Pro women racers drawn to GJ race by equal purse
More than double the usual rate of women professional mountain-bike racers have signed up to tackle the inaugural Grand Junction Off-Road race over Labor Day weekend, officials said.
The draw appears to be the equal share for woman of the $20,000 purse for the race, said Mistalynn Meyeraan of the Grand Junction Visitor and Convention Bureau.
“Interestingly, 20 percent of the registered pro riders are women,” Meyeraan said. “The average for female pro riders is typically around 8 percent.”
Having equal purses for men and women “is rare in the cycling world,” Meyeraan said.
The Grand Junction Off-Road has a cap of 600 riders with a maximum of 100 professional riders.
The race comes on the heels of a race in Prescott, Ariz., the Whiskey Off-Road, which has a purse of $35,000.
As the second in the series of professional races promoted by Epic Rides, promoters hope the Grand Junction route will gain in notoriety as racers negotiate the 40-mile route in and around Bangs Canyon and downtown Grand Junction.
By way of caparison, the just-completed Rocky Mountain Open offered a $31,300 professional purse.
Epic Rides is accepting registration for professional and amateur riders at EpicRides.com.