FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 19, 2017
(BEND, Ore.)—Pay disparity between men and women is an issue that has not gone away. The 2017 Cascade Cycling Classic, which kicks off the first of its five stages today, is not immune. The Elite Men’s overall winner is scheduled to earn a $2,951 payday for his efforts during the five-day stage race. The Elite Women’s winner will receive $225 for the same effort over the same five days.
As a result of this disparity, Bend-based DVA Advertising & Public Relations has set up a 2017 CCC Women’s Elite Prize Money GoFundMe page (https://www.gofundme.com/cccwomen) to raise money for the top three overall elite female finishers in this year’s race, with a goal of raising $15,954 – the difference between the total Elite Men’s and Elite Women’s prize purses.
“What kind of message does it send to young women who might be interested in cycling, that their male counterparts are earning more than 13 times the amount of prize money for the same or similar effort?” said Justin Yax, a partner at DVA Advertising & Public Relations. “As an agency of cyclists, and as fans of the sport and its importance to the Central Oregon community, we felt there was an opportunity to step in and help out where the UCI was restricting the good intentions of race organizers.”
To the credit of race organizers, the Cascade Cycling Classic has distributed equal prize money for both the men’s and women’s elite winners for the past six years. This year, due to restrictions placed on the distribution of prize money by the International Cycling Union (UCI), race organizers had little flexibility when establishing the following prize money payouts for the Elite Men’s and Elite Women’s overall winners:
Elite Men: 1st place $2951 - 2nd Place $1473 - 3rd Place $737
Elite Women: 1st Place $225 - 2nd Place $167 - 3rd Place $113
All money raised will be distributed to the top three overall Elite Female finishers, proportionate to the current payout amounts. The first place overall finisher will receive 45 percent of the money raised, the second place finisher will receive 33 percent, and third place will receive 22 percent.
DVA kicked off the fundraising effort with an initial contribution of $500, and hopes other individuals and organizations throughout Central Oregon and beyond will see this as an opportunity to help level the playing field, so to speak, with regard to this year’s Cascade Cycling Classic.
“We are hopeful this fundraising effort will send a clear message to all the women competing in the 2017 Cascade Cycling Classic that they are appreciated, respected, and valued,” said Yax. “Gender equality and pay disparity continue to plague this country, and the more awareness we can bring to the issue, the better.”
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