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UCI promises equal minimum wages for men and women pros ‘as quickly as possible’

COVID-19 rules to stay in place until February, and UCI orders more studies on use of ketones.

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BRUGES, Belgium (VN) — The UCI said it promises equal minimum wages for female pros “as quickly as possible,” and urged more testing on the sometimes controversial ketones being used by many within the peloton.

In a series of announcements Wednesday — including confirmation that gravel will become a world championship sport with its own qualifying series of races — the UCI insisted that women’s racing will see increased wages.

“The minimum salary will therefore be the same for riders in UCI Women’s WorldTeams and UCI ProTeams (men) in 2023,” the UCI said in a statement. “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.”

Also read: BikeExchange commits to raising minimum wage for its riders

Right now, the women’s WorldTeam features a minimum wage introduced last year, and that will be raised to equal to the men’s ProTeam wages by 2023. The WorldTour minimum, roughly $40,000 per season, eventually will be in place for the top-league women riders.

The UCI also confirmed that a neo-pro category will be introduced for UCI women’s WorldTeams in 2023, and that a women’s Tour de Romandie will be added to the calendar next year.

Ketones, integrity, COVID, and adios to Mexican federation

The UCI also named what is calls a “Integrity and Education Manager” that will “implement education and awareness courses for all cycling’s families. The person will also manage the reporting system, notably for harassment and abuse. The Integrity and Education Manager’s mission will be to support potential victims of harassment by guiding them in the right direction to take appropriate action,” a statement read.

The UCI said the Mexican Cycling Federation is provisionally suspended for “serious infringements of the obligations it is subject to under the UCI Constitution, in particular when it comes to governance and electoral processes. This suspension comes with clear conditions for being lifted, linked in particular to the revision of regulations and the holding of new elections that are based on these.”

Also read: Vuelta starts with COVID jitters as peloton looks ahead

The cycling federation also extended health controls and protocols until at least February 2022, with “new measures could be taken at the beginning of 2022 depending on the evolution of the pandemic and the vaccination rate in the peloton.”

And finally, the UCI called for additional testing of ketones, the sometimes controversial dietary supplement used by many WorldTour teams.

“Despite the absence of scientific proof of performance enhancement from ketones, and as part of the UCI’s commitment to an honest and credible sport, the UCI Management Committee – like the Professional Cycling Council at its meeting on 20 September – requested that an additional scientific study be launched to clarify the question,” a statement read. “While waiting for the results of the study, the UCI recommends riders to refrain from using this substance.”