For Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating the achievements and telling the stories of the women of Factor to raise awareness of the bias seen within our industry and sport.
Access, opportunity, coverage, and funding are fundamental hurdles faced by women’s teams in the industry. In 2019, a Bicycling Magazine article said the average men’s UCI WorldTour team’s average budget was $16 million in comparison to the women’s average of $200,000. And, in 2019 the UCI had 416 men’s races, and only 132 women’s races on the calendar.
The women racing on professional teams aren’t only top-level athletes but also come with equally impressive resumes off the bike with many touting accomplishments with careers as surgeons, teachers, full-time students, engineers, and more.
However, many of these careers are out of necessity. A minimum wage for women Pro Tour riders has been put into place for the first time this year, and the plan is to incrementally increase the minimum over the next three years until it’s equivalent to men.
While there is work to still do, progress is being made. Viewership of women’s cycling events is continuing to increase, women cyclists one the fastest-growing demographics for the last several years and events such as the Colorado Classic are starting to form to combat the issues facing women’s cycling specifically.
Instead of getting stuck in the impossibility of being one company attempting to influence change, we recognize we are all parts of a whole.
“At Factor, I’m proud to say we support just as many professional women’s teams as we do mens. While we may not be able to influence the UCI calendars, minimum wages on a large scale, I believe in parity for all race and gender and will be sure our actions support that belief,” said Rob Gitelis, Owner of Factor Bikes.
As a company, our actions, conversations, behaviors, and mindsets can join the collective to make change happen. Believing an equal industry, creates an enabled industry and supporting women’s cycling is vital to the growth of our company.
We’re proud to support these teams and athletes, and have them be women of Factor.
Parkhotel Valkenburg Cycling Team
Parkhotel Valkenburg Cycling Team is a professional UCI Women’s Cycling Team based in the Netherlands. With racers like Netherlands National Champion, Lorena Wiebes, this team has a long list of race wins and is ready to ride to more victories.
Their team philosophy is everyone has a dream. Whether it’s reaching a goal, making progress, winning a race, or just becoming best within a specific discipline, they believe all dreams can be accomplished if you only have the courage to pursue them.
Parkhotel Valkenburg Cycling Team has structured its program to provide talented riders with a safe and professionally run team environment from which they can develop towards fulfilling their dreams and goals within the highest level of women’s cycling.
InstaFund La Prima
InstaFund La Prima is a professional UCI Women’s Continental Cycling Team based in Canada. As the only UCI Continental Team in Canada, the team has a long list of successful racers, including dual-sport athlete and BC’s Time Trial Champion, Isabella Bertold, and VF Corporation’s “Most Badass” jersey winner, Rachel Langdon.
In Canada, there isn’t a U-23 category in women’s road racing, but several junior development programs. Therefore, the majority of Canadian women stop pursuing the sport due to the lack of transitional programs from junior to elite. InstaFund La Prima has intentionally structured its program to be the place where riders can develop at the UCI Continental Level and move into becoming an elite racer.
Casa Dorada CRONOS Cycling Team
The Casa Dorada CRONOS Team is Professional Cycling Women Team based in Spain in their inaugural year. The team is comprised of a dozen riders from several nationalities, including Spanish, Polish, Australian, and French racers. For their first year, the primary objective is to compete in some of the world’s top races and be a protagonist.
The team was formed by General Manager and former Spanish professional road cyclist, Iñigo Cuesta. Now, as a father of two daughters, his primary goal is to create a space where women and men are treated equally and provided the same opportunities as men in the sport.