Friday, June 20, 2014

Ben's Increases Size of Women's Prime at Downer Avenue Crit

     Ben’s Cycle announced it is significantly increasing the size of the prime for the women’s race at the Downer Avenue Criterium June 28 in Milwaukee.
Women's field at ToAD 2013.
Photo by Tom Held, Active Pursuit
     In previous years, Ben’s has given $1,000  to the pro women in a Ben’s Cycle Prime at the Downer Avenue race, part of the Tour of America’s Dairyland.
     Vince Hanoski, owner of Ben’s Cycle in Milwaukee, said he wanted to grow his support of women’s cycling.
     “We’re significantly increasing the size of the women’s prime this year,” he said. “The final amount will depend on the size of the women’s field and how much we raise at the Ben’s Super Prime party.”

Samantha Schneider (TIBCO) moves off the front.
Photo by Tom Held, Active Pursuit
     A prime is a prize awarded to the winner of a particular lap in a criterium, a bicycle race of a specified number of laps on a closed course over public roads.  The Tour of America’s Dairyland is an 11-day series of races around southeastern Wisconsin.
     Hanoski acknowledged that funding women’s fields on an equal basis on the men’s can be challenging. Bigger fields bring in bigger prizes, and small fields make it hard to justify more funding, he said.
     “It’s a chicken and egg thing,” he said. “So we decided to increase the amount of our women’s prime to see if we can bring more women to the event. Women’s cycling is at a critical place in terms of support and ridership. We want to do what we can. ”
     To locally increase that support, Ben’s also recently began sponsoring a women’s cycling club in Milwaukee known as the Bella Donnas.
     “We want to see more women involved in cycling,” Hanoski said. “With our support, we hope to do a small part in growing women’s cycling.”
Before the Grafton race at ToAD 2013.
Photo by Tom Held, Active Pursuit
     Ben’s will continue to fund the Super Prime for the men’s race.  Every year, the shop hosts the Downer Super Prime Party at the corner of Park and Hackett on Milwaukee’s East Side.  The money raised at the party funds the Super Primes.
     The Super Primes are typically held sometime in the last 10 laps of the men’s and women’s race. This year the primes will be awarded at the Ben’s party site.

     Tickets for the Super Prime party are $25 and include a t-shirt as well as all you can eat and drink. It is located at the corner of Park and Hackett in Milwaukee and begins around noon. You can buy wristbands at the party. 
     See you there!

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