Here's his quote: “The area we live in is pretty into minority rights,” says Romanow. “And quite frankly, I’ve always personally believed that Katie Compton and Lyne Bessette should be racing longer than a 15 year-old Belgian teenager. And they should be racing for the same prize money as men, or maybe one lap less than the boys and perhaps prorate the prize list accordingly. The point is, $800 for a field is bullshit. Even if a rider wins, her prize money may not even cover her airfare. And we’ve had women’s lib for 40 years? Come on! It’s just as bad in Europe. Christine Vardaros keeps telling me they are trying to give her cans of soup and clogs for winning races over there. Now I'm certainly not saying I deserve accolades and angels and cherubs playing songs for our race -- although we have been known to hire some pretty good punk bands. I like watching the women’s races. And I think some of the most compelling personalities in the sport right now are women. Katie Compton probably draws more people to more races than any other ‘cross racer in America, male or female. More importantly, my sponsors like watching the women race. They want to see the very best come to their town and they’re willing to pay for it.”
Here is a press release i found on a bunch of sites including cyclingnews.com and usacycling.org:
U.S. Squad for UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup #1 Announced
This press release about 2008 Vanderkitten Road Team was also picked up by a bunch of cycling sites such as cyclingnews.com and bicycle retailer:
New cat joins NRC circuit
Vanderkitten has announced it will expand its NRC involvement to a six-women elite team as well as developmental and regional support riders in 2008, following on from the single rider it fielded in 2007. Vanderkitten Racing, as the squad will be known, is currently laying plans that will see the company play a larger role within the NRC series after it fielded a single rider, Liz Hatch, in 2007.
"Our success in sponsoring Liz Hatch in 2007 has convinced us that Vanderkitten and cycling go hand in hand," said Venderkitten's Mark Zefeldt." Our focus next year will be the majority of the NRC calendar, and to that effect we have signed four immensely talented girls with another two athletes to be announced shortly."
In addition to the re-signing of Hatch, the team will field Atlanta's Leigh Valletti, Charlottesville's Mandy Lozano and Mill Valley's Christine Vardaros. The team is currently accepting resumes for the remaining two spots in its elite squad.
"Vanderkitten is thrilled to support these hard working, vibrant athletes and the sport of
women's cycling," said Vanderkitten's founder David Verrecchia. "We're all looking forward to the upcoming season with great anticipation. Vanderkitten's mission since its inception is to create a long-term relationship with cycling and raise the bar of sponsorships for women athletes.
"High profile athletes provide a tremendous marketing value to all parties associated with their image," he added. "Women influence both female and male purchasing decisions. Why, then, have women typically earned less than 10 percent of most pro male athletes salaries?"
The clothing company-backed squad its expected to announce more details about its 2008 plans over the coming months.Eva Magazine. They did an article on pro athletes on a plant-based diet that was published this month. The same magazine has also asked me to speak at their next vegetarian conference. Maybe this time i will remember to tape it so i can post it on the blog so you, too, can be subjected to my offbeat-ish sense of humor!
Tomorrow i pre-ride the Kalmthout World Cup course. I can't believe it's finally here! Pre-riding these courses is always like riding in a slow-motion movie clip. It feels like a movie scene because you spend an hour being passes by a collection of famous riders such as Sven Nys, Bart Wellens, Jonathan Page. And the relative speed in which they pass me makes me feel like i am at best riding in slow motion. I will try to update the blog tomorrow but chances are rather slim - we'll see...
Off I go. Thanks for reading!