This year marked the first time that each Superprestige event had its own race for the Elite Women. From Gieten to Noordzeecross Middelkerke, Sanne Cant (BKCP) put on a performance for the ages, absolutely dominating the races all season long, which typically were held between the Junior and U23 races.
Unfortunately, beyond the winner of the individual events, her name will receive no further accolades for an overall series victory, and apart from her separate race winnings, she took nothing home from the event as the women have no overall series standing, unlike the three other categories that compete.
For 2015-16, all of that is going to change.
In an interview with start-box.be, Kurt Vanneste, the Secretary for the Superprestige, has announced that there will be an overall series for women for the next season. While some of the details are not yet finalized, Vanneste did mention that the overall winnings will exceed the winnings for each of the individual events.
“This year the board has first ensured that every Superprestige Manche also had a race for ladies,” Vanneste said. “We then saw what really good races there could be and so the next step was naturally a ladies standings. The rise of the Belgian woman cyclocross has played his role.”
Although that last sentence was not expanded upon, the “Rise of the Belgian woman cyclocross” could be referring to the performances of racers such as Cant, who have gotten the local audiences interested in the races.
“But we want to be different than others,” Vanneste continued. “We do not make the same ranking as the Bpost Bank Trofee and the World Cup, we want something new with the story of the Superprestige. About how we are going to tackle this, I can tell you little right now. The ladies will have to follow a separate regulation for classification than that of men. We want to maintain our individuality, but we want to drop what is already a copy.”
“The prize money will move with the times, but it is still vague. I can say that it will be a nice amount. More than € 4000 of promises but less than the prize money from the pros.”
When asked about why this did not happen sooner, he explained: “So they (women) had the standings [in the BPost] and in addition the World Cup. That is why [the Superprestige Series] have kept the boat a while. We wanted to create no oversupply.”
According to our European contributor and American Elite cyclocrosser, Christine Vardaros, the plans are also considering moving the timing of the Women’s Elite races to the penultimate slot right ahead of the Men’s Elite races.
Stay tuned for more details to follow.