During the last two months we covered the 2019 spring classics, one thing we noted in each of the race previews was the difference in the length between the Women and Men’s routes. We did not necessarily cover payouts, but those typically showed a difference between the sexes as well.
Great Britain’s Tour of Yorkshire started in 2015, a year after the Tour de France held its Grand Depart in the region. Since then, the race has taken an approach similar to the Trek Bicycles of the cycling world, offering steps toward equality at the UCI road race.
In 2016, the Tour of Yorkshire brought the Asda supermarket chain on board as a sponsor and offered total prizes of €63,000 equal to those for the men.
This year, the equal payouts were back, and organizers took another step toward at least partial equality.
Whether it be road, cyclocross or mountain biking—gravel in the U.S. is a notable exception—women race for less time or shorter distances than the men. Although the Men’s Tour of Yorkshire was a four-day race and the Women’s only two, the women raced the same courses as the men on Friday and Saturday.
Friday’s stage was a 132 km route that was more of a sprinter’s stage that went from Barnsley to Bedale. Saturday’s stage was also 132 km located along the North Sea coast.
The race offered the added bonus of providing a look at the course for the 2019 UCI Road World Championships that take place in September.
Even though the two-day event had the UCI 2.1 designation, the race attracted an impressive field, including many of the top international teams. The race also marked one of Lizzie Deignan’s first races back after the birth of her daughter Orla.
The weekend’s big winner proved to be a familiar face in CCC-Liv’s Marianne Vos.
Dutch rider Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg) took the Stage 1 win in a sprint, with Christine Majerus (Boels – Dolmans) finishing second and Canada’s Alison Jackson (Team TIBCO – SVB) third. Vos finished 17th and was 8 seconds back with time bonuses.
On Saturday, Vos made a break of three with Mavi Garcia (Movistar Team) and Soraya Paladin (Ale Cipollini) and then outsprinted her breakmates to take the stage win. Vos entered the race ahead of Garcia and Paladin, so the stage win also gave her the GC title.
Brief highlights from Vos’ Stage 2 win are available in the video below. GC results are available from procyclingstats.com
Featured image: Bart Hazen