Television packages, produced by UK-based VSquared TV Limited, have already attracted high profile takers such as the BBC (United Kingdom), RAI Sports (Italy), NOS (the Netherlands) and Canal+ (France) and positive discussions are ongoing with a range of other broadcasters across the globe. Coverage of the UCI Women Road World Cup will also be available for the internet, including on the UCI YouTube channel.
On March 15th, fans around the world will be able to tune in on the evening of the Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe for a news roundup of the day’s racing action. The same goes for the following eight World Cup rounds, all of which will be the subject of separate news roundups and highlights packages. In addition, throughout the season six features will be made about women involved in high level cycling. The aim of the features is to reveal the stories behind the athletes so that the public can relate to the stars of women’s cycling.
In welcoming this important step to increase the visibility of women’s cycling, UCI President Brian Cookson praised the organisers of the nine rounds of the 2014 UCI Women Road World Cup: “We are extremely fortunate to have the support of the race organisers for this initiative,” said Mr Cookson. “Their dedication and incredible work has already had a large part to play in the growing success and popularity of women’s cycling. By staging exciting and high-level events, they are improving its image and generating more interest from the fans.”
He added: “This is an exciting and positive year for women’s cycling. With the launch in 2014 of La Course by Le Tour de France on the last day of the Tour de France and now this increased visibility of our leading professional women’s cycling series, it is clear that real momentum is building.”
The increased television coverage of women’s cycling comes on the heels of other initiatives introduced to develop women’s cycling since the election of Brian Cookson to the Presidency of the UCI last September. As well as creating the Women’s Commission, the UCI President has appointed at least one woman to all the other UCI Commissions.
The UCI Women Road World Cup kicks off in the Netherlands on March 15 with Boels Rental Ronde van Drenthe and will finish with the GP de Plouay-Bretagne in France on August 30th. More details of the World Cup and a trailer of the series are available on the UCI website.
Oh, that’s because women’s sports doesn’t exist. Just check the Post-Gazette if you doubt this. On a good day, there will be a three-paragraph article about some women doing something somewhere, buried on page 6. Even rarer, a photo.
What to do about it? I’d talk about it to everyone who stands still & NOT talk about any male sport without mentioning women athletes.