Archibald says Tour of Scotland a good example of women's sport not needing to 'mimick' the men

Katie Archibald won gold in the individual pursuit for Scotland at the 2018 Commonwealth Games (PA Images)
Katie Archibald won gold in the individual pursuit for Scotland at the 2018 Commonwealth Games (PA Images)
10:11am, Fri 09 Aug 2019
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Katie Archibald has praised organisers ahead of the inaugural Women's Tour of Scotland this weekend for not attempting to 'mimick' the men's side of cycling.

The race is a stand-alone women's event, with a male equivalent yet to be created for the UCI tour.

And the 25-year-old Olympic champion is well and truly on-board with the concept, commending Scottish Cycling for its female-first approach.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Archibald said: "I think what this is a good example of is that mimicking the system set up for men, whether that's in bike racing or otherwise, in my opinion is not the best way.

"Scotland is running the tour as a women's event that isn't mimicking a men's event. I think likewise in sport more widely, we don't just have to mimic the male model to create successful sporting platforms, because there are faults in events like the Tour de France or otherwise. 

"I think there is strength in events like this that continue to see women's sport grow in force."

The three-time world champion is the leader of the Scotland team and will be hoping she can win the race, collect the yellow jersey and secure the £46,500 in prize money.

Cycling is a sport which has been criticised for not moving with the times, with people pointing to the women's version of the men's three week long Tour de France currently being the one-day race 'La Course' as a prime example of its antiquated ways.

Meanwhile, Scottish Cycling CEO Craig Burn said the gender imbalance in cycling is something that needs to be addressed.

Burn said: "As well as growing the profile of cycling in Scotland and trying to get more people to get on a bike, the women’s side was quite deliberate.

"But I think there’s a gender imbalance in our sport. Internationally women’s sport has become more and more attractive, where in cycling it’s been dominated by men in general. It was the right thing to do, as well as equal prize money.

"For every mile we want to get new women and girls on bikes and can we get more female leaders in the sport at all levels, coaching or governance of clubs at grassroots."

The race begins in Dundee on Friday, with the riders completing a total of 350km before finishing in Edinburgh on Sunday.

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