Photos: Schieck

At the end of last season, there were a few vague promises form the UCI that prize money would be increasing for World Cups and finally we have the exact breakdowns of who will earn what.

A trophy of bread to complete the most raucous and unpredictable podium ceremony in years
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There's good news off the bat as it seems the top racers will definitely be able to earn more buck this year. You may still feel like it's still not enough considering the risks these guys take, but it's a step in the right direction, that's for sure.

Hell of a podium. Seagrave from Hannah and Nicole. Year look set to be a belter
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Let's take a look at the breakdowns, 2017 first, then 2018:

(N.B. Prize money has been equal in mountain biking since 2013)

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World Cups

World Cup prize money at each round stays the same for 2018 but there is a 10 grand increase in the overall standings prize pot with the top three almost doubling. There's also a graded pay scale from sixth to tenth, not just a flat rate of €968 (£850) anymore.

First place now earns a decent €10,000 (£8,800), second place €6,000 (£5,200) and third €4,000 (£3,500).

This co-incides with the UCI chainging how the points will be awarded at the season finale. In La Bresse, no points will be awarded for qualifying, instead they will be added to the race points and awarded in one chunk (so first place gets 250, second place gets 200, third 170 etc).

There could now be a big money finale that all comes down to the last run of the year. We sort of get it, but it does seem a bit like the continuing trend of pushing downhill to be a spectacle as well as a sport. It's probably best to wait and see what happens with that though, it could all be academic by August anyway.

As if Gwin wasn't wet enough already...
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World Championships

Big increases in prize money for the World Championships this year. Yes, only the top three get cash but the prize pool for them is almost as big as the whole top ten's at a World Cup.

There's now €5,000 (£4,400) for the winner, €3,000 (£2,600) for second €2,000 (£1,750) for third. That's pretty good money in our book, nice one UCI.

the juniors will also be happy as they get a five-fold increase in prize money at World Champs including €1,250 (£1,100) for the winner - that's a lot of WKD!

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