Next year’s UCI road world championships in Yorkshire will reportedly see the debut of a new event – a mixed team time trial that will feature both men and women.
The new race will replace the team time trial first introduced in 2012 but which is set to disappear after this September’s championships in Innsbruck-Tirol, reports the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad
Men’s and women’s trade teams competed in that event, but the format was unpopular with team management, particularly of those that are weaker in the discipline.
Logistics have also been cited as a problem especially in years when the championships were held outside Europe.
Instead, Het Nieuwsblad says that the new team time trial format will be raced by national teams, comprising three male and three female riders.
It will operate as a relay, with the three men taking to the course first and the women then taking over, with the team posting the lowest cumulative time winning.
As yet, there is no news on how exactly the timings will be taken, or how the male riders will ‘hand over’ to their female team-mates.
In team time trials such as the one this afternoon on Stage 3 of the Tour de France, the time is taken when the fourth of the eight riders crosses the line – something that clearly would not apply here.
According to Het Niewsblad, no mention was made of the new format in the dossier comprising the Flanders region’s bid for the 2021 UCI Road World Championships, submitted last Friday.
However, the newspaper said that Tom Van Damme, the chairman of national cycling federation Belgian Cycling, is supportive of the idea.
“It provides a new angle and gives women's cycling a boost, too,'' he said.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.