By Martyn Herman
LONDON (Reuters) – A mixed team time trial relay could be part of the Paris 2024 Olympic road cycling program if the event proves popular at this year’s world championships, the UCI said on Wednesday.
The event, trialed at the European championships in Alkmaar this year, makes its world championships debut on Sunday in Yorkshire with national teams comprising of three male riders and three female riders.
It follows calls for women’s road cycling to have a higher profile and would potentially allow an extra road event in Paris to go alongside the road races and individual time trial’s.
“The UCI would be interested to see how this format evolves over the next Olympic period and are open to working with the IOC to introduce a new and innovative format into the existing Road Cycling program at the Olympic Games,” a UCI spokesman told Reuters on Wednesday.
“Looking ahead, this would fit perfectly with our objective of complete gender parity at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games with the aim that male and female cyclists will enjoy equal number of quotas, events and medals.”
The mixed team time trial in Harrogate, Yorkshire will see three male riders tackle a hilly 14km circuit with the women’s trio setting off when the second male rider crosses the line.
Times will be an aggregate of the men’s and women’s riders.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Toby Davis)