As Cyclingnews reports, the 2022 UCI Road World Championships could see an under-23 women’s road race title awarded for the first time – albeit without a separate event for the category.
Although though there are junior, U23, and elite races on the men’s side, Worlds currently features only junior and elite events for the women, with no U23 women’s champion. In the short term, the number of events appears set to remain the same, but according to Cyclingnews, UCI President Davide Lappartient said that a U23 winner could be named at 2022 Worlds in Wollongong, Australia, with the best-placed under-23 rider in the elite race taking the title.
“That’s clearly something that’s possible. That could be our first step,” Lappartient said, according to Cyclingnews, at a launch event for Wollongong Worlds held on Thursday at Flanders Worlds.
“That would give the opportunity to have two official podiums, two official world champions, and that’s clearly something we can do, at least for next year. Definitely the goal next year is to create this U23 category within one race, with two world titles. That will be the first step before having a dedicated race, and we can be ready because at one moment you have to go.”
The UCI is apparently mulling the potential of a standalone race for the U23 category down the road, with UCI director of sports Peter Van den Abeele reportedly saying that the governing body is looking into it, but for now it remains unclear when that might happen.
“The Road Worlds programme is already quite busy,” Van den Abeele said. “It’s not an easy task. I’m not saying this should prevent us from installing the category, but it’s something we need to look into. But there are always solutions to be found.”