Saturday, November 27 2021

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The women’s peloton could finally get a U23 race, but not the one they expected.

UCI President David Lappartient said French cycling website DirectBike that plans were underway to create a female U23 category within the elite race. The result would be a two-in-one scenario with two rainbow jerseys awarded, for the overall winner and then the top rider under 23.

Read also : Three things to look for in women’s road racing

Lappartient – who was confirmed for a second term as UCI president after an uncontested election – said the event would be a test to possibly create a separate race. He also said the UCI hoped to include the new category in next year’s world championships in Wollongong, Australia.

“We notice that a lot of girls under 23 are some of the best in the world. However, we still notice that the size of the peloton is increasing, ”said Lappartient. DirectBike. “Therefore, we are planning to create the category of U23 women.

“We will start first by including the concept of two races in one, that the best U23 would also be crowned world champion. We will do an evaluation and if we see that we have to do a separate race, we will. What is certain is that a U23 rider will soon have a world title.

There is a U23 category for the male peloton since the 1996 world championships in Lugano. Some of the biggest names in the sport have won the title, including Arnaud Démare, Matej Mohorič, Michael Matthews and Marc Hirschi.

While a junior girls category was introduced for the 1987 world championships – 12 years after the first junior boys title was contested – there has never been a U23 category for the women’s peloton.

Calls for the introduction of an appeal have been around for some time, but they have grown louder and louder as the size and depth of the platoon increases each year. There is already one at the European Championships, and it has existed since 1995.

If the plan to have two races in one materializes, he could see a runner come away with both titles. Danish sprinter Amalie Dideriksen was only 20 when she became world champion at the world championships in Doha in 2016. However, the winner would most likely come from the middle of the pack.

A resounding boost from runners

The response to the news has been largely critical from the women’s field, who believe the U23 riders will be drowned by their older competitors.

“If your [sic] go get a title for the U23, give us our own race. It’s a completely different dynamic. The goal of this sport is to cross the line first, not to end up somewhere in the peloton and to be rewarded for it. That’s not what I’m running for. Come back when you can give us a suitable UCI race, ”SD Worx 21-year-old rider Niamh Fisher-Black said on social media.

American track and road rider Megan Jastrab said of the proposals:

“Does that mean the U23 women get extra places in the elite squad or do they have to qualify for the elite squad?” Also, what prevents teams from having U23 riders working for the elite team? A team that has maximum starting points for the elite and U23 women seems to be a problem. “

Meanwhile, Canadian rider Alison Jackson said it would create difficulties for national federations. “No, thank you! This means that every nation will be under pressure to create two teams: three elite riders and three U23 riders? It takes away the elite race spots, but it also doesn’t give the Under 23s a fair chance. Make it a race in its own right, ”she said.

Lizzie Deignan slaps Patrick Lefevere

Former world champion Lizzie Deignan criticized Deceuninck-Quick-Step manager Patrick Lefevere’s comments on women’s cycling, saying the sport neither needed nor wanted him.

Talk to HLN sports broadcast, Lefevere was asked if he would create a women’s team now that an increasing number of men’s teams have a women’s team. He dismissed the idea and said, “With all due respect, but I’m not the [social welfare center]. “

Read also : Patrick Lefevere makes a splash over women’s racing comments

He added that there were not enough good Belgian riders at the moment to form a team.

“I really take everything he says with a pinch of salt,” Deignan told media on a call. “So no, I’m not disappointed with his comments. I’m actually glad he isn’t interested in women’s cycling because we don’t care about him either.

Deignan rides for the Trek-Segafredo team, which was formed in 2018 and started racing the following year.

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