Alberto Bettiol: It is a disgrace and unfair that women earn so little in prize money

John MacLeary
Italian riders Alberto Bettiol (left) and Marta Bastianelli won the men's and women's editions of the Tour of Flanders in April, though the cheques awarded to each varied widely - 2019 Getty Images
Italian riders Alberto Bettiol (left) and Marta Bastianelli won the men's and women's editions of the Tour of Flanders in April, though the cheques awarded to each varied widely - 2019 Getty Images

Alberto Bettiol has described the prize money given to women at the Tour of Flanders, one of the biggest one-day races in the men's and women's WorldTour calendars, as 'a disgrace'.

Italian rider Bettiol earned €20,000 in prize money for winning the Tour of Flanders, one of the five monuments of the sport, while his compatriot Marta Bastianelli was handed just €1,265 for winning the women's edition.

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Dominated by some of the biggest names in women's cycling, the cobbled classic – won by Britons Nicole Cooke in 2007 and Lizzie Deignan and 2016 – is raced over a similar route to the men's while it equally remains one of the most prestigious on the calendar.

However, similarly to a number of WorldTour races the prize money handed to women is considerably less to that given to their male counterparts, a fact that has not gone unnoticed by the Bettiol who landed the first win of his career in Belgium in April. 

"We earn a lot via our contracts but prize money is very low," Bettiol told Italian sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"The winner of the Tour of Flanders gets only €20,000. It’s even worse for the women. Marta Bastianelli won only €1,265. That's a disgrace and unfair because she suffered just like I did or perhaps even more and women’s cycling is now an established reality."

As it stands, just one women's WorldTour race – the RideLondon Classique –​ hands riders equal prize money to its male equivalent which at €100,000 makes the race the richest one-day event in world cycling.

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