2021 EPiC Equality Mark

In 2021 EPiC launched the Equality Mark to highlight events that awarded prizes and recognise the achievement of men and women equally.

EPiC’s focus in 2021 was securing equal prize money (or non-monetary prizes of equal value) for men and women in amateur cycling events, work which follows on from our campaign and open letter in the 2020 hill climb season. Alongside equal prizes, we’re pushing for equal recognition and celebration of female and male competitors. Find out more about this, and why we’re doing it here.

The equality mark is a way to celebrate those already providing equality in their events – whether organisers or clubs. It’s based on what we see as the gold standard for equality in prizes at cycle events, and whilst some are ready to adopt it immediately, others may not be. For these, we hope it can provide a goal to progress towards. Being on the right trajectory matters.

The following clubs and organisations applied for and received the EPiC Equality Mark for their 2021 events:

Avid Sport; Brighton Mitre CC; Bristol South CC; Bynea CC; Chew Valley Cycling Club ; Cold Dark North; Common Lane Occasionals; Cowley Road Condors; Didcot Phoenix CC; FTP ( Fulfil The Potential) racing ; Halifax Imperial Wheelers; Hemel Hempstead Cycling Club; Kingston Wheelers Cycling Club; Quibell Velosport; Sitwell Cycling Club; Sodbury Cycle Sport; Sotonia Cycling Club; Stowmarket and District Cycling Club; Team Lifting Gear Products / Cycles In Motion; Team Sheffield; Tour de Greaves; Velobants CC; Wessex Cyclo Cross League

The events covered over 20 Cycling Time Trial (CTT) events, including 6 hill climbs. We were also pleased to recognise road races, criteriums, charity events, cyclocross events and leagues.

The Equality Mark has also been the starting point for many other discussions about equality in cycling. Clubs have requested a club-level Equality Mark to reflect their wider commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, cycling districts have enquired as to its use, organisers have been referred to the criteria to help adjust their prize structures and integrating the principles of equality into events with complex formats (e.g. track leagues) have been discussed. We have also been in contact with governing bodies to raise the issue of equal prize money and started to explore how this links through to wider participation issues. The profile of this issue has been such that changes were proposed to CTT’s rules to mandate equal prizes at their National Council Meeting.

These discussions will continue into the 2022 season and EPiC welcomes applications for the Equality Mark here.

EPiC Equality Mark: Early Adopters

Following the launch of the EPiC Equality Mark for equal prize money in cycling events there has been keen interest from the cycling community. The group has received and approved applications from the clubs and teams below. We have also received a number of questions and queries which we will answer on our FAQ page to help guide future applicants. We welcome all input from the cycling community and we can be contacted at info@epic-group.org or sign up for the EPiC Equality Mark.

Avid Sport (Easter Classic at Odd Down)

Brighton Mitre CC (Brighton Mitre CC Hilly Time Trial)

Chew Valley Cycling Club (Smithams Chimney Hill Climb)

Cold Dark North (Capernwray Road Races)

Common Lane Occasionals (sporting course time trial)

FTP (Fulfil The Potential) racing (FTP Time Trial Series)

Halifax Imperial Wheelers (Ripponden Bank HC)

Hitchin Nomads (time trials and road races)

Sitwell Cycling Club (Ulley Lane Hill Climb)

Sodbury Cycle Sport (Wotton Hill Climb)

Stowmarket and District Cycling Club (Debenham 20 Time Trial)

Team Lifting Gear Products / Cycles In Motion (Mill Lee Road Hill Climb)

Team Sheffield (TEAM Sheffield Cuckney TT series)

The Equality Mark

We’re excited to unveil the EPiC equality mark. This is something we’ve been working on as a group, with the initial concept coming from Michelle Lee (PDQ/Forest of Dean CC).

The equality mark is a way to celebrate those already providing equality in their events – whether organisers or clubs. It’s based on what we see as the gold standard for equality in prizes at cycle events, and whilst some are ready to adopt it immediately, others may not be. For these, we hope it can provide a goal to progress towards. Being on the right trajectory matters.

