Flanders Classics CEO Tomas Van Den Spiegel said on social media on Monday that the Flanders women’s race had reached 764,000 Flemish viewers, a number that represents a massive increase in viewership since 2019.
According to Van Den Spiegel, the 2019 edition of the women’s race attracted 157,000 Flemish viewers. In other words, the home audience for the Women’s Tour of Flanders has increased by around 387% over the past three years. As Van Den Speigel pointed out, a major difference between this year’s event and the 2019 event was the timing of the women’s race.
Nowadays, the elite women’s Tour of Flanders ends after the men’s Tour of Flanders, allowing broadcasters to switch to coverage of the women’s race after the conclusion of the men’s race.
Viewership figures for Sunday’s race are the latest encouraging development for a race organizer that has publicly pledged to promote women’s racing.
As part of its Closing the Gap project, Flanders Classics worked with consultancy KPMG to target specific aspects of cycling where inequalities continue to exist between the female and male side of the sport. As well as focusing on improving live streaming, organizers have also announced equal prize money for men and women at the Tour of Flanders this year, with a target of equal prize money for all classic races in the organization from 2023.