The new system, which will appear for the first time at the 2024 Olympics in Paris, marks a significant milestone for women's cycling as there are typically fewer opportunities for women in the sport.
Flashback to the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics, the Czech Republic won one gold (mixed team relay) and one silver medal (girl's team) in cycling. Other athletes pictured are winners of other events.
Cycling's governing body, the UCI, has announced that for the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, gender parity will exist across all cycling events in the 2024 Olympics in Paris. This means that a total of 90 men and 90 women--88 in total, with the host country, France, being allotted two extra riders--will be eligible to compete in road races and 35 in time trials, compared to just 67 women competing in road races and 41 competing in time trials at Tokyo 2020. The decision is a significant step toward equality in Olympic cycling and sets an important precedent for future Games.
A total of 180 qualification places will be available for the road events at the 2024 Olympics, with 160 of those coming from a nation's ranking on the UCI road world ranking. The final UCI rankings will be published in October 2023 and will take into account results from UCI elite and U23 events during the 52 weeks preceding that point.
There are also eight places each for men and women that will come from results at the 2023 road world and continental championships. France, as the host country, is entitled to four additional places. Each National Olympic Committee (NOC) is limited to a maximum of eight total riders - four men and four women.
For time trials, 35 places are available per gender with only those nations who qualified in the road race being eligible to earn a spot. Each NOC can have a maximum of two riders per gender competing in this event.
The qualifying criteria for the track events at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris have also been announced. A maximum of 14 places are available for each National Olympic Committee, seven for men and seven for women, across the six disciplines (keirin, omnium, individual sprint, team pursuit, team sprint, and Madison).
Places will be allocated based on the UCI Olympic track ranking 2022-2024. The UCI Olympic track ranking will be established for each event according to points acquired at the last two editions of the respective continental championships, the two best results of the UCI track nations cup in each of the 2023 and 2024 seasons and the 2023 UCI (elite) track world championships.
A total of 72 places will be available in cross-country mountain biking and BMX racing at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, with 34 each for men and women. Additionally, two places each will be allocated to the host country and to universality places. The UCI has stated that qualification documents for BMX freestyle will be published shortly.
A total of 220 athletes (140 men, 80 women) will qualify for the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris. The number of places reserved for men and women is 47 and 28 respectively. The 88 and 47 remaining places for men and women will be determined by the 2024 UCI paralympic ranking. This ranking takes into account results from the 2023 paracycling road world championships, 2023 and 2024 paracycling track worlds, as well as the 2023 and 2024 UCI paracycling road world cup. In addition, 5 athletes (both male and female) who are eligible will receive an invitation from the Bipartite Commission (the International Paralympic Committee--IPC).