Cookson declares intention of UCI to push for addition of cyclo cross to Winter Olympic Games programme
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Friday, February 07, 2014

Cookson declares intention of UCI to push for addition of cyclo cross to Winter Olympic Games programme

by VeloNation Press at 5:52 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Cyclocross
 
“It is a sport that reaches out to an incredibly wide cross-section of the population”

Zdenek StybarWith the 2014 Winter Olympics currently playing out in Sochi, UCI president Brian Cookson has raised the possibility that cyclo cross could become part of the Games in future years.

The Briton said that he and the UCI would respond to the ‘message of change and mondernisation’ for the Olympic programme expressed by new IOC President Thomas Bach.

“I believe that cyclo-cross - which takes place during the northern hemisphere winter – would be an exciting addition to the Winter Games,” said Cookson in a UCI statement.

“Cyclo-cross requires endurance, explosive power and incredible bike handling skills. Many youngsters wishing to take up cycling pass through the school of cyclo-cross, and the breathtaking performances of the junior athletes at the recent UCI World Championships in Hoogerheide clearly demonstrated the depth of young talent around the globe.”

Cookson pointed out that athletes from 23 countries and five continents were part of the 2014 world cyclo cross championships held last weekend, with the biggest jump in participation levels seen in women’s and junior categories.

If accepted to the Games, Cookson said that the sport would offer parity for male and female competitors. He pointed out that the installation of a circuit require ‘minimal’ infrastructure and related costs.

“Above all it is a sport that reaches out to an incredibly wide cross-section of the population. Anybody who witnessed the wonderful scenes in Hoogerheide knows that this is a sport that appeals to the young.”

He acknowledged that rule six of the Olympic Charter states that the only sports considered as winter sports are those which are practiced on snow or ice. However he sees room for possible manoeuvre on that.

“That may be the case as things currently stand, but President Bach has signalled his appetite for change,” he said, calling for debate on whether the sport could be included.

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