Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) president Brian Cookson has clarified his recent suggestion that track cycling could be moved to the Winter Olympics to allow the running of more cycling disciplines, saying that it is currently an idea for discussion rather than ‘formal UCI policy’.
Cookson was widely quoted on Tuesday as suggesting track cycling should be moved into the Winter Olympics programme as part of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) ‘modernisation’ review of the Games, led by IOC president Thomas Bach.
Currently, the summer Games has a packed schedule, which means several well-established cycling disciplines have fallen by the wayside including events such as the individual pursuit and kilometre time trial – effectively, they are running out of space for events.
“If you have a problem with summer Olympics where the whole thing is perceived as over-heated with too many facilities, too many sports, too many competitors and so on, why not look at moving some of the other sports indoors that traditionally take place in the northern hemisphere winter?” said Cookson.
“Why not look at combat sports like judo, or other indoor sports like badminton? You could even say what about putting track cycling in the Winter Olympics?”
In February, Cookson and the UCI suggested that cyclo-cross could be included in the Winter Olympics. Although the discipline traditionally takes place over the winter months, it is seldom run on snow and ice. Indoor events, however, have no such weather-related restrictions and the current UCI Track Cycling World Cup and World Championships take place from November to March.
“President Bach has signalled his appetite for change,” said Cookson in February. “So I look forward to a debate about whether cyclo-cross, and indeed other sports practiced in the winter season, should be part of the Winter Olympic Games.”
Union Cycliste Internationale wants to see cyclo-cross included in the Winter Olympic Games