A year after the creation of the UCI Women's WorldTeams, the first division of women's road teams, by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), the evolution of the riders' salaries and the teams' budgets confirm the ongoing professionalisation and development of the sector, according to a report by the auditing firm EY Lausanne, the external auditor appointed by the UCI as part of the teams' registration for the 2020 and 2021 seasons.
The EY Lausanne study shows that the average salary of members of the UCI Women's WorldTeams has increased by 25% from 2020 to 2021. This increase is due in particular to the introduction by the UCI of a minimum salary for UCI Women's WorldTeam riders.
This minimum salary for salaried female riders was €15,000 in 2020, rising to €20,000 in 2021. It will reach €27,500 in 2022, before joining the minimum salary for riders of the men’s UCI ProTeams (second level of men's professional road cycling teams*) in 2023, which is currently €32,100.
The introduction of the minimum salary in the UCI Women's WorldTeams was accompanied by other developments such as the introduction of health insurance, maternity leave, life insurance, a maximum number of race days and paid holidays. In addition to these developments, which are already in force, there will be an obligation to contribute to a pension plan from the 2022 season.
The creation of a minimum salary has closed the gap between the average salaries paid to UCI Women’s WorldTeams riders and members of the men’s UCI ProTeams. While in 2020 the latter earned on average 67.53% more than their female counterparts, this gap has been reduced to 44.21% in 2021. On a comparative median salary basis, i.e. without the extreme values, female riders in the UCI Women's WorldTeams earn as much as their counterparts in the UCI ProTeams.
The EY Lausanne study also shows a significant increase in the budgets of the UCI Women's WorldTeams**. The average budget of these teams increased by 22% between 2020 and 2021.
“The rise in UCI Women’s WorldTeams salaries and budgets shows that the reform of professional women’s road cycling, as set out in cycling’s Agenda 2022, is having a positive impact on women 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.”