The equality mark is based on the UN symbol for gender equality, made a little cycling specific. Whilst it was designed and conceived as a way to encourage and celebrate prize equality in time-trialling in the UK, we’ve aimed to make it as versatile as possible. We’d love to see it being used for any competitive cycling event that offers prizes, anywhere in the world. We hope that grassroots and amateur events can set a precedent for equality that echoes up the echelons into the highest levels of competition.

Visit this page to find out more, apply, and read the criteria. Once you’ve submitted your form we’ll be in touch with the equality mark file, and your event or series will be added to our list of approved events. We’re here for equality in cycling – join us.

The EPiC equality mark is a symbol based on the UN symbol for gender equality and incorporating a bicycle chain
The EPiC equality mark – Designed by Haddi Conant and Michelle Lee

Cycling Time Trials Response to EPiC

Many of you will have seen the public statement given by CTT on the 21st of January which can be found here. In summary, the statement announces that a CTT director has been appointed to look into issues of diversity and inclusion in the sport and recognises the existence of issues. This is something which will be of benefit to CTT and is a positive step for the organisation and Glen Knight’s success with Newbury Velo means he is well placed to promote participation in the sport in this role.  

However, the statement focused primarily on the CTT director role but did not respond directly to our letter containing the open letter and list of signatories sent on the 13th of December. We sought further clarification from CTT and requested a direct response to our open letter and offering further collaboration on the issue of equality.

We have received communication back from CTT. The letter states that CTT does not have the capacity to make a ruling on prizes and that prizes are solely at the discretion of the event organiser. They go on to say that they may address changes to rules in future if this was identified as needed through the project which they are planning to undertake looking into issues within the sport. The communication finished by saying that the details of the work and the findings will be published “when and where appropriate”. The letter can be found here

We have acknowledged their letter and again offered to meet with them to share our research and to participate in their project. We look forward to hearing more details of the CTT project in the coming weeks and months.

Treating people equally is fundamental to an inclusive sport which welcomes all people to it. When people feel included they will participate more often and in a diversity of ways contribute more to the sport. The prize money structure published by events represents a public statement by organisers on the principle of equality (or lack of), which is why we argue that it is important to address. We hope the CTT sees this link between the fundamental principle of equality and increased participation but it is difficult to interpret the CTT’s response as a firm commitment to the principle of equality or a recognition of the inequality which has been shown to exist. CTT have since confirmed that equality is the cornerstone of the project and something they are committed to and have acknowledged by commissioning the project. EPiC remain open to further dialogue with the CTT.

The Open Letter

The 2020 hill climb season was remarkable, managing to go ahead largely unscathed in the midst of a pandemic, and with a record number of women competing at the National Hill Climb in Streatley.

It also brought together individuals motivated to make a change in time trials in the UK. Team Lifting Gear Products Cycles in Motion started an open letter to Cycling Time Trials (the UK governing body) to consider a rule change to mandate equal prizes for the top three finishers of each sex in all events. The letter can be found here.

The letter authors banded together with other individuals from the cycling community previously involved in campaigning for equality and EPiC was formed. The letter resonated widely, and gained a total of of 4,305 signatures, including hundreds of event organisers, thousands of CTT competitors, and National and Olympic Champions.

The letter and accompanying list of signatories were shared with CTT in December. In this letter we requested they:

  • Acknowledge the issue, and publish a statement highlighting commitment to inclusivity and progressing gender equality in cycling; 
  • Take action regarding prize structures which include an overall prize;
  • Make changes to the rules to require equal prize money (as covered in the open letter);  
  • Provide input and give backing to an equal prize money kite mark scheme for clubs to sign up to; and, 
  • Communicate with event organisers and districts about prize structures.

Time Trials UK Survey

Promoting Equality in Cycling (November 2019)

Equality and equity in cycling has been a topic of discussion in recent months with a great deal of opinion being shared on a social media and other sites.

A group of members of the time trialling community have worked to understand this issue through a survey. This survey has sought to answer questions about equal prizes.

The very engaged survey respondents also volunteered a number perspectives that have brought other themes the fore.

The group request that riders, racers, marshals, organisers, district committee members and those who have input into the governance of the discipline of time trials read the report, digest the content and consider what constructive action they might take as a result. The survey report can be read in full here.