saturday’s champion Chantaal van den Broek-Blaak (SD Worx) would have walked away from her stunning victory with €2,256.
According to the breakdown on Tanyeri’s GoFundMe page, van den Broek-Blaak will receive 32 percent of the funds raised, which will add an additional €8,185 to the €2,256 that the race organizers allotted to pay the winner of the women’s race.
Prize money inequality is an ongoing issue in women’s cycling, and while most riders agree that increased TV coverage is a more urgent need, they also recognize that any conversation about inequities presents an opportunity to change them.
“I think it’s really touching to see that the fans are really behind us and that they’re getting tired of the inequities,” Ashleigh Moolman Pasio told VeloNews. “It’s just nice to see that fans are willing to put their money where their mouth is and support women’s cycling.”