Considering that only 67 women competed in road races in Tokyo, there will be significant improvement in Paris. Paracycling, however, lags behind.
The UCI has declared that all cycling competitions in Paris 2024 will include gender balance for the first time in Olympic Games history.
A total of 90 men and 90 women are eligible to compete in the road races, according to the governing organization, which announced Monday the number and distribution of qualification spots for the upcoming Olympic Games.
These will have 88 spaces for both men and women. There will also be an additional two spots for men and two places for women for the host country France under the standard host country benefit.
The time trial competitions will feature a smaller field of 35 cyclists, 35 of each gender.
At Tokyo 2020, there was a noticeably different gender disparity. The number of women competing in the road races was 67, over 50% less than the number of men, which is 130.
The ratio of men to women in the time trial, 41 to 26, was also unbalanced.
The disparity or inequality was caused by the road events, while there was parity in the MTB competitions and the BMX races, as well as the six different track disciplines of keirin, omnium, individual sprint, team pursuit, team sprint, and Madison.
In fact, there was one more woman competing in the omnium than there were men (20 men lined up compared to 21 women).
For 2024, the latter events’ parity will be maintained. There will be 95 competitors of each gender in the track events, 34 in the MTB cross-country races, and 24 in the BMX events.
However, there is still a noticeable bias in the Paralympic disciplines; there are 140 qualification spots available for men, compared to just 80 for women.
How competitors will qualify:
The UCI’s announcement on Monday provided more information on how precisely places will be offered in addition to the gender parity specifics.
A total of 160 qualification spots (80 for each gender) out of the 180 available will be distributed based on each country’s UCI road world ranking. The final UCI rankings will be released in October 2023 and will be based on performance data from UCI elite and U23 competitions on the UCI International Calendar during the previous 52 weeks.
For men and women from nations that did not qualify via this procedure, there will be an additional eight spots each. These spots will be determined by their performances in the 2023 road world and continental championships. Europe and Oceania are not included in this itinerary, according to the UCI.
France will receive an additional four spots because it is the Games’ host nation.
There is a cap of eight spots per National Olympic Committee (NOC), four for men and four for women.
There are 35 spots for each gender available for the time trials. There are only two spots available per National Olympic Committee and per gender, and they must have qualified for spots in the road race to be eligible.
Over the six disciplines (keirin, omnium, individual sprint, team pursuit, team sprint, and Madison), there are 95 spaces for men and 95 for women. Each NOC can have seven places for men and seven places for women, a maximum of 14 places.
The UCI Olympic track ranking for 2022–2024 will determine the places and will be determined by the points earned at each of the following events:
- The last two editions of the corresponding continental championships
- The two UCI Track Nations Cup victories in the 2023 and 2024 seasons
- The track world championships of the 2023 UCI (elite)
MTB and BMX:
The 72 MTB cross country spots will be split into 34 spots for men and women, two spots per gender for the host nation, and two spots per gender for what the UCI refers to as universality spots. These are described as “quotas that encourage the growth of sport and provide emerging countries with equitable possibilities.”
Additionally, BMX Racing will give the host nation two spots per gender and two spots per gender for universality. There are a total of 48 spots available, with 22 for men and 22 for women.
The BMX freestyle qualification materials will be posted soon on the UCI website, according to the UCI. The qualification documents for MTB racing were linked, however there was an error, which means that they would also be followed.
The allocation of the 220 spots (140 for men and 80 for women) will be done according to the following criteria. Initially, 47 spots for men and 28 spots for women will be given out based on the 2022 UCI paracycling nations rankings, and 88 spots for men and 47 spots for women will be given out based on the 2024 UCI paralympic rankings, which will include UCI road and track competitions between 01 January 2023 and 30 June 2024.
The 2023 paracycling road worlds, the 2023 and 2024 paracycling track worlds, and the 2023 and 2024 UCI paracycling road world cup will all be included in this ranking.
The Bipartite Commission will also extend invitations to five qualified male athletes and five eligible female athletes.
Dates for the release of the final UCI rankings for each Olympic and Paralympic discipline:
Road cycling**: October 2023
Track***: April 15, 2024
Mountain bike: May 28, 2024
BMX Racing: June 04, 2024
Paracycling road and track: July 1, 2024
**The precise date will be announced on the UCI website after the 2023 UCI road international schedule is released.
***The UCI will update the applicable UCI Olympic track rating and post the results of each event on the UCI website.
The confirmation date for the BMX freestyle quotas will be made public soon, according to the UCI.