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VN news ticker: UCI Women’s WorldTeam salaries increase in 2022, Marc Soler, Alessandro De Marchi among Thursday abandons, Australia names Olympic team

Here's what's making headlines on Thursday, May 20.

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UCI Women’s WorldTeam salaries to rise in 2022

According to external auditor EY Lausanne, the average salary of members of the UCI Women’s WorldTeams has increased by 25 percent from 2020 to 2021. This increase can be traced to the introduction of WorldTeams by the UCI in 2020. Those teams had a mandated minimum salary, among other standards like life insurance and maternity leave.

In 2020, the minimum salary for salaried female riders on WorldTeams was €15,000 in 2020, and it rose to €20,000 in 2021. In 2022, it will reach €27,500 before joining the minimum salary for riders of the men’s UCI ProTeams in 2023, which is currently €32,100.

The EY Lausanne study also shows a significant increase in the budgets of the UCI Women’s WorldTeams. The average budget of these teams increased by 22 percent between 2020 and 2021.

“The rise in UCI Women’s WorldTeams salaries and budgets shows that the reform of professional women’s road cycling, as set out in cycling’s Agenda 2022, is having a positive impact on women riders and their teams,” said UCI President David Lappartient. “There is still work to be done to strengthen the sector and continue to develop it, but the creation of the UCI Women’s WorldTeams, four years after the creation of the UCI Women’s WorldTour, is a central element for the growth of women’s cycling.”

The UCI Women’s WorldTeams for 2021 include Alé BTC Ljubljana, Canyon-SRAM Racing, FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, LIV Racing, Movistar Team Women, Team BikeExchange, Team DSM, Team SD Worx, and Trek-Segafredo.

Marc Soler, Alessandro De Marchi abandon Giro d’Italia

Marc Soler (Movistar) and former pink jersey Alessandro De Marchi (Israel Start-Up Nation) are among riders forced to abandon Giro d’Italia in Thursday’s 12th stage.

Soler started the stage 11th overall, but crashed early and was forced to leave the Italian grand tour. De Marchi, who held the pink jersey in stages 4 and 5, also exited due to a crash.

Teammate Alex Dowsett later abandoned due to stomach problems, and Fausto Masnada (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) did not start Thursday.

Mauro Schmid on winning: ‘I cannot believe it’

Mauro Schmid was a late addition to the Giro d’Italia, and he was late in signing his contract with Qhubeka-Assos for 2021. On Wednesday, he was first across the line in Montalcino.

The 21-year-old Swiss rider is a grand tour stage-winner just months into his rookie WorldTour season.

“I cannot believe it,” he said. “I was only selected for the Giro team about two weeks before the race. My preparation was good but at the beginning of the season, I was not even thinking about riding a grand tour. In the last two stages I suffered a lot, but today I really wanted to go on the attack because I really like riding on gravel. In the breakaway, I felt I had good legs and I went for it.

“I was thinking about what Giacomo [Nizzolo] and Victor [Campenaerts] told me: ‘Second or third place? Nobody thinks about that, it’s only the win that counts,’ and this was my mentality today and in the end, I was lucky that the plan was good.”

Richie Porte, Amanda Spratt headline Australian road team

Richie Porte and Amanda Spratt headline Australia’s road team for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Rohan Dennis and Grace Brown were also selected Wednesday to race in August.

“We’ve got a really great team for Tokyo,” said Spratt, back for her third Games. “We’ve got a great road captain in Tiffany Cromwell, we’ve seen what Grace has been doing over in Europe, and that youth of Sarah Gigante we’ve got a strong and well-rounded team that will really suit this course.”

“The Olympics is a massive career highlight for me,” said Porte. “You don’t take for granted to be selected for the team in a country like Australia as it has so many worthy guys to choose from, so to just make the team, it’s a big honor.”

Others selected include Cameron Meyer, Sarah Gigante, Cromwell, and Jack Haig.