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UCI alters World Championship qualification rules

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Caleb Ewan is pumped with victory

Caleb Ewan is pumped with victory
(Image credit: Jonathan Devich/epicimages.us)
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The women's U23 podium.

The women's U23 podium.
(Image credit: Bettini)
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Maximilian Schachmann (Germany), Mads Würtz Schmidt (Denmark) and Lennard Kamna (Germany) made up the U23 men's time trial podium

Maximilian Schachmann (Germany), Mads Würtz Schmidt (Denmark) and Lennard Kamna (Germany) made up the U23 men's time trial podium
(Image credit: Tim de Waele/TDWSport.com)
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The U23 men at the 2015 Worlds in Richmond

The U23 men at the 2015 Worlds in Richmond
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Fabrice Mels (Belgium) wins the elite men's eliminator world championship in Lillehammer, Norway

Fabrice Mels (Belgium) wins the elite men's eliminator world championship in Lillehammer, Norway
(Image credit: Tour of Japan)

In addition to rolling out an entirely new World Ranking system, the UCI quietly changed the rules regarding under-23 riders for the Road World Championships for 2016.

Previously, U23 men on year-long contracts with WorldTour teams were excluded from racing the U23 category in the Worlds road race and time trials.

Under the new rules, U23 men on WorldTour teams may race the U23 category provided they have not raced in the elite men's field at a previous road world championship.

The move opens the door for riders like Caleb Ewan, who have been in the WorldTour but not been selected for elite Worlds to compete as an U23 in 2016.

The UCI also added a women's U23 category for cyclo-cross. The women's U23 field will consist of riders aged 17-22.*

While the UCI added a new World Ranking for elite and U23 men, it has not yet revised the rules for allocations for the World Championships, which are currently dependent upon the WorldTour nations rankings.

The UCI confirmed that the rules regarding allocations for the 2016 Olympic Games will not be altered.

The qualification system can be found here.

*Corrects previous version that indicated women U23 was for road.