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PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (VN) — A local company has chipped in to even up the podium payouts for men and women at Saturday’s Providence International cyclocross race at Roger Williams Park.
G-Form LLC manufactures protective athletic gear and electronics accessories using proprietary technology that stiffens upon impact.
Olympic mountain biker Lea Davison, who is in Providence for what will be her second ’cross race, said she had been looking at the prize list “and was disappointed in the discrepancy between the men’s and women’s podium.”
“I spoke with (race promoter) Richard Fries and was able to contact my friends at G-Form to even out the podium payouts,” she said.
Pro downhiller Joanna Petterson, bike-product manager at G-Form, said that her company isn’t directly involved in cyclocross but felt the issue was important.
“Unequal prize lists are a common issue in all sports, not just cycling,” she said. “I approached our committee with the idea, and as a local business and as athletes, we felt it was a perfect opportunity to do something tangible.”
Fries applauded Davison, Petterson and G-Form for stepping up.
“It’s easy to complain about problems, but it’s more difficult to find solutions. With the help of Lea Davison, Joanna Petterson and all the folks at G-Form, we’ve taken a necessary step toward prize equity,” he said.
G-Form also supports development by sponsoring a mentoring program, Little Bellas, intended to get girls riding and having fun in a constructive environment. For more information on the program, visit www.littlebellas.com.
For more on this weekend’s Providence Cyclo-cross Festival, visit www.providencecrossfest.com.