THE WOMEN’S WORLDTOUR WAS A GOOD START

Procycling - - Review Of The Year 2016 -

It’s not per­fect, and there’s a long way to go, par­tic­u­larly in the ar­eas of salaries, prize money, TV cov­er­age and good races. But the first Women’s WorldTour gave the fe­male cal­en­dar a co­her­ence and the be­gin­nings of a vi­sion that never ex­isted in the days of the World Cup. Iron­i­cally, the men’s WorldTour has strug­gled to cap­ture the fans’ at­ten­tion as any­thing other than a po­lit­i­cal en­tity. If the men’s WorldTour dis­ap­peared, ev­ery one of the races in it would con­tinue to ex­ist and at­tract the same amount of at­ten­tion, and the im­pres­sion is that the WorldTour is de­pen­dent on the Tour de France and the other races for its pres­tige. But for the women, it seems to have added a layer of nar­ra­tive that was pre­vi­ously miss­ing.

The cov­er­age of some of the races was ter­ri­ble (though the Women’s Tour got a lot of air time), so the or­gan­is­ers and the UCI will need to im­prove that in the fu­ture. There’s also the ques­tion of when ASO will ex­pand La Course into an event wor­thy of its po­ten­tial. But as long as these im­prove­ments hap­pen, women’s cy­cling should con­tinue to grow.

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