Helen Wyman, seven-time British National Cyclocross champion, addresses the lack of participants eligible to head to world’s in Louisville, due to a simple rule issue.
In cyclocross, there is a 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. UCI Rule 9.2.045 states that each federation shall be required to include the top three riders from its country in its worlds selection, as long as they are in the top 50 in the UCI ranking published after the national championships:
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: 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 rule 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.
For a non-Olympic discipline I believe this is an excellent rule as it ensures that the top athletes of the sport are represented at the ultimate event in cyclocross.
Unfortunately there is no such rule for the women.
A simple change, which would cost nothing, and would be another step towards equal treatment of men and women in cycling.