The UCI says it is keen to run a mixed team time trial at the Paris Olympics in 2024 if the event proves a success at the upcoming world championships in Yorkshire.
First announced in 2018, Sunday’s Team Time Trial Mixed Relay will be contested by national teams comprising three male riders and three female riders.
The male riders will set off first and the women will replace them on the road as soon as the second male rider has crossed the finish line. Final timings will be taken when the second female rider crosses the finish line.
The event was trialled at the European championships in Alkmaar earlier this year and Reuters reports that the UCI has plans to include it in the Olympic programme in 2024.
“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 programme at the Olympic Games,” said a UCI spokesperson.
“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 Dutch team won the mixed team time trial at the European championships and are again favourites.
Even if the Dutch are down after the men’s riders have gone, their women are capable of clawing it back,” said British Cycling’s mixed team time trial coach Andy Pink.
“It’s a very lumpy course and strategy is going to be very important, especially as you can drop your third rider. I think it’s great that the mixed event has been added to the programme. It’s a great showcase for women’s road cycling. I think the crowds will love it.”