The biggest challenge facing professional female cyclists may not be the other women at the start line, it’s the entrenched sexism in the sport. Despite the fact that women have proven themselves to be exciting, fierce competitors in race after race for decades, they still face surprising inequities. This new documentary, HALF THE ROAD, shines a light on everything from the extreme salary disparities to complete exclusion from some pro races.
Local racer Jenni Sevenich and Wheel & Sprocket are trying to bring the film to the Milwaukee, area, but they still need about 40 people to buy tickets to have a showing. Reserve a seat and help bring this enlightening and entertaining film here.
HALF THE ROAD: The Passion, Pitfalls and Power of Women’s Professional Cycling
Presented by Jenni Sevenich & Wheel & Sprocket
Thursday, May 08 7:30PM – 9:16PM
Directed by pro cyclist Kathryn Bertine, HALF THE ROAD manages to share the extra pressures and challenges women face. For instance, in men’s cycling, pros on the UCI continental teams are guaranteed a base pay of $29,000 and domestiques on the higher-ranking UCI WorldTour teams average $331,500, while most women on comparable pro teams must work part-time jobs to race full-time.
The film has some great footage from some of the world’s best races, but the interviews with coaches, UCI officials, racers really tell the story. For instance half way into the film, Union Cycliste International president Brian Cookson makes the unbelievable claims that a women’s Tour de France ”would be devastation” because, “frankly, women are weaker.” Thankfully there has been some progress on that front, with the announcement earlier this year of a single day women’s race in the Tour de France.
Tour de France owners Amaury Sport Organisation announced in February that a women’s race will take place on July 27 on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, coinciding with the final stage of the 2014 Tour de France. A few hours before the men’s peloton arrives in Paris, the world’s elite women cyclists will race the circuit in the historic heart of the city before fighting out a final sprint at the finish line on the Champs-Elysées.
This is a victory for racers like Katheryn Bertine and other professional women cyclists who started Le Tour Entier last September, an organization to campaign for a women’s Tour de France. Le Tour Entier translated means “The Whole Tour.” Come see HALF THE ROAD to understand why there is so much more to do to erase sexism in professional sports.