Some rather pleasing competitive cycling news has emerged
from the continent this week, with Switzerland set to host the first trials of
mixed-gender cycling events!
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is to thank for the
progressive move, with the group’s president himself apparently coming up with
the idea. Since then the plans have moved on apace, and the first event is due
to be held in Switzerland’s UCI velodrome this week.
The first trials are
expected to include a mixed team sprint and mixed madison, with
further events taking place depending on the results. The performance of all cyclists, from both genders, will be rigorously
monitored in the hope that the scheme will be successful enough to see certain
mixed-gender cycling events appear at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games.
Current thinking postulates that male cyclists are around 10-15% faster than women in
any given event, but it is hoped such discrepancies can be easily overcome in
the name of progress. An integration of the sexes is not only
a positive step for cycling, but for the notion of inclusive sport on a whole.
Only time will tell whether or not other
sports will follow suit, or indeed whether the UCI’s trials will prove successful,
but this sounds like it could be the start of a bright new chapter in
competitive cycling to us.
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