The Eggman wrote:Here's the thing - I don't thing the problem is actually a lack of exposure. The sporting public are in fact aware that women's elite level cycling exists, just as we know lawn bowls exists, badminton exists, curling exists, archery exists, etc etc etc. The problem is the sporting public don't find it compelling enough to sit down and watch it on the telly/get out to the course/track/oval/court to warrant TV networks and sponsors investing in the sport.
And I come back to my initial point - Sport doesn't owe anyone a living. I'm sure elite women's cyclists would like to make more money out of their sport, as I'm sure do the elite lawn bowls players or archers, but at the end of the day it is only sport. A very lucky few in a handful of sports make great money out of what they do - that doesn't mean everyone is entitled to it.
How do you think Britain got its public interested in cycling? There was a big population of people aware cycling existed but who couldn't give a damn for a long time.
When there are British big names, they get coverage, people who only paid a passing interest watch to cheer on their guys (or girls for that matter, especially on the track), and become fans of the sport.
But a lot of that would not have happened had the British sports funding through the lottery and whatever else it was not put a lot of focus on cycling, to try to develop it. It wasn't an organic groundswell of quality riders just happening to convene on the same place and time. It was carefully orchestrated and manufactured. The British population learnt the (British) characters, which gave them people they wanted to cheer on, and kept coming back. But had Britain not put the money in (partially based on the number of Olympic medals available) to develop the sport, it would never have happened.
Women's cycling has a decent amount of interest in only a handful of places. The Netherlands and Italy (to a lesser extent also Australia, who have a lot of top talents). Which just happens to be where most of the stars come from. The stars coming from there means there's more interest there, and there being more interest there means there are more races there which helps more stars be developed there.