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Help change UCI regulation for women in cyclocross
By Imelda March
Date: 1/22/2013
Help change UCI regulation for women in cyclocross
In cyclocross, there is a Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) rule in place to ensure that the elite men’s field has huge strength in depth, giving the top riders from each nation a set goal to aim for. Unfortunately, there is no such rule for the women.

Applying the same selection rule (UCI regulation 9.2.045) to both men and women would allow more of the top-50 ranked riders to compete in the world championship, ensuring that the elite women's field has huge strength in depth and giving the top riders from each nation a set goal to aim for.

The UCI’s cycling regulations for participation in Cyclocross Worlds are governed by regulations 9.2.042 to 9.2.045.

9.2.042 A World Championship shall be organized for the Men Elite's, Women Elite's, Men Under 23's and Men Juniors' categories. -- (article introduced on 1.09.04).

9.2.043 – The maximum number of riders per Men Elite’s national team shall be determined by the final classification by nation of the UCI Cyclo-cross Classification for the preceding season: (article introduced on 1.09.04; 25.09.08).

♦ Nation ranked from 1st to 5th, nine riders, with six to start
♦ All other nations eight riders, with five to start.

In the other categories, the number of riders per team is limited to eight, with five to start. So the top-five ranked countries can nominate up to nine riders and have up to six riders to start the World Championships, but countries ranked 6th and lower are given only fiver start places. This means that Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Netherlands and the United States each get six starting positions in the Elite Men’s race.

For the Women there is a maximum of five starting positions regardless of country rank.

9.2.044 – The national federations concerned may additionally enter the outgoing world champions and the leaders of the final UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup standings Men Elite, Men Under 23, Men Junior and Women. (article modified on 1.09.04; 25.09.08; 1.07.09).

This regulation is where Belgium is able to enter those additional riders and leave everyone confused on the issue. They automatically get an extra place for this year’s out-going World Champion Niels Albert, but also the winner of the World Cup if he is Belgian and not Albert. This maneuver gives the Belgian team a selection of eight riders.

9.2.045 – Each federation shall be required to include the following riders in their Men Elite’s team, as long as they are in the top-50 of the UCI Cyclo-cross Classification as published after the national championships in Europe: (article introduced on 1.09.04; text modified on 25.09.08).

♦ Federation with a selection of six riders: its first three ranked riders;
♦ Federation with a selection of five riders: its first two ranked riders.

This regulation shall not apply to riders who have failed to fulfill their obligations under the regulations. In the event of a dispute on this issue, it shall be the responsibility of the National Federation to decide whether the rider will be selected. This is where we put the “D” in discretionary.

As you can observe the rules are not equal for the women, hence the petition. A change in the regulation may not be ratified in time for the upcoming UCI World Cyclocross Championships scheduled in February 2-3 in Louisville, Kentucky. But this petition is designed to educate the public and get support for a regulation change that would allow parity so that the top-50 UCI ranked women to face off in this top-notch event.

One could suggest that British rider Helen Wyman hinted that a forthcoming rule would be welcomed by all involved.

Should want to see regulation changes for the women, visit Petition for UCI Commission to change regulations for Women Cyclocross Racers and sign the petition.

Note: Some material was copied from petition that was set up by Michelle Lee and UCI website.

About the author: An experienced racer, Imelda March lives in Chicago and is a member of Team Kenda. She is a frequent contributor to The Daily Peloton Cycling News team, reporting on women’s cycling news and general peloton ramblings. She also holds an MBA, is a marketing strategy expert, and is a social media team member/contributor to the Chicago chapter of the American Marketing Association.

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