• The 2017 women's road race world championships (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Tracey Gaudry is confident of being retained as head of the UCI Women’s Commission as newly elected UCI president David Lappartient finalises his administration this week.
Sophie Smith

Cycling Central
25 Oct 2017 - 1:43 PM  UPDATED 25 Oct 2017 - 1:47 PM

Gaudry said she opted not to stand for re-election as UCI vice president following the Frenchman’s recent landslide victory over single-term chair Brian Cookson, preferring to focus on the portfolio and role as Oceania chief.

The 48-year-old, who was the first ever female UCI vice president, has led the Women’s Commission, a product of the Cookson regime, since 2013.

Speaking before a management committee meeting due to take place today, Gaudry addressed a perceived shortfall to establish a women’s minimum wage through Cookson’s term, and outlined an informal agenda including the further “professionalisation” of women’s cycling.

“The first meeting of the management committee will be to re-establish all of the commissions, including the Women’s Commission and the WorldTour committee for women’s cycling, which is charged specifically with the growth of the women’s WorldTour and professionalisation of women’s road cycling,” Gaudry said.

It was announced earlier this year that the minimum salary for the men’s WorldTour would rise to €38,115 ($57,640), though no fixed amount for the women’s top-tier.

Conjecture around the disparity ranged from blatant discrimination to a lack of sponsorship in women’s cycling, which would prevent teams from being capable of meeting any mandate set.

“As a former elite and professional cyclist on a very tiny wage, I was able to negotiate a wage for myself and some colleagues, it remains I am extremely pained for the fact that we have taken many steps forward…but we are still on that journey towards truly professionalising the elite peloton, and that is a fundamental part of the next phase of our journey,” Gaudry said.

“We are looking at establishing a two-tiered structure so that there is a WorldTour of teams, who will need to sign-up to a heightened level of professionalism that is all about the way in which they promote themselves as a team, the way they look after and support the riders, the professionalism of the crew around them.

“In that overall welfare package for riders, it’s clearly minimum wages, equipment, lodging, insurance, training, medical support. The professionalism is in this next wave of development for women’s cycling.”

Gaudry believes the Cookson administration laid a solid foundation to progress from.

“…That includes equalising prize money…we have established the Women’s WorldTour, which has some 50 days of racing next year at the top level, we have record numbers of women’s road teams signing up,” she said.

Gaudry also believes Lappartient will embody a comparatively more “nimble” leadership, able to usher change faster.

“I had the privileged position over the past four years of being the vice president of the UCI and literally every time we would meet as a management committee I’d be sitting to the right of the president Brian Cookson, and on my right was David Lappartient,” Gaudry said. “I sat in between the previous president and the now president every meeting for four years so I know both gentlemen exceptionally well.

“David brings a very different style of leadership to the world of cycling. He’s a consummate politician and he will represent a far more nimble, active role as the president.

“With the style David Lappartient will bring to the table, we can have a speedier process of identifying innovation, putting it on the table, realising cost and benefit, and presenting to the management committee to decide and move on.”

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