UCI sets new rules for the introduction of Women’s ProTeams in 2025

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has revealed new rules to boost women’s professional cycling. Originally announced on 2nd August 2023, these changes introduce the UCI Women’s ProTeams, a second professional division.

With this new division, women’s cycling now mirrors the men’s structure, featuring three professional tiers – Women’s WorldTour Teams, Women’s ProTeams and Women’s Continental Teams. The new rules stipulate that UCI Women’s ProTeams must offer each rider a full-time contract with a minimum yearly salary of €20,000, higher than the initial minimum for UCI Women’s WorldTeams when that level was introduced back in 2020.

These teams will register with the UCI using the current system for professional teams. Currently, Continental Teams register with their national federations rather than the UCI. They will also need a set number of full-time staff (excluding riders), a bank guarantee, and insurance similar to UCI Women’s WorldTeams. To promote competition, the top two UCI Women’s ProTeams each season will automatically qualify for all UCI Women’s WorldTour events the following year. This marks a change from the current system which sees all Continental teams able to qualify and has led to the situation where Tashkent has been able to potentially attend all WWT races this season.

We’re likely to see teams like Laboral Kutxa, EF Education-Cannondale, Lifeplus-Wahoo all sign up for the 2025 season as ProTeams. Others will no doubt join them too.

Additionally, the UCI has updated the rules for registering riders in professional road teams, affecting both men’s and women’s teams. These new rules address modern contractual realities, setting clear guidelines and penalties for non-compliance. Teams could face recruitment restrictions, while riders and agents might face suspensions and fines. These changes also aim to improve transparency and flexibility, allowing rider registration without a contract and removing previous time limits on signing contracts or announcing new riders.

The UCI has also laid out principles for the next three-year cycle for the UCI WorldTour calendar, covering 2026 to 2028. All events on the UCI WorldTour and UCI ProSeries calendars can apply, as can new events in important areas. Events will be judged on their fit within the calendar, commercial value, sporting interest, and adherence to UCI rules. The registration process for the UCI Women’s WorldTour will now match that of the men’s calendar. There’s a 2-year cycle in 2024 and 2024 for teams to qualify for the next period between 2026-2028.