The Cyclists’ Alliance (TCA) has released the results of its annual rider survey which has revealed the top three key areas of concern among women’s professional cycling – salaries, safety and live coverage.
The sixth edition of the survey, conducted in June 2023, received 140 unique athlete responses, according to TCA. The survey asked 40 questions of female professional and elite cyclists which addressed several key topics, including, employment and income, education, team environments and professional support.
The association noted that the results of the survey represent riders from thirty-one countries who compete in six disciplines. In addition, the responses to the survey represents at least four hundred and twenty seasons of racing experience.
Salaries was the top concern among those who responded to the survey who are not contracted for Women’s WorldTeams. Currently, only teams among the top-tier of women’s cycling are obliged to pay a minimum salary to its riders.
The UCI introduced minimum salaries for Women’s WorldTeams in 2020, and those increased to €32,102 (employed) / €52,647 (self-employed) in 2023. The salary structure now includes a neo-pro minimum salary of €26,849 (employed) / €44,032 (self-employed).
There are currently 59 Continental teams that are not obliged to pay riders a minimum salary, though some of them do. Among the second-tier teams, riders who responded to the survey indicated that they “struggle to make ends meet”.
- Two in five riders do not get paid by their team at all
- One in five riders gets paid less than €5,000 gross per year
- One in five riders gets paid between €10,000 and €20,000
- Only around 15% of respondents receive a salary which meets or exceeds the mandated minimum salary for an employed person of €32,102
Those who responded to the survey indicated that ‘financial reasons’ continued to be the number one reason most women consider leaving the sport earlier than planned.
This has meant that nearly one-third of survey respondents work a second job while performing in their contracted roles as professional cyclists, while less than half can rely on cycling as their only paid job. One-third of survey respondents are also studying while competing.
The survey also revealed that a quarter of respondents repay their team for expenses including obligatory UCI medical screening tests, flights and accommodation for racing, and bicycle repair and maintenance. In addition, for those survey respondents in…