Revealing the route of the 2018 OVO Energy Women’s Tour at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday afternoon, organisers Sweetspot also announced a near-tripling of the prize fund. Riders will share a total fund of €90,000 (£80,600, USD111,700) up from last year’s €35,000, the increase equalising the prize money with the Tour of Britain, which the company also runs.
To be held between June 13 and 17, the five-day event is once again expanding its horizons in search of new and more challenging roads. This year, instead of heading to the Peak District as it did in 2016 and 17, the Women’s Tour will leave England for the first time, with the final stage held in North Wales.
Part of the Women’s WorldTour, the top level of international women’s racing, the Women’s Tour’s increased prize money will bring the race in line with other top women’s events in the United Kingdom.
In 2017, the Prudential RideLondon Classique, a one day criterium style event, had a total fund of £100,000, while the Tour de Yorkshire offered £50,000 for last year’s single day women’s race. Neither have announced their prize pot, though the latter will expand to two days for 2018 as a UCI 2.1 event, while RideLondon maintains its WorldTour status.
In general, prize money for the British women’s events compares favourably to other women’s events throughout the world. Even the Giro d’Italia Femminile, at 10 days the only ‘Grand Tour’ for women, only awards a total of €32,730 (£29,200, USD40,500).
Organisers have previously tried to expand the event to seven days, but have met with resistance from British Cycling whose sanction is required for such a change. For this year the race remains at five days.
Ovo Energy Women’s Tour 2018 – Stage by stage
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