DENVER, July 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2019 Colorado Classic® presented by VF Corporation launched the "Equity in Cycling Pledge" today that asks fans around the world to show their support for gender equality in professional cycling. Colorado Governor Jared Polis also has declared July 17 as Colorado Classic Equity in Cycling Day with an official state proclamation, stating that, "Colorado as a state believes in equal pay and opportunities regardless of gender."
"We in Colorado support the Colorado Classic's bold move to be the premier women's-only race," said Colorado Governor Jared Polis. "With this proclamation making July 17 Colorado Classic Equity in Cycling Day, I want to inspire women athletes and highlight equity in pro cycling because equality matters, in athletics, the workplace, and in all walks of life."
With a gross disparity in women's pro cycling in terms of pay, media and TV exposure and racing opportunities, the "We Ride" Pledge (https://www.coloradoclassic.com/pledge) aims to create awareness of the gender gap and help bring equality to cycling and all women's sports.
The Colorado Classic is a game-changing pro cycling race that is advancing equity for women athletes by focusing only on women's racing, offering higher prize money, live start-to-finish TV coverage, more challenging routes, favorable start times and greater opportunity for racers and teams. The Classic is a standalone UCI 2.1 four-stage pro cycling race coming to Colorado through Steamboat Springs, Avon, Golden and Denver from August 22 through 25.
"This year's race is becoming more than a race, it's becoming a movement," said Lucy Diaz, COO of RPM Event. "The race is inspiring others to advance equity for women in sports and life. For all women, for all athletes, for young girls riding a bike, shooting a basketball, kicking a soccer ball, now is the time for change. Just as the U.S. women's team is doing for soccer, it's time to take a stand and demand gender equity in pro cycling. It's time for cycling's Billie Jean King moment."
According to a CyclingNews article last year, the average budget for a men's WorldTour pro cycling team is approximately $16 million, while the average budget for a women's pro cycling team is $200,000. Half the pro women earn less than approximately $11,000 and 17% have no salary at all. Pro men racers have three times as many races on the UCI calendar than women, and 52% of pro women riders have to work a second job.
One of the first signers of the pledge is Kathryn Bertine, well-known advocate for equality in cycling for women, CEO of Homestretch Foundation, filmmaker and author. Bertine is also Trek's Ambassador of Equality in Cycling.
"I am incredibly proud of the Colorado Classic standing up for what is right when it comes to equality," Bertine said. "With Governor Polis and the State of Colorado behind this initiative, we're proving that equality matters far beyond just bike racing. Together we can all make a difference when we stand up and use our collective voice. I'm honored to be part of #WeRide."
For those who want to show and wear their support, the WE RIDE bracelet is available for sale at www.ColoradoClassic.com/pledge.
A portion of the proceeds from every WE RIDE bracelet goes to The Cyclists' Alliance, the international women's rider union working for equity in the sport of cycling.
To learn more about the Colorado Classic presented by VF Corporation and this year's race routes, visit coloradoclassic.com or follow @coloradoclassicpro on Instagram and Facebook for the latest updates.
For "We Ride" Pledge assets and images, please click here.
To download the Governor Polis video news release, please click here.
About RPM Events Group
RPM Events Group LLC is a Colorado-based company committed to re-imagining professional cycling events while providing meaningful social and economic impact. The company owns and organizes the Colorado Classic presented by VF Corporation — a world-class women's pro road race August 22-25, 2019— the only UCI 2.1 women's stage race in the Western Hemisphere and on USA Cycling's Pro Road Tour. www.rpmeventsgroup.com
About VF Corporation
VF Corporation outfits consumers around the world with its diverse portfolio of iconic outdoor and activity-based lifestyle and workwear brands, including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland® and Dickies®. Founded in 1899, VF is one of the world's largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies with socially and environmentally responsible operations spanning numerous geographies, product categories and distribution channels. VF is committed to delivering innovative products to consumers and creating long-term value for its customers and shareholders. For more information, visit www.vfc.com.
SOURCE RPM Events Group