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INNSBRUCK, Austria (AFP) — World cycling chiefs will premier a national team time trial mixed-gender event at the world road race championships in Yorkshire in 2019 ahead of its expected inclusion at Olympic level, International Cycling Union (UCI) president David Lappartient said on Saturday.
The UCI unveiled the new mixed-gender relay at the world championships in Austria this week. It features three men and three women and has prompted ‘warm feedback’, said Lappartient.
It would be held annually at the world championships, the 2019 race in Yorkshire becoming a test run for its later, expected inclusion on the Olympic programme.
“The Olympic movement is looking for more mixed gender events,” Lappartient said. “We may stage a mixed gender (TTT) at next year’s European championships, but it looks a bit tight.
“So it is likely that the one at Yorkshire will be the test event, and we are still working on the details of how the actual relay part will be done, maybe with some kind of light system,” he said. “But there is a very good chance this event will eventually find its way to the Olympic Games.”
The Yorkshire event will see a team of three male cyclists complete a 14-kilometer lap with the women’s team setting off on the same circuit once the second rider in the men’s team has crossed the line.
The final time will be taken when the second of the three women riders crosses the finish line, with the overall quickest time winning.
“It is likely we will push the distance to 20 or 25km, but we only had the 14km option for Yorkshire,” Lappartient said Saturday.
“It is wonderful for sport. It is a race for nations and it delivers a world champion rainbow jersey for six riders.”