Calais (France) (AFP) – Cycling will achieve gender parity for the first time at the 2024 Paris Olympics, the International Cycling Union (UCI) announced Tuesday while unveiling the qualification systems for the Games.
“The UCI is pleased to confirm that for the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, all cycling competitions will have the same number of male and female athletes on the lists of participants,” the UCI said in a statement.
One of the consequences of the levelling up will be a reduction in the maximum number of riders per team for the men’s road race, one of the flagship events of cycling at the Olympics.
“A total of 180 qualification places (88 places for each gender, plus two per gender for the host country) will be allocated, with a maximum of eight places – four for men and four for women – per National Olympic Committee (NOC),” the UCI said for the four road races, road race and time trial.
At the Tokyo Olympics, the men’s road race was contested by 130 riders while the women had just 67.
Qualification places will be attributed through the UCI road world rankings for results in 2023.
For the individual time trials, men and women will have 35 places each with a maximum of two athletes per country in each race.
In the 12 track events, 190 qualification places are available on an even split of 95 per gender, with a maximum of 14 places per country — seven each for men and women.
Mountain biking will provide 34 places for each gender and BMX 24.
Parity will not, however, extend to the Paralympics. Of the 220 places available at the Paris Paralympics, 140 will go to men and only 80 women.