Vilvoorde, Belgium, 18 September 2023 – Today, on International Equal Pay Day, Flanders Classics and KPMG in Belgium launch the #EqualPainDay campaign. The campaign aims to highlight the transformation that cycling is currently undergoing with regard to gender equality. None other than world champion Lotte Kopecky, along with former Belgian champion Tim Merlier, is supporting the campaign.  

Women's cycling has been gradually closing the gap with its male counterpart for several years now, but the finishing line is not yet in sight. Campaigns like #EqualPainDay underline the importance of the continued focus on equal pay and structured plans to finally close the gap between women and men. After all, equal efforts deserve equal earning models.

The collaboration between KPMG in Belgium and Flanders Classics was founded in 2020, with KPMG as the presenting partner of Flanders Classics’ women’s races. It was a significant step, as KPMG became the first partner to specifically support women's cycling. When announcing the partnership, both parties proudly presented a multi-year plan: Closing the Gap. #EqualPainDay ties in so perfectly with that project. 

Flanders Classics CEO Tomas Van Den Spiegel:

"We created a multi-year plan for our Closing the Gap very deliberately. This year, as the icing on the cake, we equalized the prize money in all our spring races; for the Ronde van Vlaanderen that was already the case in 2022. Tadej Pogačar and Lotte Kopecky, who both won the Ronde van Vlaanderen on 2 April, had to make the same sacrifices for their wins and consequently received the same prize money. That is why, today, we are baptizing Equal Pay Day, Equal Pain Day. With this campaign, we want to highlight the journey that women’s cycling is on, though we are not there yet. In the coming years too, we must continue to work on the further professionalization of women's cycling."

CEO of KPMG in Belgium, Harry Van Donink:

“We are proud of our contribution towards advancing gender equality in the cycling world through the Closing the Gap project. Despite the remarkable progress, it is imperative that we continue to highlight the work that remains, after all, the finish line is still ahead of us. As an employer, educator, partner, and client advisor, we understand the pivotal role we play in propelling the agenda for equal pay and transparent compensation. These principles have been firmly embedded within KPMG for many years and we look forward to supporting Flanders Classics Women’s in continuing this initiative."

We are thrilled to have world champion Kopecky on board of the campaign, something we celebrate just like her second consecutive win in the Ronde Van Vlaanderen. Her victory was impressive in multiple ways, as it also smashed a viewing record on television. Van den Spiegel: "This year the number of viewers in Flanders for the women’s Ronde van Vlaanderen exceeded one million for the first time. The figures do not lie, they show that the sport is evolving. But, we are not there yet. Currently, we are working on the next steps in the Closing the Gap project. We are doing this not only for our own races, but also out of our commitment to the (cycling) sport in general. And we are particularly happy that we can continue to count on KPMG's support in this regard."

#EqualPainDay is closely linked with Flanders Classics’ and KPMG in Belgium’s joint Closing the Gap project. Together with other partners, we are building a sustainable business model for women’s cycling, bringing the KPMG’s purpose and mission to the racetrack. The investments in the project go beyond the prize money alone and include several other initiatives aimed at building a better and more professional framework for all female riders.

About KPMG in Belgium

With 1,900 employees across the country, KPMG in Belgium offers your company personalized and multidisciplinary support in audit, accountancy, tax and legal advice. We also support a wide range of management services: from operational efficiency and cost management, to digital transformations, risk management and deal advice. Our local consultants will support you thanks to their knowledge and through the use of innovative tools to help you face each of your challenges.

About Flanders Classics

Set the Pace - Setting the pace, that's what we try to do every day at Flanders Classics. In a rapidly evolving sporting world, we want to be the most progressive organizer of cycling events, while respecting cycling's rich traditions. This is also why inclusivity, sustainability and innovation are among our most important core values. Every day we strive to improve our events step by step and make them more attractive for all participants and fans. #ROAD #CX #GRAVEL #VIRTUAL #EVENTS

Press contacts

Annelore Cleuren (NL/EN)

Head of Communications

Flanders Classics

T: +32 494 358 232

Cherie Wee (EN/FR)

Communications Manager

KPMG in Belgium

T: +32 477 983 115

Audee Van Winkel (NL/FR)

Corporate Communications Officer

KPMG in Belgium

T: +32 473 327 344