Canadian women have
87% less opportunity to race at home

Canada has a rich history of international event hosting. Cycling is privileged to benefit from this support. However, when it comes to gender equity in road cycling there is room to improve. Over the last 10 years across age categories and UCI race classification levels, men enjoyed 175 opportunities to race at home, compared to women who had 22.

Think of sport like an “ecosystem”. Events cultivate an environment for teams to emerge → teams and events draw in athletes → naturally generating more investment (funding for sport) → more teams, athletes, events and investment fosters healthy competition that raises the level (development) of athletes. Canadian women who aspire to be great bike racers need to explore opportunity outside Canada really early in their journeys.

Digging deeper challenges Canadian women face on a journey to success in road cycling starts right out of the gate, there are no international junior races for women in Canada (or the USA for that matter).

Domestically, that means Canadian women travel to and seek opportunity in the USA (first), where there are more events and teams. 🤞 US teams see the value in our athletes

Big thanks to teams like Tibco-SVB and Rally Cycling who do. These teams have historically provided consistent opportunities to Canadian women. However, with both moving up the Women’s World Tour in 2022 development opportunities decline.

Canadian teams like Macogep have provided a consistent chance for Canadian women for over a decade. New teams like Instafund are stepping in. Still, the ecosystem creates a sponsorship marketplace where it’s a challenge for these teams to provide “at-home” value and activations enabling them to secure partnerships that are financially comparable to US teams… creating a catch-22 where more Cdn sponsorship $$ goes to Cdn men’s events, programs, and teams. If the product isn’t there… you can’t sell it.

Quebec leads the charge! 80% of UCI road racing is in Quebec, followed by Alberta (14%) and BC (7%). When you look across all disciplines of cycling this statistic holds up, Quebec hosts more international cycling events than the rest of Canada combined! 🙏 Merci Québec! sans vous, où serait le vélo canadien?

SOURCE: Pro cycling stats. CAVEAT: these statistics do not include the National Championships. There were no races in 2020 & 2021, as a result of the pandemic. Hmmm, maybe we should say 8yrs? 🇨🇦 Canadian races in these statistics include: GP/Chrono Gatineau, Tour de Beauce, GP Saguenay, Tour of Alberta, GPCQM, Tour of Delta (wmn & men), Tour of Abitibi. There is no gender-neutral UCI racing (let’s leave that for another day)

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