Why are you doing this?
Equality and Parity should be the norm. This is not the case, in cycling inequality persists from grassroots through to professional level. We’re here to challenge that, and work to change it. We believe change in amateur sport can set a precedent for continued positive change in the world of cycling, and will have a profound impact on the next generation of cyclists. Welcoming everyone, and valuing everyone, and celebrating everyone equally will make cycling a better place for all.
The focus of EPiC seems to be equality between men and women, what about other genders?”
EPiC was initially founded with the aim to bring about equality between men and women, specifically with respect to racing and prizes. The discrepancy was becoming increasingly apparent as women’s participation in amateur racing grew. Male and female are the two categories currently used in bike races. Although competitive sport is by nature, binary, it does not mean we should ignore or dismiss people who do not feel included. In future we would like to further promote the recognition and acknowledgement of other genders too. We support organisations like PrideOut who work to make cycling more welcoming for the LGBTQIA+ community.
Amateur bike racing isn’t about the money, why focus on equal prizes?
Unequal prize money and prize structures that fail to celebrate or recognise women are a symptom of a much bigger problem. Systemic inequality means vastly fewer women continue to pursue sport in their adult life than men, but within cycling and in time-trialling specifically we need to recognise that this disparity is greater than in other sports and take steps to address that.
Prize money has a knock on impact disproportionate to its monetary value and that’s why it’s an important issue to address. Prizes show riders that they’re valued and there’s a place for them in the competition, and often also lead to being pictured in podium photos and mentioned in event write ups. This all contributes to demonstrating that women belong in competitive cycling as much as men. Finally, initiating grassroots change and setting a precedent for equality can impact the sport at higher levels too.
There are fewer women entering so why should we give them equal prize money?
This is about equality, not proportionality. Equally celebrating women’s achievements in no way undermines the achievements of the male field. Further, no one enters an event expecting to receive a certain proportion of their entry fee back as prize money.
It’s also about looking forwards, and making the changes now so that the sport can grow in the future and so that women new to racing are not put off by attitudes reflected in prize structures which fail to celebrate them or list them as ‘other’.
What about the juniors/juveniles/vets?
In an ideal world, we would love to see equality throughout the prize structure – recognizing female vets equally to male vets, and female juniors equal to males. This is why we’ve set this as one of the criteria for our kitemark, which we see as the gold standard for equality in prize structures.
With the CTT change, we pushed for equality for women as the priority. Women are an equal category to men, and the age categories are sub-classifications within either male or female. This is why our push for a governing body rule change in time trials focussed on the male/female gap in the overall prizes.