What Are They Racing For? UCI Minimum Payouts in Detail

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As we reported last October, U.S. promoters have historically had lower minimum payouts for UCI races than their European counterparts.  The UCI did this to encourage more UCI-categorized races, but with the spread of UCI racing here in the States, starting this year, U.S. promoters are required to pay the same amounts as top-level European countries.

What are people racing for? At the highest level, like at Cat 1 CrossVegas, Trebon, Johnson, Powers, Page and the rest of the crew will be battling for $2,334. At a Cat 2 race, it drops down to $490.

In what might be surprising to the average amateur, there really isn’t a Cat 1 or Cat 2 differentiation for women. Payouts minimums are dramatically lower, at $259 for the top woman at any UCI race in the states, which is the top prize at CrossVegas. (Of course, as many readers noted, promoters are entitled to pay more than minimums, as the Ohio 3-day weekend and USGP races do.)

From our past poll, we know 77% of you don’t agree with that discrepancy in minimum payouts, but in these tough economic times, will we see many promoters provide equal pay? Or, will many promoters be able to recoup their costs?

Perhaps more surprising is that a top espoir brings home almost as much as the top woman, while an 11th place espoir, junior, and woman all win the same $42. But technically, that’s not really a full $42, as two percent can be deducted to go to the Council for the Fight Against Doping (CFAD). So it’s really $41.16.

The minimum payouts required by the UCI, assuming a $1.40 to 1 euro conversion, are as follows:

UCI Minimum Payouts, United States in Equivalent Dollars
Place UCI C1 Men UCI C2 Men Espoir Junior Women
1 $2334 $490 $245 $210 $259
2 $1168 $251 $168 $140 $182
3 $840 $165 $126 $98 $140
4 $654 $132 $98 $84 $112
5 $560 $120 $84 $70 $98
6 $468 $115 $70 $70 $84
7 $420 $106 $70 $70 $84
8 $374 $98 $70 $56 $84
9 $328 $94 $70 $56 $84
10 $280 $90 $70 $56 $84
11 $234 $84 $42 $42 $42
12 $188 $67 $42 $42 $42
13 $164 $63 $42 $42 $42
14 $140 $53 $42 $42 $42
15 $118 $36 $42 $42 $42
16 $118 $31 $28
17 $94 $31 $28
18 $94 $31 $28
19 $94 $31 $28
20 $94 $31 $28
21 $70 $20
22 $70 $20
23 $70 $20
24 $70 $20
25 $70 $20
26 $48
27 $48
28 $48
29 $48
30 $48
Total $9348 $2216 $1421 $1120 $1421

With over $10k at up for grabs for men and women at a UCI C1 race, it’s obviously a huge expense for the promoter, and one that is typically covered by sponsors and/or participants. The C1 points certainly help our best domestic racers secure more and better start positions at the biggest events, and can attract big-time riders like Erwin Vervecken, who will be racing at Cross Vegas. Big names and deeper talent can result in a better “show” for spectators.

Is that money well spent? Drop a comment below and let us know what you think.



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You might want to mention that the USGP pays equal prize money for the top 3 women!

Doug Dobrozsi
Doug Dobrozsi

The UCI specifies minimum payouts, as you have described. But promoters are free to pay more than minimums. At all 3 days of the Cincinnati International CX Festival (Oct 9-11, www.ovcx.com, shameless plug that) purses are raised above minimums. Friday and Saturday use the "Gould Formula" to pay the top 5 women the same as the men for the C2. And Sunday's race is paying a C1 purse at a C2 event to Men ($9164), and Gould Formula for C1 to women ($6224). Total UCI money for the weekend totals over $23,000.

For racers hoping to make it to a world cup event or even the U.S. Worlds team the points really matter - but for a whole lot of near top-level racers, the prize money helps them make ends meet when travelling the U.S. UCI circuit.


Can you pay out to Juniors in the U.S.? It seems that in many states it would be illegal.

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