Cycling’s world governing body is planning a radical shakeup of the Olympic Games track schedule which could mean female cyclists gain parity with their male counterparts. Currently, cycling has seven men's events and only three for women at the velodrome during the Olympics.
The plan to even up the number of men's and women's events at the 2012 Olympics in London will enhance the prospects of Briton Victoria Pendleton and other top women cyclists.
But it would mean a cut in the number of men's events from seven to five, which would affect the chances of the likes of Sir Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins, both gold medal winners at the Beijing Olympics last year. Indeed, the British smashed the rest of the field in Beijing, winning seven gold medals on the track.
The men currently have the individual and team pursuits, points race, madison, individual sprint, team sprint and keirin, while the women only have the individual sprint, points race and individual pursuit.
The UCI wants to overhaul the track schedule in time for the 2012 London Olympics and has approved the change in principle, but a decision would need International Olympic Committee approval. The International Olympic Committee wants to make an announcement about the programme for London by December 12.
The Madison and the individual pursuit are the events which could be removed from the program as a result of the proposal.
Last month a request from the UCI for more female disciplines to be included at London 2012 was turned down by the International Olympic Committee, unless men's events are taken off the programme.