The continued development of womenâ€™s cycling was one of the important topics discussed at the UCI Road Commission meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
In order to ensure that the womenâ€™s point of view was correctly represented, the Commission invited Marianne Vos and Tracey Gaudry to participate in the discussions.
Both women have vast experience both as athletes and on the more administrative side of cycling. Olympic Champion and World Champion on the road as well as cyclo-cross World Champion, Marianne Vos is also a member of the UCI Athletesâ€™ Commission. Tracey Gaudry, elected this year as President of the Oceania Cycling Confederation, is a former athlete who won multiple Australian Championship titles and finished third overall in the UCI Women Road World Cup in 1999.
â€śIt was extremely helpful and enlightening to have input from two prominent figures in womenâ€™s cycling,â€ť said UCI Road Coordinator Matthew Knight. â€śWhat was very encouraging is that we have the same vision and are working together towards common goals.â€ť
The Commission agreed to appoint a working group dedicated solely to womenâ€™s road cycling which will meet regularly to address specific issues that can contribute to the growth of womenâ€™s cycling. In the short term these issues include the possibility of changing the format of the UCI Women Road World Cup, of creating a first division of womenâ€™s teams and long term considerations, such as introducing minimum wages for team members.
UCI Project Manager Andrea Marcellini said that in order to make the right decisions to continue the positive development of womenâ€™s cycling, the UCI would consult with all involved parties.
â€śWe need advice from teams, riders, event organisers and National Federations on any new directions that we take,â€ť she said.
During the Road Commission, Marianne Vos reiterated her desire to see more menâ€™s and womenâ€™s events being raced side by side. She also expressed her desire to one day finish on the Champs-Ă‰lysĂ©es.
It would also be very interesting to introduce parallel menâ€™s and womenâ€™s racing at the UCI Juniors Nationsâ€™ Cup.
â€śWhen we talk about equality in cycling, it should start at Junior level,â€ť points out Andrea Marcellini.
Photo: Marianne VosÂ took part in the UCI Road Commission meetingÂ