The UCI has published a report by the external auditor EY Lausanne showing that the average salary of runners competing for the Women’s WorldTeams has increased by 25% from 2020 to 2021.
Last year, the elite women’s races were split between the UCI WorldTeams and the UCI women’s continental teams. Along with other qualifying criteria, payment of an increased minimum wage was a prerequisite for achieving higher WorldTeam status.
A 2017 runner survey found that up to half of female runners run for as little as € 5,000 a year, many of which were unpaid. For comparison, minimum wages for runners on WorldTeams were set at € 15,000 in 2020, then € 20,000 in 2021.
Scheduled to reach € 27,500 next year, by 2023, female WorldTour riders will be entitled to the same minimum wage as men at UCI ProTeams level. Currently € 32,100, this is still a level below the highest paid male riders in the WorldTour who are entitled to € 39,068.
Median income closer
Seeking to assess the effects of the changes for riders on the nine registered WorldTeams, the UCI appointed the independent auditor EY Lausanne to study the impact on average salaries.
The EY Lausanne study found that the average salary of UCI Women’s WorldTeams members increased by 25% from 2020 to 2021. According to the study, the creation of a minimum wage also reduced the gap in the average salary paid to the UCI Women’s WorldTeam riders and members of the UCI ProTeams men.
The report suggests that while in 2020 women earned on average 67.53% more than their female counterparts, this gap has been reduced to 44.21% in 2021.
Comparison of average salaries is difficult because of the extreme variation between the amounts paid to star riders compared to servants. However, on a comparative median salary basis, the UCI now suggests that female WorldTeam riders earn as much as their male UCI ProTeams counterparts.
“The increase in salaries and budgets for the UCI Women’s WorldTeam shows that the reform of women’s professional road cycling is having a positive impact on riders and their teams,” said UCI President David Lappartient.
“ There is still work to be done to strengthen the sector and continue to develop it, but the creation of the UCI Women’s WorldTeams, four years after the creation of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, is a central element for the growth of women’s cycling. . ”
WorldTeams riders also enjoy benefits that would be standard in most other professions, such as health insurance, maternity leave, life insurance and paid time off. These will soon be supplemented by compulsory employer contributions to a pension plan.
This year, the nine UCI women’s world teams are Alé BTC Ljubljana, Canyon-Sram, FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, Liv Racing, Movistar, Team BikeExchange, Team DSM, SD Worx and Trek – Segafredo.
The riders on these teams will all benefit from the benefits and enhanced employment rights. However, the disproportionate number of Continental teams located at a lower tier suggests that some team owners remain reluctant to commit to increasing the pay levels needed to achieve WorldTeam status, although they otherwise have the option. to qualify.