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Women start to get some parity

Team Pursuit to get parity for 2014 Worlds and Rio 2016

Full article to come

In London 2012 there was a lot of talk was about the lack of parity of numbers of men and women allowed to take part in the cycling events and the distances ridden. 

Laura Robinson (Freelance journalist) sat down with Brian Cookson (Head of UCI Road Commission) and Mike Turtur (Head of UCI Oceania and member UCI commission).

The breaking news from that interview, is that parity is coming in terms of the number of women competing in cycling events. 

The first to achieve this will be the women's Team Pursuit. The event will increase to 4 riders and 4000m from the 2013/2014 season and will be included in the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. 

The UCI apparently made the decision about a year ago to make the change but have not communicated this widely. They had been analysing the rides at elite international level over the past two years and feel that there has been an element of 'Russian roulette' within the race. Three riders have to finish under the rules, if something happens to one rider, currently, the whole team fails. 

While that decision was not really about equality, the development in the sport and the capability and improvement in women's endurance cycling, mean that the time had come to make it 4 x 4000m, When Turtur won the Gold medal in 1984, his team rode a 4 minute 23 second ride. If you put 4 women on the track today they are likely to achieve 4 minutes 16 seconds; so the change is seemingly justified.

This information comes at the beginning of the women's omnium. Introduced into the Olympic track programme for the first  time today. (6 Aug 2012).

More events are being considered for similar changes, but these may take a few years, after analysis and recommendations considered.


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