Thursday, September 29, 2011

Teutenberg and Vos, Heads in the Clouds Over Minimum Salary

--On Sunday there was a story on Cyclingnews about Vos, Teutenberg, and Bronzini calling for a minimum wage for women cyclists.

"We're living in the 21st century so there should be equal rights for everybody," said Teutenberg.

"I think we all do as much for the sport as the men do, so why not equal it?" asked Vos.

Yes, there should be equal rights for everybody. But equal rights doesn't constitute equal economic demand.

As many of you know, there is a minimum wage rule for men's cycling. The minimums for men are:

ProTour - €35,000 (€ 24,000 for a new professional)
Pro Continental - €27,500 (€23,000 for new riders)

Given that the men's minimums are quite low, how low would the women's minimums need to be to be feasible? One tenth? And if there was a minimum set for women, what would happen? It's likely more than a few teams would fail because they couldn't afford to run one. It's not an equality issue, it's that demand isn't there.

Back to the men's minimums, there is another issue which isn't mentioned. These minimums are paper only. It's common for cycling teams of all levels to sign riders and never pay them this money. They are given two contracts, one that has the minimum pay on it and one that has $0 on it. The one with the minimum is sent to the UCI and the other is their actual contract. This is how the teams get around the artificially high minimum and lack of economic demand to support it.

In the end, the UCI could enact a minimum salary rule for women's teams, but in the end the women would still end up like most male cyclists: riding for free.

--In my post Tuesday I argued that Renshaw's absence cost the Aussies worlds. I saw Vroomen Tweeting yesterday so I asked if he agreed:

@jstreebin @trackcycling Actually no, I don't think Renshaw would have made a difference. Avoiding a sprint would have.
Sep 28 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

In addition, he had some solid points on what he thought made a difference in his post yesterday.

--The new Giro director plans on balancing out next year's route. The 2012 edition will start in Denmark. The new director, Michele Acquarone, summed up his successor well:

"I think Angelo did a great job at rebuilding the prestige and importance of Italian cycling. He made people listen. It’ll be difficult for me to follow in his footsteps. However perhaps one thing I have to accuse him of is that he made too many enemies. I prefer to get on with people and negotiate. I don’t think that life is just black and white. Most of the time it’s different shades of grey. Of course I’m not afraid to make decisions."

--Speaking of grand tours, next year's Tour will begin a week earlier, running June 30-July 22.

--Next year's race calendar is up! Anyone want to create a Google Calendar with those dates? I'll give you some free swag!

--Despite talk of changes to the rules around clenbuterol, there will be no change for 2012.

--Lastly, Skil adds its name to the list of sponsors leaving the sport. No reason was cited but the team will still exist with current and new sponsors.

1 comment:

  1. I agree as well. Minimum Salary would standardize the industry and that will ensure some financial security for the recipients.