La Vuelta and the 130,000 euros for the “dignity” of women’s cycling | Sports

demi Vollering prevails in Liège-Bastogne-Liège last Sunday.
demi Vollering prevails in Liège-Bastogne-Liège last Sunday.Associated Press/LaPresse (APS)

The first women’s Tour of Spain will be, from May 1 to 7, a Dutch duel ending in Lagos de Covadonga and a reflection of the contradictions that advance women’s sport towards the goal of “equality and dignity” of which he speaks, in the presentation of the race at the Higher Sports Council, the Secretary of State for Sport, José Manuel Franco, who finances the event through the Fundación Deporte Joven and the tax advantages of the Universo Mujer program.

Two great champions, Demi Vollering, who, like Tadej Pogacar among men, has won more than any other and is the great favourite, and Annemiek van Vleuten, the leader of Movistar, who won everything in 2022, are the face of the dignity, and economic progress, their livelihood.

“It will be the one-week race in Spain, including the best men’s, the Volta or Itzulia, of course, which has the highest prize pool,” announces Javier Guillén, general director of Unipublic, which organizes the two Vueltas a España, the men’s and the feminine. “It will be 130,000 euros.” The winner of each stage will receive 1,300 euros; the final winner, 35,000.

“A very important economic effort is made,” proclaims Guillén, who speaks of “equality with the one-week races.” However, the figures are far from the full equality that some sports, such as athletics or tennis, have guaranteed for some time. The amount, despite being high – the Volta distributed a total of 109,500 euros a month ago, 14,000 of them for the final winner -, and it is exactly the same as that distributed by Paris-Nice, one of the best men’s races, does not stop be the ninth part of what the Men’s Tour distributed in 2022 (almost 1,200,000 euros), a race organized by the same company that is only three times as long. The men’s Tour, the best-endowed race, distributes twice as much as the Vuelta, and the same proportion was maintained by the women’s Tour, an eight-day race, in 2022, when it distributed 247,530 euros in prizes (and 50,000 for the winner, Van Vleuten). , double that promised by the women’s Tour. In one-day races like the Fleche Wallonne or the Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the organizer, ASO, the mother of Unipublic, maintains the proportion. Remco Evenepoel received 20,000 euros for his victory, while Vollering, winner of the women’s race, stayed at 10,000.

A stumbling block in that “dignification” was solved by the race just in time to avoid bad publicity. The 24 teams, of seven riders, expected will finally be 23 (a peloton of 161 cyclists) after the resignation –“voluntary”, emphasize the organizers— of the Spanish team Zaaf, denounced by its riders, who have not received any salary in the four first months of the year. Anticipating the problem, the Tour anticipated denying the Zaaf the invitation to its race. The International Cycling Union (UCI), upon learning of the situation, gave the cyclists freedom to break their contracts, since the deposit deposited with the Spanish Cycling Federation only covers three months. Seven of the 15 riders on the squad, led by French champion Audrey Cordon Ragot, seized the opportunity and found a new team.

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