Trek-Segafredo has raised the salaries for their women’s team to equal or exceed the minimum salary requirements set by the UCI for the men’s WorldTour. The sport governing body intends to gradually increase the minimum salary requirements for the Women’s WorldTour in future.
However, Trek-Segafredo told Cyclingnews that they didn’t want to wait for that mandate and instead implemented their own base salary requirements that went into effect on January 1, 2021.
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.
"Salary really depends on the individual but we can confirm that all of our professional road cycling athletes—regardless of gender—make at or above the minimum for the men’s program," Eric Bjorling, Director of Brand Marketing at Trek Bikes, wrote to Cyclingnews, noting that this base amount does not apply to neo-pro athletes.
"As with all neo-pro riders, there is a slightly lower minimum, which is the case for several of the riders on both programs.
"There’s been some talk that pro cycling might require raising the Women’s WorldTour minimum to the same as the men’s and this is something we strongly support. That said, we didn’t want to wait for a mandate, so we made the decision to do this on our own in the fall of 2020. It went into effect January 1, 2021."
The UCI introduced a new two-tier teams structure - Women’s WorldTeams and Continental Teams - as part of the reforms for the Women’s WorldTour that began in January 2020. Increased financial requirements for the top-tier of teams included a minimum salary along with social insurances and benefits such as maternity leave.
UCI President David Lappartient confirmed to Cyclingnews in 2019 that the goal for the minimum salary for the Women’s WorldTeams would be to equal the men's Professional Continental by 2023.
The Women’s WorldTour salary schedule, published on the UCI website, currently shows a base salary of €20,000 (employed) or €32,800 (self-employed) in 2021 and a jump up to €27,000 (employed) or €45,100 (self-employed) in 2022.
As of 2020, the minimum salary for the men’s WorldTour is €40,045 (employed) or €65,673 (self-employed), while the minimum salary for ProTeams is €32,102 (employed) or €52,647 (self-employed) per year.
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.
This isn’t the first time that Trek-Segafredo has gone beyond the standard requirements set by the UCI for the Women’s WorldTour. Last September, the team announced that their rider Abi Van Twisk had put her professional cycling career on hold as she prepares to welcome her first child in February this year.
The British rider was in her second year of a two-year contract with the American outfit and so effectively took maternity leave starting in February last year and received full pay to the end of her contract in December.
The current maternity leave clause drawn up by the UCI allows for women to take three months leave and entitled to 100 per cent of their salary, followed by an additional five months at 50 per cent of their salary.
The most high-profile athlete to take leave from competition due to pregnancy was Van Twisk's teammate, Lizzie Deignan, who took time away from the sport in 2018 to give birth to her first child. She signed a new contract with Trek-Segafredo while she was pregnant and then returned to the peloton with the team, nearly eight months following the birth of her child, in the spring of 2019.
In just its second year on the Women’s WorldTour in 2020, Trek-Segafredo women’s team had an outstanding season winning both the overall team titles for the UCI WorldRanking and Women’s WorldTour, while Deignan and Elisa Longo Borghini took 1-2 in the Women’s WorldTour individual rankings.
"Anybody who has watched women’s cycling knows what an incredible sport it is and we’re proud to have the opportunity to be involved and support these amazing athletes," Bjorling said.
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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 cycling from the community and 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 men's and women's races including Spring Classics, Grand Tours, World Championships and Olympic Games, and writes and edits news and features. As the Women's Editor at Cyclingnews, Kirsten also coordinates and oversees the global coverage of races, news, features and podcasts about women's professional cycling.