Flanders Classics has announced that all of its 2023 races, which include Omloop het Nieuwsblad, Gent Wevelgem, Dwars door Vlaanderen, Scheldeprijs, Brabantse Pijl and the Tour of Flanders. It follows in the course of Nokere Koerse introducing equal prize money for its race last season, as well as Flanders Classics’ own Tour of Flanders. Flanders Classics announced in 2020 it’s Closing the Gap programme. That outlined how they would reach parity between their men’s and women’s races.
As for actual money, €50,000 is split between each of the winners of the men’s and women’s Tour of Flanders. The other 5 races will have a bit less on offer for their prize money but €400,000 is earmarked to be used across all of the races. Lotte Kopecky won the 2022 edition in the Belgian national jersey.
“We had already announced that long-term strategy three years ago. In 2023 we wanted to equalize the prize money for all spring races and if you say so, you should do it. For us, it is the icing on the cake, part of a bigger picture. We have already been working on upgrading the starting fees, improving our competitions, and increasing media coverage and broadcasting hours.
You can’t be left behind with the prize money and we want to show that this is the momentum. We want to lead by example. Women’s cycling used to be described by organisers as a cost, today it is an investment. We want to be innovative and we want to remain first in our class. And so I think other organisers will be obliged to follow.
This sport is becoming popular. There is a new generation, women’s cycling is appealing and the stories stand perfectly on their own. It has an independent future.”Tomas Van Den Spiegel, CEO of Flanders Classics