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Women’s Professional Cycling Making Headway

Women's Professional Cycling

GUESTS:

Mari Holden, director, UCI U.S. Women's World Tour Team

Denise Mueller, amateur cyclist

Women's professional bicycle racing is, to say the least, not a well-known sport in this country.

The Union Cycliste Internationale, the governing body which controls professional cycling worldwide, does have a branch for women's racing. The 2016 World Tour schedule includes more events — single-day and multi-day — for women, which many believe is a step forward.

But the sponsors, participants and the prize money are not nearly on a par with the men's sport.

The U.S. Team Twenty16, the UCI Women's World Tour team, is trying to change all that, starting with this year's Amgen Tour of California. For that multi-day race beginning on May 15, the women will start in Lake Tahoe, while the men start in San Diego.

Some women cyclists believe there is no reason men and women should not compete in the same races; that women, for instance, could field a team in the Tour de France. Others, like Mari Holden, director of the UCI Women's World Tour team, are opposed. Men, she said, are stronger. Racing in a men's event, therefore, wouldn't really be a competition, she added.

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