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By VeloNews Interactive, Copyright AFP2001
Professional cyclists will be guaranteed an annual minimum wage for the first time after an accord was signed in Lisbon, Portugal Friday between the professional cyclists association (CPA) and the AIGCP, which represents professional cycling teams.
The accord was signed at the world road race championships between CPA chief Francesco Moser and Manolo Saiz, who runs the Spanish ONCE team and who is also head of the AIGCP.
“We’ve managed to come to an agreement which allows for identical rules for each country,” former professional Moser said after the meeting. “Riders now have much more security,” added Saiz.
Among various measures professionals will now be guaranteed a minimum annual wage regardless of their country of origin.
In 2002 the figure will rise to 15,000 euros (13,700 dollars) for riders in their first year as professionals, and that figure will rise to 18,000 in 2003.
For all other professionals next year’s guaranteed minimum annual wage will be 23,000 euros.
Hein Verbruggen, the president of the International Cycling Union (UCI), who gave up his position as president of the Professional Cycling Council (CCP) to former Italian pro Vittorio Adorni, added that a fund to provide for riders at the end of their careers was not far off.
“We’re currently negotiating with an insurance company,” Verbruggen said.
The CCP also confirmed that as of next year teams will be limited in number to 25 riders. The only exceptions will be those teams who already have more than 25 professionals on their books, although they will be forced to fall into line by 2003.
The CCP finally announced the establishment of a working group to study the activities of riders’ agents, “so that cycling doesn’t find itself in the position of other sports,” according to Verbruggen.