E3 Harelbeke is one of the more recently founded one-day classics, but quickly developed into one of the main highlights of the early season, covering many of the cobbled classics in Belgium and Northern France.
It’s fair to say that E3 Harelbeke has seen it’s fair share of controversy, usually surrounding the questionable taste of the promotional posters. Specifically, last year’s example went down very badly within the cycling community – a nod to Sagan’s infamous ‘podium girl bum pinch’.
Looking back, it’s pretty clear that this race is wholly organised and managed by out-of-date Belgium blokes (KWC Hand in Hand) with poor tastes. Take A quick look at their recent media on Twitter – it’s just sad old men standing in various race locations.
Take a look at previous years’ poster designs and it’s pretty obvious these guys need some lessons in gender equality. Oh, and there is no race for female riders at E3.
You’d think that the the Belgium blokes would have gone for something a little more, well, not-sexist this year, but the launch party featured scantily clad cowgirls dancing around to barn dance music. What’s this got to do with cycling?
There’s been a real effort from select few organisations to bring Women’s Cycling inline with Men’s – brining equal prize money and phasing out outdating podium girls, but events like E3 Harelbeke show that there’s still a long way to go, not only in Pro Cycling but gender equality as a whole.