To keep our Rider Members informed, please see the topics and questions submitted by TCA to the recent UCI meeting concerning key issues in women's cycling.
Whilst the TCA remained uninvited, we are appreciative of the CPA reaching out to us for input, and for offering to take our topics to the meeting. Cross stakeholder collaboration is important for progress in women's cycling. We have recently carried out a Covid-19 survey, which has provided helpful feedback on the situation from the peloton. We hope the results will enhance the discussion around updating and enforcing the Covid-19 protocol in 2021. We also raised some questions around other important topics, such as safety, concerns around continental teams and salaries, and we set these out below:
Please note that we have set out our input into a series of key questions, followed by some actionable items we believe will benefit the peloton in an Appendix, with regards to a specific topic.
- Will the UCI be publishing any suggestions or specific guidance as a roadmap for women’s cycling, containing any timelines or action point around increasing the availability of live tv coverage (as is required by the rules) and other aims for continuing to promote the women’s sport alongside and equal to mens cycling?
- Has the UCI considered creating an independent, international organization on safe sports to directly handle issues concerning integrity and/or ethics? This is a particular area of concern for female riders. Does the UCI think that the UCI Ethics Commission has the capacity to deal with complaints, bearing in mind that. Besides that, the way of working and communicating is not sufficient for international law standards and we have found that the threshold to contact is too high for riders.
- Please advise if there will be any prize money changes for the coming year, whether to guidance, structure, or payment.
We regard rider safety as a critical issue - we note, and appreciate, the recent suggested improvements around this topic, as we understand all of the changes will also apply to the women’s peloton. However, we have the following questions:
- How will the implementation of the suggested changes be monitored and reported on? For example, we note that a third party tool will be added for risk assessment purposes - will these be made public or provided to teams? For changes to really take effect, transparency around the action items and output is key.
- Will the UCI be publishing an update on these actions at the end of 2021?
- Was the use of an independent third party to audit and monitor race safety considered? If so, please may you advise why this was not implemented as a suggestion?
- When are the revised safety measures and regulations due to come into force, and will these be put to stakeholders for consultation?
- Please confirm how a race will be cancelled or postponed in the event that any new safety measures are not met?
- Will an updated protocol be published in 2021, taking into account any identified areas for improvement?
- Will the UCI be implementing a vaccination requirement for riders and staff?
- How does the UCI propose to assist those teams who struggle with the financial resources to meet the Covid Protocol requirements? For the protocol to work effectively, all teams racing in one event need to be taking the same measures.
- Will the results of any race safety assessments and protocol breaches by organisers or staff be published?
- We think there should be a renewed focus and support provided to Continental Teams and that it would be helpful to form a one-time commission focused on the development of Continental teams. This committee could comprise riders, Continental team managers and representatives of national federations. Is this something the UCI would consider?
- Please refer to the Appendix for some specific suggestions for Continental teams.
We note that wage disparity is growing between the highest and lowest paid riders in the peloton, and that the number of riders receiving zero salaries has increased from 17% in 2019 to 25% in 2020.
- Will the UCI consider this wage disparity, and the lack of salaries, as a focus point in order to enhance both the economic situation for riders and for women’s cycling on the whole?
- Please refer to the Appendix for our data points on salaries.
- As no fixed minimum gross salary applies for the Continental teams we continue to see many riders earning less than annual salary of €15.000 (32%)
- Top salaries are rising above the fixed minimum gross in WWT
- Conclusion: Wage disparity is growing between the highest and lowest paid riders.
- The number of riders required to reimburse their team for services essential to complete their job as a professional cyclist has decreased by 8% since 2019.
- However, 43% of riders surveyed reimbursed their team for one or more of the following; equipment, mechanical service, medical costs and travel costs in 2020. This is not just in Continental teams, but also still in WWT teams.
- You can find the full reports on the survey here: https://cyclistsalliance.org/2020/11/the-cyclists-alliance-rider-survey-2020/
Suggestions for Continental teams:
We respectfully suggest that:
- the UCI should remove the ‘non-professional’ contract and create 1 model contract including;
- there should be minimum salaries for Continental teams;
- the bank guarantee should increase as it’s currently not sufficient to cover rider salaries;
- minimum notice periods when salaries cannot be paid to riders;
- the need for administrated system for reimbursements; and
- minimum professional requirements on team staffing (This is part of a proposal ‘TCA Conditions Priority List’ that we have send to the UCI in 2019).
(Input submitted December 13, 2020)