France Explains Why It Put Only Male Cyclists in Business Class

The lower-ranked females were booked economy seats
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 18, 2022 9:35 AM CDT
France Chided for Putting Only Male Cyclists in Business Class
   (Getty Images / atosan)

The French Cycling Federation flew its riders to the Cycling World Championships in Australia and booked two classes of tickets to do so. The BBC reports the 9-member men's team flew in business class, while the 7-person women's team flew in coach, as did all junior riders and support staff. After the disparity was criticized, French cycling's national technical director explained that it came down to money and success rates. Christophe Manin noted that some countries had opted not to participate at all in order to save money. Cycling News reports skyrocketing travel costs are becoming more of a deterrent, and reports Belgian rider Wout van Aert said he chose to upgrade his own seat to first class at a personal cost of €8,000.

After pondering the question of cost, Manin said France decided to move forward. That said, "We don't have the means to put everyone in business ... For the men, we've been world champions for the last two years. We are really going there to win, while we are more of an outsider in the girls' competition." He said the opposite would have occurred were they traveling to the mountain bike world championships, as France's female riders are tops in that category and would have been booked business-class seats. (Read more cycling stories.)

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