British Cycling has today announced that, as part of its new Technical Regulations, new women’s event classifications will come into effect for the next road season, ensuring parity with men’s events.
The changes will see women’s events categorised in the same way as men’s, from National A through to Regional C/C+, ensuring that the growing number of female race licence holders will have a more clear and consistent picture of the racing opportunities on offer, riders will be grouped in accordance with their racing category and will be able to score the same number of ranking points as their male counterparts.
The move has come about after British Cycling’s Women’s Road Racing Workgroup sought the views of hundreds of female riders on how the racing environment could be improved.
Lisa Graham, British Cycling’s Cycle Sport Manager, explains:
“Recent years have seen strong increases in the amount of women taking up road racing, and while we are absolutely delighted with this progress, we recognised the need to ensure that the women’s racing environment continued to develop and improve, and that we didn’t rest on our laurels.
“We introduced the Women’s Road Racing Workgroup in autumn 2018 to make sure that the voices of these women were heard, and one of the most consistent feedback themes we received was the need to alter the way women’s races were categorised.
“In the past, smaller field sizes have meant that the ‘women-only’ category of road racing was the only way we could ensure that event organisers could put on sustainable events, but with the growing numbers of female racers, we can begin to implement the same categorisation system used on the men’s side of the sport.
“We are delighted that, after many months of work alongside riders, event organisers and others, we can bring about these changes for the 2020 season, and look forward to working with the Women’s Road Racing Workgroup to continue to bring about positive change.”
The changes will come into effect for this coming road season, meaning that every race registered by British Cycling will give female entrants the categorisation options.
Races categorised as National A will be open to senior, elite and junior 1st, 2nd and 3rd category riders, and have a minimum distance of 100km (or 70km in a single day when part of a stage race). National B events are open to the same riders but will have a minimum distance of 80km, while senior and junior 2nd, 3rd and 4th category riders can enter Regional A races, which must be contested over a minimum distance of 70km.
Regional B races will be raced over a minimum distance of 60km by senior and junior 3rd and 4th category riders, while Regional C/C+ races are open to all and have no minimum distance associated.
Ranking points scored by female racers will be the equivalent of the established men’s model, and will see both genders ranked in the same way.