June 26, 2015 – The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is pleased to announce the introduction of a new Women’s Under-23 category for the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships. In compliance with the announcement made on January 30 this year, the members of the UCI Management Committee, who met in Aigle last week, approved the modifications to the UCI Regulations for cyclo-cross, introducing a new Women’s Under-23 (17-22) category with effect from the 2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Heusden-Zolder (Belgium).
This new category will also apply to Continental Championships and – for the National Federations who wish to follow suit – to National Championships.
The prize money for this new category will be equal to that of the Men’s Under-23 category.
The UCI is extending its efforts to develop women’s cycling across all its cyclo-cross professional events: the overall prize-money distributed to women for the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup will increase by more than 50% from the 2015-2016 season.
Significant initiatives have also been introduced for its C1 and C2 events.
Commenting on the decisions, UCI President Brian Cookson said: “The UCI began to introduce equal prize money to its World Championships in 2013 on the occasion of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in Louisville. Today is an important step towards greater men-women equality in terms of participation and remuneration in the cyclo-cross discipline. These measures will help develop women’s cycling, one of the pillars of our strategic development plan.”
Helen Wyman, one of the disciplines top athletes and member of the UCI Cyclo-cross Commission, said: “I am really happy with the progress the UCI Cyclo-cross Commission is making for women in the discipline. The increase in prize money for women, particularly in the UCI World Cup, is fantastic. Offering this kind of reward enables the sport to keep its star riders and ensure the exciting level of competition we have been privaleged to experience in the last few seasons. With Marianne Vos now joining the Commission as the riders’ representative, we now have two female members. This allows us as to take this sport in the right direction for everyone, male and female. These are exciting times for cyclo-cross and I can not wait to continue the progress we have already made.”