In what seems like an obvious and necessary move, all of the spring 2023 Flanders Classics will offer identical prize money for men and women. Last year, the Tour of Flanders made the move to equal pay, which paved the way for all of this year’s races to do the same. This move comes thanks to the Closing the Gap project, which launched in 2020, and has now invested €1.6 million in women’s cycling.

In a statement, Flanders Classics CEO Tomas Van Den Spiegel said, “Last season, we expressed our ambition to offer equal prize money for all races in 2023. Today, we can already confirm that will indeed be the case this spring. As of the season’s opening classic, this will no longer just be an ambition but a concrete achievement.” He went on to say that he’s excited to see the World Tour for women grow significantly in the future.

“The fact that the Omloop het Nieuwsblad is also joining the UCI Women’s World Tour means that we can well and truly look forward to a comprehensive start to the cycling season for all riders.”

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Last year’s equal prize money in the Tour of Flanders has already influenced other races in the World Tour and beyond. And while prize money is significant and symbolic, Flanders Classics acknowledges that alone it’s not enough. With the Closing the Gap initiative, Flanders Classics and their partners will be building a sustainable business model for women’s cycling. Beyond prize money, they’ll also be focusing on initiatives aimed at getting more women into the highest level of the sport, and keeping them there.

Flanders Classics has also invested heavily in youth. In an effort to pave the way for tomorrow’s top women riders, U17 and U19 female cyclists now have a chance to compete in the Tour of Flanders Youth Day in May, as well as other opportunities to race in the same arena as the elites.

Finally, one of the most crucial steps toward attracting new riders, they’ve invested in more live media coverage of women’s racing. Flanders Classics wants to see women’s racing broadcast on national and international channels, just like it is for the men. Live coverage is far and away the best mode to garner more excitement and more participation in the sport.

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Micah Ling
Freelance Writer

Micah Ling is a freelance writer based out of Salida, Colorado. She splits her time in the mountains biking and trail running. Connect with her on Instagram and Twitter.