Riders in the Women’s Tour Down Under will "receive the same pay as their male counterparts for the first time," the South Australian government announced, according to Michael McGowan of the London GUARDIAN. On Monday, the state government announced that from '19, it would "increase the prize pool in the women’s cycling event" by about A$90,000 ($72,040), putting the competition’s prize pool "on par with the male event." The initial women’s prize pool had been about A$15,000. South Australian Sports Minister Leon Bignell said, "It’s only fair the prize money they receive is on par with their male counterparts for each stage as well as the general classification." Australian Amanda Spratt won this year's Women's Tour Down Under, as well as the Queen of the Mountain prize for best climber. She called the decision "a huge step forward for equality." Women's Tour Down Under Race Dir Kimberley Conte said, "Having equal prize money will result in even more interest from top international female riders and help take this race to the next level" (GUARDIAN, 1/21). The ABC reported women who competed in this year's event "will have their prize money topped up to the same amount as their male counterparts." Bignell said that the women "could look forward to top-up cheques" (ABC, 1/21).
Events and Attractions
Automobile Club of Italy President Angelo Sticchi Damiani admitted the "future of the Italian grand prix is not secure." After a "period of uncertainty," the race is "firmly" on the '18 calendar. But Sticchi Damiani said, "If conditions do not change, we can no longer guarantee the future of the grand prix at Monza" (GMM, 1/22).
Boxer Anthony Joshua is ready to "spend the rest of his career without fighting in America." The IBF, IBO and WBA world heavyweight champion will defend his titles against New Zealander Joseph Parker, who holds the WBO belt, in Cardiff on March 31. Joshua said that he "does not need to tread the well-worn trail to Las Vegas," or any other major venue in the U.S., because the money he generates in the U.K. "dwarfs what is on offer" in the U.S. (THE SUN, 1/20).
The 11th edition of the Indian Premier League will be held from April 7-May 27, the IPL governing council announced on Monday. Mumbai will host the opening match and the final of the T20 tournament. The IPL governing council also decided to "shift the start of the matches," which in earlier editions were scheduled to begin at 4pm and 8pm (PTI, 1/22).
World Snooker announced the Beijing-based China Open will become only the second event on the tournament calendar to offer £1M ($1.4M) in prize money this season. The "bonanza is being put up" by joint-promoters Star Xing Pai and the Beijing Fuhua Culture Tourism Development Ltd. Co. as part of a new four-year deal. The "cash injection" means that the winner's check will be worth £225,000 ($314,600) at the April 1-8 event, "almost tripling what the victory was worth last season" (SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 1/21).