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Madison back, BMX freestyle added to Olympic program

The Madison is back, and BMX freestyle is in. The UCI confirmed that cycling will see two additional medal events for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The Madison is back, and BMX freestyle is in. The UCI confirmed that cycling will see two additional medal events for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The popular Madison event was removed from the Olympic program following the 2008 Games, and many have been pining for its return after it was not part of a revamped track Olympic program that was realigned to five medal events (team pursuit, omnium, sprint, keirin, and team sprint).

Its return gives an additional event for the endurance athletes without changing the athletes’ quota, which limits that he number athletes per sport in the Olympic Games. So that means teams will have to slot cyclists between endurance events to stay within the allotment for the two-rider Madison race. Women will race the Madison for the first time at the Olympic level (50km for men, 30km for women).

With the addition of BMX Freestyle — competed on ramps with transitions and obstacles — cycling now grows to 22 medal events across all disciplines, the third largest among Summer Olympic sports.

“The Madison will bring its long-established history and exciting format to the Games, while BMX Freestyle Park has great potential to open the event up to a whole new generation of athletes and fans,” said UCI president Brian Cookson. “In an increasingly competitive landscape for Olympic sport, it is important not only to see our overall quota remain unchanged, but to also welcome the award of four additional opportunities for medals in Olympic cycling disciplines.”

The UCI also confirmed that several quotas previously allocated to men athletes in mountain bike and BMX would be transferred to women, achieving full gender equity in both disciplines.