The UCI takes decisions in favour of the professionalisation of women’s cycling

By PressCPA
Agosto 2, 2023

The Management Committee of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) met from 31 July to 2 August in Glasgow, Scotland (Great Britain), as part of the first edition of the UCI Cycling World Championships, which will bring together 13 separate UCI World Championships from 3 to 13 August.
 
In line with its policy of professionalising women’s cycling, which has gained momentum since 2016 and has led to real development in women’s cycling (including the introduction of a minimum salary for women professional riders, the creation of the UCI Women’s WorldTeams, the introduction of maternity leave, equal quotas for men and women for Olympic Games events from the Paris 2024 edition, etc.), the UCI Management Committee took two new decisions supporting this development.

Firstly, it adopted the principle of the integration of stakeholders of women’s professional road cycling into the Professional Cycling Council (PCC). The PCC will also be responsible for matters relating to the UCI Women’s WorldTour (including the preparation of calendars) and not just those concerning the UCI WorldTour. As a result, from 2024 onwards, the associations representing the highest level of stakeholders in men’s and women’s international cycling will be represented on this enlarged PCC. Its decisions will then have to be validated by the UCI Management Committee before coming into force.

In addition, the UCI Management Committee approved the creation of a second division of women’s professional teams. This means that UCI ProTeams for women will appear from 2025. The introduction of this division, positioned between the existing UCI Women’s WorldTeams (1st division) and UCI Women’s Continental Teams (to become 3rd division), was initially scheduled for the 2026 season. However, in view of the current boom in women’s cycling, and following consultation with stakeholders, the decision was taken to bring forward the launch by one year. This new initiative will also enable a greater number of female riders to benefit from a professional framework. With the introduction of the women’s UCI ProTeams, women’s teams are now structured according to the same model as men’s teams. As professional teams, the women’s UCI ProTeams will follow the same registration procedure as the other professional teams (UCI Women’s WorldTeams, UCI WorldTeams and men’s UCI ProTeams) by registering directly with the UCI. The UCI will be assisted in this task by the appointed external auditor, PwC.

The UCI is strongly committed to the development and implementation of integrity programmes aimed at ensuring that cycling remains a clean, safe and fair sport for all those involved, free from all forms of harassment and other abuse, regardless of an individual’s ability, age, gender, sexual orientation, social origin or religion. With this in mind, the UCI launched its Cycling Integrity programme in 2022. A new step has now been taken with the approval of two documents, entitled “UCI Safeguarding Policy” and “Safeguarding: UCI Toolkit for Cycling Stakeholders “.
The “UCI Safeguarding Policy” details the framework put in place by the UCI to prevent, deal with and report any action likely to harm the physical and/or psychological integrity of people involved in cycling. This policy clearly sets out the definitions, risks and impact of the various forms of harassment and other abuse. It explains the measures implemented by the UCI to help prevent such cases from occurring, as well as response measures to deal with any concerns that may arise.
With the “Safeguarding: UCI Toolkit for Cycling Stakeholders“, the UCI goes one step further by providing a practical handbook for all those involved in cycling – National Federations, teams, and organisers – who all have an essential role to play in ensuring that cycling is safe for everyone. This guide contains guidance on the roles and responsibilities of cycling stakeholders, model codes of conduct that should be adopted by riders and those working with them, as well as advice on safe recruitment procedures, education and raising awareness.
 
In an effort to guarantee sporting fairness and reduce the carbon footprint of events on the UCI WorldTour calendar, the UCI condemned the use of helicopter transport to transfer riders at the end of a stage in the last Giro d’Italia. The transfers were carried out in conditions that did not respect these two requirements.  It became apparent that the organisers’ specifications made no specific provision for transfers by helicopter. To remedy this shortcoming and combat the negative effects of such a practice, the UCI Management Committee decided to amend the aforementioned specifications, in particular to ensure that this type of transfer gives rise to carbon compensation and that the equitable treatment of teams is guaranteed.
 
In general, the UCI Management Committee welcomed the continued growth of the different cycling disciplines, such as mountain bike and track (through the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup and the UCI Track Champions League organised with Warner Bros. Discovery), cyclo-cross (and the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup organised with Flanders Classics), BMX Racing (with the UCI BMX Racing World Cup) and mass events (with the UCI Gran Fondo World Series and the UCI Gravel World Series organised with Golazo).
 
Finally, the UCI Management Committee decided to award the UCI Bike City label to the cities of Montreal (Canada) and Aigle (Switzerland), and to the regions of Saalfelden Leogang (Austria) and South Scotland (Great Britain). The UCI Bike City label rewards cities and regions which, in addition to hosting major events on the UCI International Calendar, are committed to developing and promoting cycling in their communities, and invest in related infrastructure and programmes. The four new recipients join the network of 22 cities and regions that have already been awarded the UCI Bike City/Region label. […]

At the end of the three days of meeting, UCI President David Lappartient declared: ” With the creation of a second division of women’s professional teams and the extension of the Professional Cycling Council’s remit to the highest level of women’s cycling, the sector is continuing the impressive progress it has made in recent years. These advances will boost the sector and provide further evidence of its growth.
 
“In another area, that of integrity, we can look forward to the continued implementation of comprehensive measures in cycling, with a strong preventive component, to ensure that our sport represents a safe environment for everyone in which no form of abuse is tolerated.
 
“Finally, I would like to welcome the towns and regions that have joined our UCI Bike City/Region network, a label that distinguishes local authorities with a long-term commitment to cycling as a competitive sport and sustainable activity. On the eve of the opening of the UCI Cycling World Championships in Glasgow and across  Scotland, which will thrill the cycling world from August 3 to 13, this network, which now includes 26 cities and regions, symbolises the growing involvement of public authorities in promoting cycling for all.”
 
The next meeting of the Management Committee will be held on 25 and 26 January 2024 in Prague (Czech Republic).

UCI press release

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