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Three-day Tour de Romandie added to the Women's WorldTour in 2022

The women's peloton in 2021
The women's peloton in 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images)

The 2022 Women's WorldTour will see the addition of a new event, a three-day women's version of the Tour de Romandie, the UCI announced in an official communique on Wednesday from the UCI Road World Championships in Belgium.

"The objective of the Tour de Romandie to celebrate its 75th anniversary by adding a women's race at the highest level has been achieved. It is clearly a revolution towards the future. The promotion of women's cycling is a priority for both political and sporting circles, who are delighted with the addition of the women's race to the UCI calendar," the organisers stated on their website on Wednesday.

"The fact that the Women's Tour de Romandie will be classified as a UCI WorldTour [event] for women will increase its media coverage, and therefore its impact at both amateur and professional levels, in Switzerland and abroad. The Women's Tour de Romandie will take place over three days and will bring together approximately 100 athletes. Finally, it will have an economic impact thanks to the overnight stays generated (2,500) and media coverage. 2022 will be an important event for the promotion of cycling."

The UCI announced the 2022 Women's WorldTour calendar in June with 24 events. The Giro d'Italia Donne is set to return to the top-tier series after being downgraded this year while the new Tour de France Femmes will makes its debut, and both events will take place in July.

The Tour de Romandie is a long-standing event held on the men's WorldTour that is set for its 75th edition from April 26 to May 1 in 2022, and will mark a welcomed addition to the top-tier women's calendar, particularly due to its historically mountainous multi-day race in Switzerland.

"Finally a women's version of the Tour de Romandie, the Swiss stage race of the UCI WorldTour. The UCI welcomes this creation which will join the UCI Women's WorldTour in 2022," said UCI President David Lappartient in a press release published on the event website on Wednesday.

Minimum salaries equal across WorldTours 'as quickly as possible'

The UCI highlighted in its communique that it aims to raise the minimum salary of the riders contracted on Women's WorldTour teams to equal the men's WorldTour 'as quickly as possible'.

Two teams Trek-Segafredo and BikeExchange have gone above the regulations and pay equal minimum salaries to their men's and women's WorldTour teams.

The sport governing body also stated that it will add a neo-pro category (under the age of 23) to the top-tier women's teams in 2023, which will have a separate base salary.

"From 2023, the status of neo-professional rider will be introduced in UCI Women’s WorldTeams, along the same model that already exists for men’s professional teams. This status will go to riders aged less than 23 who sign their first contract with a UCI Women’s WorldTeam," as stated in the communique issued on Wednesday.

"The regulation minimum salaries were updated for the seasons 2023 to 2025, including for female neo-professionals. The minimum salary will therefore be the same for riders in UCI Women’s WorldTeams and UCI ProTeams (men) in 2023. It will then continue to increase for UCI Women’s WorldTeams, with the objective that this minimum salary be identical for UCI Women’s WorldTeams and UCI WorldTeams as quickly as possible."

As published on the UCI website, men's WorldTour teams are obliged to pay their riders a base wage of €40,045 (employed) or €65,673 (self-employed), while the base amount for the Women’s WorldTour are set at €20,000 (employed) or €32,800 (self-employed) for this year.

The Women’s WorldTour salary schedule is set to jump up to €27,000 (employed) or €45,100 (self-employed) in 2022, and then equal that of the men's ProTeam by 2023, which is currently €32,102 (employed) or €52,647 (self-employed).

Neo-pros who are on men's teams have a separate base salary figure of €32,400 (employed) or €53,136 (self-employed) on WorldTeams and €26,849 (employed) or €44,032 (self-employed) on ProTeams per year.

In addition, the UCI Management Committee has decided to align the lengths and conditions of attribution for UCI WorldTour and UCI Women’s WorldTour licences for teams. This alignment will come into force from the 2026 season following a two-year transition period in 2024 and 2025, according to the press statement.

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.