Monday, February 09, 2009

The Start of a Revolution

In its fourth year, the Amgen Tour of California has grown in both popularity and stature. It is arguably the signature event on the US racing calendar.

Many teams and riders would consider it a privilege, and perhaps an honor, to be invited to such a high profile event. Participation would not only be a boon to a team’s recognition, but also to a team’s sponsors.

The recent decision by the St. Louis based upstart, Team Revolution, to decline an invitation to participate in the Women’s Criterium in Santa Rosa, therefore, may seem a bit confusing to the uninitiated. But for those who have followed the saga of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race, the decision is one based on principle.


In an open letter (excerpt below) to the President of AEG Sports, Andrew Messick, team co-founders, Carrie Cash and Chris Roettger, detail their reasoning behind the move.
"We find it unfortunate that the Tour of California has elected to back out of expanding women’s opportunities previously announced. I’m not sure if you could see the quiet ripples of excitement from the initial announcement of the expansion last October. Only to be stifled by its eventual withdrawal.

It is because of that retraction, we’ll not be joining the Women’s field on the line in Santa Rosa. We’ve since let our supporters and sponsors know we have elected, instead, to head to Phoenix to race the Valley of the Sun stage race. While the absence of a single team might have gone unnoticed, we represent a greater collection of elite women athletes and teams that have quietly and perhaps more gracefully canceled their trips to California and attendance at your event.

The disparity between the available support, financial and otherwise, for the professional male cyclist and the professional female cyclist is disheartening. The Tour of California is no exception to that disparity. As a race director, you have diminished the women’s role by issuing a somewhat meaningless statement regarding the rationale for your course of action. In doing so, you disregard the importance of equality and take for granted the “unprecedented field of riders” that will likely assemble for your season-opening NRC event."
Its been said that every great revolution begins with a single shot, and in case you’ve missed it Mr. Messick that was just a shot across your bow.

1 comment:

Heidi Swift said...

This is very cool.
BANG!
I hear the revolution coming.

Monday, February 09, 2009

The Start of a Revolution

In its fourth year, the Amgen Tour of California has grown in both popularity and stature. It is arguably the signature event on the US racing calendar.

Many teams and riders would consider it a privilege, and perhaps an honor, to be invited to such a high profile event. Participation would not only be a boon to a team’s recognition, but also to a team’s sponsors.

The recent decision by the St. Louis based upstart, Team Revolution, to decline an invitation to participate in the Women’s Criterium in Santa Rosa, therefore, may seem a bit confusing to the uninitiated. But for those who have followed the saga of the Amgen Tour of California Women’s Race, the decision is one based on principle.


In an open letter (excerpt below) to the President of AEG Sports, Andrew Messick, team co-founders, Carrie Cash and Chris Roettger, detail their reasoning behind the move.
"We find it unfortunate that the Tour of California has elected to back out of expanding women’s opportunities previously announced. I’m not sure if you could see the quiet ripples of excitement from the initial announcement of the expansion last October. Only to be stifled by its eventual withdrawal.

It is because of that retraction, we’ll not be joining the Women’s field on the line in Santa Rosa. We’ve since let our supporters and sponsors know we have elected, instead, to head to Phoenix to race the Valley of the Sun stage race. While the absence of a single team might have gone unnoticed, we represent a greater collection of elite women athletes and teams that have quietly and perhaps more gracefully canceled their trips to California and attendance at your event.

The disparity between the available support, financial and otherwise, for the professional male cyclist and the professional female cyclist is disheartening. The Tour of California is no exception to that disparity. As a race director, you have diminished the women’s role by issuing a somewhat meaningless statement regarding the rationale for your course of action. In doing so, you disregard the importance of equality and take for granted the “unprecedented field of riders” that will likely assemble for your season-opening NRC event."
Its been said that every great revolution begins with a single shot, and in case you’ve missed it Mr. Messick that was just a shot across your bow.

1 comment:

Heidi Swift said...

This is very cool.
BANG!
I hear the revolution coming.