Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Women aren't serious cyclists, naturally

or that's the message the UCI is currently sending out via the Junior World Championships run over the weekend.

The men's TT was run over 25.8km

The women's TT was half that distance at 12.9km.

Similarly the women's road race was 2/3rds the distance of the men. Do you see women being forced to race a half marathon only while the men can race the full monty, or 50m instead of the 100m???

Did the organisers run out of road, time, money, officials and commissaires (interest and respect???) to run a full distance for the women????

Get real UCI. Such disparities make a mockery of women's cycling. Is it just me, or is women's cycling going backwards?? It seems to be a reflection of a greater revisionist/reactionary approach the UCI is taking in governing the sport. I won't even go near the ongoing portrayals of women in the media, wearing aprons and their grandmother's floral print frocks in the kitchen.

Sometimes I wonder why we even bother when we are patronised in such a way by the peak international organising body of our sport. Providing such discrepancies in international (World championships!!!!) events devalues and undermines the hard work female cyclists and their supporters/teams to to achieve the results they do, on often less resources than their male counterparts. I see it on the track all the time (500m vs the kilo, IP distances, scratch distances etc). Isn't it interesting that at club level, and even State opens, it's ok for women to race the same race against men (and sometimes even win, as per Peta Mullens win last weekend at the Rob Vernon) but once you get to national and international level it's not. Can someone please tell me the difference???? I don't see any....

5 comments:

Buttsy said...

I agree - at an international level any top female rider will struggle to live as a professional cyclist - compared to the men the salaries for women are so much lower, but they still have to train and need coaching etc etc...the list goes on and on....it is unfair....a female cyclist has to have an occupation or skill to support her when the cycling finishes.....

Lawrence said...

You are right Judith, but I am talking about the organising bodies recognising the work of pro women and aspiring pro women by providing a level of racing (distance in this case) that justifies and acknowledges that work the pro women do.

Buttsy said...

Is there anything documented on why this is the case? Why the distances are shorter for women in all such events. The regulations specify distances for time trials and do we know whether this is based on any research into physiological response from women vs men etc? But your example of the marathon is excellent

Lawrence said...

I really don't know, but I'm guessing it's based on years of "we've always done it this way" and "we've always thought women are incapable (for whatever reason, hormones, softer bodies etc) of going the distance" more than any scientific reason.

Groover said...

Never thought of it this way. Thanks for making me think ...