The argument goes something like this:
Women’s races don’t deserve as much airtime (or any airtime at all) as Men’s because there is really no competition when it comes to popularity. It’s simply not a viable proposition.
The counter argument unrolls thusly:
Women’s racing is not as popular as Men’s because there are nearly no televised races.
And never the twain shall meet…until GCN Race TV came around, that is. Or at least for me. This year GCN/Eurosport has managed to snag nearly every race you could imagine, televising all of them from whenever the local feed begins. This includes all the Women’s races, which is more than I had imagined, to be honest.
Since the GCN interface is Netflix-ish (or so I’m told – I don’t have it), there are lots of prominent ‘buttons’ for you to click on for races, and the Women’s races are right next to Men’s up there, making it easy to go and give it a boo. I’ve watched every single one this year, or parts of every single one, at least; and I am now a growing fan. Why? Because I now know my Van Vleutens from my Van der Breggens and I am getting more invested in the scene now.
The racing is also getting more exciting and professional, although I admit I never watched too much of it before. Still, the structured strategies I saw in today’s LBL, when compared with the free-for-all I remember from the first time I watched a race a few years ago, is light-years apart.
It helps that big teams like Movistar and Jumbo Visma have women’s squads now and it really seems like we are on the cusp of something big happening. Bravo to GCN for helping bring all this great racing to my permanent staycation.
I still can’t tell a sprinter from a climber in the Women’s ranks, but I’m getting there. Do yourself a favor if you haven’t already, and give them a shot.