The International Cycling Union (UCI) has launched a Centralised Prize Money Management (CPM) system for the professional women's cycling that will be managed by the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA), and began on January 1, 2022.
However, The Cyclists' Alliance, a women's cycling association, has requested consultation with the sport governing body for more details and clarification regarding the new system, and so that the female riders' voices are represented in the discussion surrounding their prize money.
"We have asked the UCI to listen to the riders voice in this discussion, too, as the TCA were not consulted with the initial plans (neither on the first layer and the several deductions that are made, or the second layer fees and payment). We at the TCA recommend that teams and riders could opt for distribution by an independent third party, and having more options than just CPM. This prevents a monopoly, and is more likely to makes fees transparent, and possibly lower," TCA wrote in a statement on Sunday.
"The prize money belongs to the riders, they should be entitled to take part in this discussion."
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The CPM system was introduced to the professional men's cycling in 2019 and will be introduced for the women's peloton for the first time this year.
On its website, the CPA has stated that the men's cycling CPM meet the needs of the riders more effectively to "will improve transparency, make the management more even and effective, cut costs for riders, and ensure tax traceability."
TCA described it as a two-layer process whereby the net amount of prize money (after taxes) goes to the CPA, that manages the CPM.
The first layer involves taking a 13.82 percentage in deductions out of the net amount to put toward; Transition Fund (5%), development of national riders' associations (3%), UCI doping control (2%), CPA's administration fee (2%) and its development fee (1.82%) for the CPM system.
The CPM system for women's cycling will follow a similar process as the men's, but the UCI confirmed to TCA that it will not be identical. In addition, the Professional Cycling Council (PCC) will decide next year on how the system will be evolved in Women’s Cycling, according to TCA.
However, TCA has pointed out some of the existing flaws with the CPM system in men's cycling, noting that the Transition Fund currently runs at a deficit, of which latest figures from the CPA, is at approximately €2.8 million.
"Therefore, use of this Transition Fund should not be introduced into Women’s Cycling. The TCA are not aware of a viable plan by the CPA or the UCI to restore this deficit," TCA wrote.
"In addition, given the relatively low amounts of prize money available in women’s cycling, it is also questionable if a Transition Fund for women can provide any amounts which are sufficient to be considered meaningful for post career assistance."
Currently, male riders that retire from professional cycling are entitled to seek a percentage of money from the Transition Fund, to assist them with their career after cycling, however, CPA has failed to meet some of these payouts in the past.
In addition, TCA noted that it was not clear where the deducted amount of money for the development of national riders' associations goes, when a country does not have a national riders association or the association is not a member of the CPA.
Also, the amount deducted for anti-doping is in addition to the fees paid by event organisers and teams as part of their registration fees.
TCA also noted that, in addition to the 2% deducted for CPA administration costs and 1.82% deducted for Development of the CPM Platform, the second layer also involves a further deduction of administration costs to distribute the prize money.
"It is not possible to opt for a independent third party, even if this independent third party is cheaper and even if you are not a member of CPA," TCA wrote.
TCA has also express concerns that the women's CPM will not include C1 and C2 races, which, they said, are often the hardest to collect the prize money for the riders.
"Therefore, we ask the UCI to discuss incorporating these race categories in a future version of the Women’s CPM. We furthermore want to have clarified how this system ensures that organisers pay the prize money within a reasonable time and thus addresses the problem of late/slow/never received payments by the riders."
Cyclingnews has reached out to the UCI for comment and additional details regarding the Centralised Prize Money Management (CPM) system for the professional women's cycling.
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Kirsten Frattini is an honours graduate of Kinesiology and Health Science from York University in Toronto, Canada. She has been involved in bike racing from the grassroots level to professional cycling's WorldTour. She has worked in both print and digital publishing, and started with Cyclingnews as a North American Correspondent in 2006. Moving into a Production Editor's role in 2014, she produces and publishes international race coverage for all cycling disciplines, edits news and writes features. Currently the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten coordinates global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.
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