Shirt week! Support the Bristol Grand Prix and get this awesome t-shirt!

I live in Bristol, in the UK, and I am very, very happy to see how well my friend Nicola Waterworth is doing organising the FIRST! EVER! BRISTOL GRAND PRIX!!!

Taking place in beautiful central Bristol on Saturday 20th June, there are races for juniors, Cat 1-4 women and 2 men’s races, Cat 3-4 and Cat 1-2.  They’ve got a crowdfunder which has hit their initial target of £10,000, and they have 5 days left to reach their stretch goal of £15,000, and for just £12 you can help them achieve that AND get this fabulous t-shirt!

You can also enter via that page – they’re in the process of getting British Cycling registration, so it’ll count for points – and if you’re in/near Bristol on the day, why not pledge to be a volunteer too?  Scroll down for more info!

Map, timetable, lots more info, including their links to Bristol’s Big Green Week on their website, and follow them on twitter too

 

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Support your local Sarah

Hi team, I just wanted to jot down a few quick notes about a project I’m pretty excited by. As you may (or may not) be aware, for a little while now we’ve been looking for ways to help Sarah get a little bit of steady income from all the work she does on women’s cycling. First off we added a few items that you could purchase in our Redbubble store. And now it’s come time for the next thing.

Now Sarah’s launched a Patreon account! If you’re not already familiar with the idea behind Patreon, it’s a site that seeks to help content creators (think artists, musicians, writers, etc.) connect with fans of their work and be supported directly by them in order to help them continue to create works.

Supporters (or Patrons) commit to supporting creators with a set amount per month (it can be as little as $2) and there are reward tiers and stretch goals and such. So please do take a few moments to visit Sarah’s page and look through the options. If you can afford to help support her, then THANK YOU SO MUCH from both of us (but especially from Sarah). And even if you can’t, if you’d help by sharing it with your cycling friends, rich relatives and so on, that would also be super, super cool of you.

As always, Sarah loves you anyway and wants you to win every single race you enter. Thanks! 🙂

Women’s sports and prize money

A few short links for you today, that are kind of related.

1.  If you’re in the UK, you might have seen a lot of things on various BBC sites on the different between prize money for women and men in the same sports.  That’s partly to do with this BBC report, which does a sport-by-sport comparison (including the Para-sports, which really suffer here) – and there’s an article about it too on the BBC site.

2.  One of the places this has been talked about is on BBC Radio 4 programme Woman’s Hour, where superstar Emma Pooley was discussing the issues.  If you missed it, listen here (if it’s restricted, you might need something like Hola set to the UK)

3.  Helen Wyman‘s latest blog on Cyclingnews talks about the work she’s been doing on prize money within cyclocross, and how she worked with Twenty20 Cycles to get equal prize money for the women at Saturday’s Koppenbergcross.  Helen also talked to me recently about how since men’s cyclocross in Belgium is pretty much at saturation point, so women’s cycling is the obvious way to bring in more audience – that’s in part 1 of my interview with her, in part 2 she talks more about her work with the UCI.

Women’s cycling and the minimum wage – a chat with Kristy Scrymgeour

This week there was a minor twitter controversy, as in a podcast interview with Suze Clemitson about women’s cycling, for Velocast, UCI President Brian Cookson said that he wouldn’t be looking to introduce a minimum wage for women road riders this year, which had been one of his election manifesto promises, and on twitter he cited advice from the UCI Women’s Commission as a reason for this decision.

I was interested in this, and wanted to know more, so I asked Kristy Scrymgeour, who sits on the Commission as owner and manager for Specialized-lululemon, and she told me a bit more detail about why the Commission have advised this – and how the minimum wage will be addressed.

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Podcast Special Feature – Episode 35 – Sarah Interviews Kristy Scrymgeour

Kristy Scrymgeour has seen cycling from all kinds of angles – she started as a cyclist in Australia and the USA, then became a cycling journalist when Cyclingnews was first starting, before moving to work for the ground-breaking HTC-Highroad team, in charge of PR and media for the men’s and women’s teams. When that team folded, she took the women’s side forward as Specialized-lululemon, who have just won their fourth Vårgårda Team Time Trial World Cup, and then backed that up with their rider Chantal Blaak winning her first solo World Cup at the Vårgårda Road Race.  But alongside all this success, they’re also crowd-funding for their team to continue next year, with the Project X fundraiser.

Sarah talked to Kristy about the crowd-funding, and tons more, including how the team got through their 2013 full of injuries and dealing with the “less good”  start to 2014 (and how “less good” can refer to results, but it made them stronger); how they stay on top of the TTT; running a race programme across two continents;  the team goals for the rest of the season; Kristy’s work on the UCI’s women’s commission of the UCI, and changes we might see in the future.

To stream the Xiest podcast in cycling history, click here.

 

 

Subscribe for free via the iTunes store here, OR via our RSS feed over here.

If you prefer to read interviews rather than listen to them, the first part, on Vårgårda and Project X, is written up on Podium Café.

You can follow Specialized-lululemon on their website, facebook and twitter, and support the Project X fundraiser on Indiegogo.  Kristy is on twitter as @kscrymo and do check out her other initiatives – the Velocio.cc clothing range, and Ally Stacher‘s Ally’s Bars, which will go big in September.

The two Project X videos are below, starting with the brand-new video featuring the team talking about what cycling means to them, as well as the project

Equal prize money for women at the Koppenbergcross

It’s pretty crazy, but bike races in Europe have major prize differentiations between women and men – and it runs across different kinds of racing.  Last week there was a great “first” – the Koppenbergcross became the first European C1 cyclocross race to offer equal prizes, and it’s especially interesting because the money behind it – just €5,000! – was put up by Twenty20 Cycling, a 2-shop bike company based in Baltimore USA.  So political, I love it, the fact it takes a USA bike shop to bring this step towards equality to Europe!

Kona rider Helen Wyman has been instrumental in making this happen, and I interviewed her last week on Podium Café about the process, the politics, and why it means so much more than just money.  More things you might like to read about this include:

And follow them all on twitter – Koppenbergcross, Twenty20 and Helen Wyman.

Here’s hoping that other cyclocross races follow suit – and the road races with women’s and men’s editions, like Flèche Wallonne, Omloop het Nieuwsblad and Ronde van Vlaanderen step up too.

Update!  Here’s this week’s GCN News video, with Helen talking about all this

How much DOES it cost to run a women’s cycling team?

I’ve always wondered how much we’ve talking about, when women’s cycling teams talk about sponsorship etc. I’ve heard that an top-level women’s team cost about €300k, or the very top level teams are €400k, so I was very interested to read this article on Cycling Weekly, where Matrix Fitness Racing Academy DS/owner/manger Stefan Wyman talks about how much it cost to run a women’s team. I’m going to interview Stef over the weekend, but in the meantime, check out these figures, and if you know any companies pass them on!

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