The UCI announced today that the Madison and BMX Freestyle Park cycling disciplines have been added to the 2020 Olympics. The International Olympic Committee made the decision during Friday's meeting of the IOC Executive Board in Lausanne, Switzerland.
"The Madison will bring its long-established history and exciting format to the Games, while BMX Freestyle Park has great potential to open the event up to a whole new generation of athletes and fans," said UCI President Brian Cookson. "In an increasingly competitive landscape for Olympic sport, it is important not only to see our overall quota remain unchanged, but to also welcome the award of four additional opportunities for medals in Olympic cycling disciplines."
In addition to the two new events, it was also agreed that for Mountain Bike and BMX Racing, several quotas previously allocated to men athletes would be transferred to women, achieving full gender equity in both disciplines.
BMX Freestyle Park takes place on ramps with big transitions and large obstacles. Competitors are judged on tricks performed throughout the course, with points awarded based on difficulty, originality, style and execution.
The Madison, which is 50km for men and 30km for women, involves two riders working as a team to propel each other forward as they meet between laps. Teams sprint every 10 laps to accumulate points.
"I'm super-excited," said Jolien D'hoore, who, along with Lotte Kopecky, won the first women's Madison world championship in April. "I just got in the hotel and I've got about a thousand messages from everybody in Belgium, and also Lotte Kopecky. We're so happy that it's Olympic. We had a feeling that it would become Olympic, but you're never sure. And we thought the news would come out in October, but it's a bit early now. We're so happy about it, and now we have a new goal."
Belgians D'Doore and Kopecky celebrate after winning Women's Madison at the 2017 UCI Track World Championships
Powless in pink at Baby Giro
Neilson Powless (Axeon Hagens Berman) continued his run in the pink jersey at the Giro Ciclistico d'Italia, or 'Baby Giro, following the stage 2 finish in Castellarano. Powless took the race lead when he won the opening stage on Friday with a solo move, finishing nine seconds ahead of the bunch in Imola.
Powless finished 12th on Saturday in a large group that came in two seconds behind stage winner Alexandr Riabushenko of Belarus. He currently leads Riabushenko by seven seconds in the general classification, with Russian Pavel Sivakov in third, 13 seconds down.
Giro Ciclistico d'Italia continues Sunday with a 145km stage from Forli to Barnara di Romagna. The seven-day race ends June 15 with a 148.9km stage from Campo Imperatore Cima Pantin to Francavilla al Mare.
Neilson Powless still in pink after stage 2 at the Baby Giro
Polanc wins Slovenia TT championship
Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates), who won stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia last month and finished the Italian Grand Tour 11th overall, seized victory at the Slovenian time trial championships, beating Gregor Gazvoda and Marko Pavlic to take his first national jersey.
Polanc, 25, covered the 44km course in 50:03, 1:46 better than Gazvoda. This is the third professional victory for Polanc to go along with his 2017 Giro victory and a win in the 2015 Giro.
"My performance in today's time trial was good," Polanc said. "I succeeded in managing the efforts in the best way, and the result confirmed this. I’m very happy to have obtained my first national title as pro. During the Giro d’Italia I performed two good time trials, so I decided to try this new challenge of the national championship: when the legs are good, it’s easier to realize good performances even if you’re not a pure specialist. Now I’ll focus my attention of the Tour de Slovenie."
Polanc finished second in the Tour de Slovenie in 2013. This year's race begins June 15.
Jan Polanc at the Giro d'Italia