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South Australia leads the way with pay equality for Women’s Tour Down Under riders

Santos Women's Tour Down Under 2017, Stage 3 Peloton
Leon Bignell MP
Minister for Tourism

In a breakthrough for women’s sport all across the world, riders in this year’s Women’s Santos Tour Down Under have received $90,000 in additional winnings, following the State Government’s announcement to award their race equal prize money.

The world-first pay increase ensures female riders receive the same prize money as the men for each of the stages, the general classification, young rider, best sprinter and queen of the mountain, and will apply to all future races.

Announced last night by the Minister for Tourism at the Santos Tour Down Under Legends Dinner, total prize money for this year’s women’s event will now be more than $100,000 compared with approximately $15,000 they were initially competing for.

The move continues the State Government’s commitment to being a global leader in promoting equality in all sports and follows the decision to replace the traditional podium girls with junior cyclists.

The Santos Women’s Tour Down Under was recently upgraded to a 2.1 classification by the Union Cyclist Internationale (UCI), attracting some of the best female cyclists from around the world.

Prize money for the race is regulated by the Union Cyclist Internationale, with male riders currently receiving €4000 for a stage win, €12,000 for the General Classification as well as prize money for Sprints, King of the Mountain and Young Rider.

Quotes attributable to Recreation and Sport Minister Leon Bignell
This is exciting news for women's sport and I’m thrilled to announce our Government is providing equal prize money for female riders in the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under.

I wrote to UCI President, Mr David Lappartient, in November last year and we finished the discussions today and agreed the Santos Women’s Tour Down Under was the perfect event to lead the way for equal prize money.

These athletes are at the top of their game, displaying professionalism, determination and skill during every stage of the hard-fought race.

It’s only fair the prize money they receive is on par with their male counterparts for each stage as well as the general classification.

We were the first major international race in the world to replace podium girls with junior cyclists – a move which has been widely commended by the international cycling community.

I’m proud South Australia is taking the lead in supporting our female athletes.

Quotes attributable to David Lappartient, President, Union Cyclist Internationale
I applaud the steps taken by the South Australian Government to replace the podium girls with junior cyclists at both men’s and women race presentations.

I am a strong advocate for women empowerment in sports in general and cycling more specifically.

The UCI has indeed introduced equal prize money for men and women across all UCI World Championships and World Cups, and it is fantastic to South Australia once again take the lead, elevating women in sport through offering equal prize money for male and female competitors in the Santos Tour Down Under.

I am confident equal prize money will support a significant transformation for women in cycling.

Quotes attributable to Santos Women’s Tour Down Under Race Director Kimberley Conte
We’re absolutely delighted with the announcement of equal prize money. This is a huge leap forward, not only for our Women’s Tour Down Under riders, but female athletes all over the world.

It’s really great to have the support of the State Government and the UCI, to continue to elevate this race and recognise the skill and efforts of our riders.

We have women coming from all over the world for the Women’s Tour Down Under. Having equal prize money will result in even more interest from top international female riders and help take this race to the next level.