In the last few weeks, money as been on everyone’s minds. Contracts are being renegotiated for next season, racers are contemplating what they can afford for travel, and for most of the racers in the US, well, they’re mostly trying to pay down their credit card bills from last season.
But that isn’t to say that cyclocross can’t be a high-paying sport. Nieuwsblad, a Belgian newspaper, recently posted this infographic:
In response, Balint Hamvas of CyclePhotos.co.uk came out with this corresponding graphic that detailed just how great the gap between the men’s and women’s payouts are.
Nieuwsblad just looks at Euro winnings while Hamvas (with the help of Dan Seaton) compiled results and winnings worldwide. However, what neither looks into are:
- Start money—typically not an issue in US ’cross but certainly one in Europe, with very few women even being offered money to be at the races.
- Team incentives/bonuses—Anthony Gallino of Cal-Giant, for instance, told us that Elle Anderson blew his incentive program out of the water with all of her wins this season, so we know that some of the riders are receiving bonuses for jobs well done.
- Actual team contracts—traditionally, men are offered much more money for team contracts than their female counterparts, and often, it’s easy to spot the discrepancies in travel budgets, equipment, and even race reimbursement when dealing with men and women.
- This also doesn’t take into account money made in other cycling outside of ’cross season (for example, Vos races more on the road than on the ’cross course these days).
Looking at these figures, are you surprised by any of the numbers? We’ve talked about money before with our Is There Money in ’Cross two-part series back in Issue 17 and Issue 19, but even we had trouble figuring out exactly what people were taking home at the end of the year.
While both infographics are clearly lacking some information, they do showcase two excellent points. First, that in Europe, the payouts are higher across the board (between World Cups and ’cross as a spectator sport, it stands to reason), and second, when you look at the men’s versus the women’s payouts, clearly the women are still getting the short end of the stick.