Ruling AKP municipality fails to rank female cyclists in bike race

A Turkish municipality run by the ruling AKP failed to rank female cyclists in a mountain biking race it organized, the daily Cumhuriyet reported on July 12. Meanwhile, the top three contestants in all 10 different categories were men as a result of the organization's failure to open up separate categories for women.

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The Osmangazi Municipality run by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) failed to rank female cyclists in mountain biking races held in the western Uludağ Mountain on July 4, the daily Cumhuriyet reported on July 12.

Male competitors were awarded trophies in 10 different categories in the competition and the organizers reportedly said that women needed to rank in the top 3 of the men's races to be awarded records. 

"Men will win as a result of their differences in strength if there are only mixed categories. Women needed to have a separate class," said one Eurosport announcer. "Why were women ignored? It's a huge negligence."

One competitor named Sezin Darende said that a lack of women's category was becoming increasingly common in bike races, adding that men get to compete in multiple categories. 

"They didn't even read our names, let alone hand us trophies. When do we compete in these things then?" Darende said. 

National team cyclist İpek Öztosun said that she experienced a huge disappointment, adding that having men and women compete together creates a huge injustice.