The Cyclists' Alliance (TCA) has asked for clarification and further consultation on the new format for the distribution of prize money for professional women, which was brought into place from the beginning of the year.
The Centralised Prize Money Management system (CPM) was introduced for the men's peloton in 2019, and a similar system has now been introduced for women. It is managed by the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA), the rider's union.
In a statement released on Sunday, the TCA said: "The prize money belongs to the riders, they should be entitled to take part in this discussion."
The TCA said that it was not consulted on the initial plans, and urged the UCI to listen to a broader range of voices on the issue.
"We at the TCA recommend that teams and riders could opt for distribution by an independent third party, and having more options than just CPM," the statement reads. "This prevents a monopoly, and is more likely to makes fees transparent, and possibly lower."
"The TCA and the Rider Council will continue to ask the UCI respond to our questions and to involve the Rider Council in discussions on the prize money administration."
On their website, the CPA say that the CPM "ensures transparency, efficiency and cost savings in the management of the prize money of the professional riders".
Using the example of the men's CPM system, the TCA say that 13.82% of prize money would be deducted to go to projects including the Transition Fund (which exists to assist riders with their careers after cycling), the Development of National Riders Associations, Anti-Doping, and fees for the CPA and the development of the CPM.
After that, a second level of administration costs are charged by the CPA under the men's CPM system : for direct payment to riders, it is €2500 per season, for payment via the team's account €1000 per season, and a payout to a third-party costs €600 per season.
The TCA point out: "It is not possible to opt for a independent third party, even if this independent third party is cheaper and even if you are not a member of CPA."
In the statement, the TCA say that they have been told by the UCI that only 1.82% will be deducted this season, for the development of the CPM, but this has not been formally confirmed.
However, the organisation say that it still has concerns over where some of the deductions would go under the CPM. It says that the Transition Fund is currently running at a deficit of €2.8 million, according to latest figures, and therefore argues that it should not be introduced into women's cycling.
Futhermore, "given the relatively low amounts of prize money available in women’s cycling, it is also questionable if a Transition Fund for women can provide any amounts which are sufficient to be considered meaningful for post career assistance".
The statement also asks for further clarification of where money paid to developing national riders associations goes, when a country does not have an association or it is not a member of the CPA.
As well as questions over fees, the TCA also said: "C1 and C2 races are not part of the Women’s CPM system. Those races are often the hardest to collect and receiving the prize money for the riders. Therefore, we ask the UCI to discuss incorporating these race categories in a future version of the Women’s CPM.
"We furthermore want to have clarified how this system ensures that organisers pay the prize money within a reasonable time and thus addresses the problem of late/slow/never received payments by the riders."
The UCI and the CPA have been contacted for comment and we will update this article, or provide further coverage, if and when we receive responses.
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