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Annemiek van Vleuten: minimum salaries more important than prize money

Former world champion says the women’s peloton is more "dynamic" thanks to better pay. After winning her first WorldTour race of the season at Liege-Bastogne-Liege…

Thursday, Apr 28

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Former world champion says the women’s peloton is more "dynamic" thanks to better pay. After winning her first WorldTour race of the season at Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Sunday, Annemiek van Vleuten said that winning women’s races has become harder to do. The 39-year-old has, in the past, easily dominated the Women’s WorldTour, often taking solo wins by large margins.

This year, however, the increased depth of the women’s peloton has given her greater competition, something, she says, that is down to teams paying living wages to their riders — which Van Vleuten believes is more valuable than prize money.

“I’m not a big advocate of more prize money,” she told VeloNews . “Prize money will not raise the level but a minimum salary for everyone in a WorldTour, that will raise the level and people can go full time. That will give us better battles and it will make the sport more interesting and more international…The creation of the Tour de France Femmes has got a lot of teams interested. They see now that from a commercial point of view more interesting to have a women’s team. That causes more money in women’s cycling. Already, 14 teams pay a minimum salary. That’s huge. Two years ago, teams were complaining. So, I think that is awesome.”

With more riders able to make a living from racing, teams are better equipped to work together in races, she says.

“It’s more dynamic and more teams have a plan to win. I’m also super happy with FDJ, for […]

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