It is a considerable step towards “levelling the playing field” in Victoria, Australia and beyond.
It has been officially announced that the 2020 Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race series, will, for the first time in its’ history, offer equal prize money for both professional male and female riders.
The sport of cycling, which has been typically male dominated, is heading in the right direction, thanks to the tireless work of those behind the scenes.
And Tracey Gaudry would know. She has spearheaded the changes for women and this achievement is just one on the list of many for female sports people.
Gaudry, a Member of the UCI Management Committee and President of the UCI Women's Commission, who work for each race and racer, became the inaugural Chair, six years ago and laid out grand plans for women competing in the sport.
But her commitment to the sport, women and seeking equality started many years prior when Gaudry rode professionally herself.
“There was the UCI Women’s World Cup- a series of one-day races around the world, of which there were only two one day races in Australia,” she said.
“At that stage, as a professional athlete, the importance of competing against the world on your home soil, was something that Australia didn’t have an opportunity of. Before, you were travelling to predominantly Europe to compete on their home soil.”
But, her time on the bike, has inspired Gaudry to speak up and do the work for the new generation of female riders.
“It’s the Segway to where we are today.”
“When we consider the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race, established five years ago, we looked at how we could raise the bar for women in cycling, women in all sport.”
“When the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race was introduced to the UCI as a concept, there would be a women’s race and a men’s race. That was an important principle that the Victorian Government and Cadel Evans upheld.”