And that’s our Spring officially finished! 29 race days in seven countries. There’s now a little break before Balint makes his way to the USA for Tour of California whilst I head to Spain for Emakumeen Saria and Bira.
It’s been my first time covering Tour de Yorkshire (Balint was here last year). Whilst standing in a bog on the Cow & Calf climb Balint who was watching on TV, at home sent a message saying ‘it felt like an actual race’. Not that other races lack the competition, but more that the Tour de Yorkshire has all the components that make up what you expect from a race: Live TV, a challenging course, crowds of spectators, etc. I have a theory about why women’s races in the UK are bigger than their counterparts in Europe. It’s not built out of any facts, just hunches and theories from things I see at races across the season and thinking about it a lot on those long drives between races.
Football, rugby, cricket and maybe horse racing dominate sports coverage in the UK. Awareness of other sports is generally limited to people’s experience of them at the Olympics, and the Olympics (with a few exceptions) always has comparable events for men and women with parity in coverage. It sets a base expectation of what people will get when watching one of these sports outside of the Olympics. So in the case of road cycling, there’s no legacy of men’s races being the pinnacle of the sport or a suggestion that women’s races might be a ‘side show’. The question of not being able to watch it on TV, or their being equal prize money etc is not even a consideration. When these expectations are the standard for a race organiser to work from there is no question of providing less. Standing at one spot on the course today, I overheard a couple of fans (who’d obviously seen the Grand Depart in Yorkshire) wondering where the race caravan was as they watched the race on their phones.
But enough of my ramblings. Here’s some photos from the final stage at the Tour de Yorkshire.
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