UCI to conduct trials for mixed-gender events

Tue Mar 17, 2015 10:30am EDT
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By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Mixed-gender cycling events could form part of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics if experiments prove successful, Brian Cookson, president of the sport's governing body, said on Tuesday.

With IOC president Thomas Bach pushing sports federations to improve gender equality, Cookson said trials would begin behind closed doors in Switzerland on Friday.

Men and women could compete against each other in sports such as Alpine skiing and bobsleigh as soon as the Pyeongchang Winter Games in 2018.

Cookson said that safeguarding the amount of medal events in track and road cycling was his priority, but was open to Bach's proposals.

"When the president of the IOC raises something you all take it seriously of course," Cookson told reporters at a sports business breakfast forum.

"We have no history of (mixed-gender events) in our sport so we would have to look at how we could make those things work.

"We have to be open-minded so what we are going to do is have some test events at our velodrome where the UCI is based on Friday, behind closed doors."

Asked to provide more details, Cookson said several national federations had been invited to send young riders to the trial, with the madison and team sprint disciplines being looked at as well as a possible road team time trial.   Continued...

Cyclists compete in the men's BMX final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the BMX Track in the Olympic Park August 10, 2012.  REUTERS/Paul Hanna