THE UEC LAUNCHES A REVIEW ON THE FUTURE OF CATEGORIES
Following the extended stoppage of competitions in the 2020 season due to the Covid-19 health crisis, over the last few months the Union Européenne de Cyclisme has carried out a series of evalulations via its own commissions on the impact of the stoppage of the 2020 season, and on the repercussions that will follow over the next few seasons, especially in the Juniors and Under 23 categories.
After lengthy and intensive discussions, recently the Union Européenne de Cyclisme sent to the International Cycling Union (UCI) a series of proposals and evaluations to be analysed and developed with UCI technical commissions and the Sports Department.
Below is a summary of the proposals put forward:
- Review of all categories in the MTB-Cyclo-Cross – Road and Track disciplines: creation of Under 20 categories (18/19 years) and Under 24 (20/23 years) and, nationally, Under 18 categories (16/17 years) and Under 16 (14/15 years) and a review of the Road/Track gear ratio limits in the youth category.
- Under 23 Road World Championships: a possible review of categories would affect the Road World Championships and that must be taken into careful consideration. The proposal is to reconsider the biggest international event by creating «Professionals» World Championships (open to riders from World Teams and Pro Teams), «Espoirs» World Championships (open to Under 24 riders without a licence from World Teams and Pro Teams), «Under 20» World Championships, «Emerging Countries» Championships to allow all the riders over 23 (apart from riders with licences from World Teams and Pro Teams) to ride in a specific event.
- Participation in the Olympic Games: currently there are understandable differences between the disciplines of BMX Freestyle Park, BMX Racing and Track, Road and MTB. If the categories were reviewed, it would be advisable to standardise age criteria as follows: MTB, Road and Track: participation from the Under 20 category, for BMX Freestyle and BMX Racing: from the Under 18 category.
The main objective of these proposals is to protect the youngest riders, the majority of whom are currently in the process of completing academic studies or professional training, just as they are about to switch from the Juniors to the Under 23s. A review of these categories will give young people the guarantee of dealing with this change in a more relaxed manner and will give them an additional year to fulfil their potential and reach their own cycling maturity.