The UCI announced several changes to women's cyclo-cross for the coming years, opting to lengthen the elite women's races and add a junior category for females. The announcement came after the Management Committee meeting in Denmark on Friday ahead of the Cyclo-cross World Championships
The UCI lengthened the elite women's World Cup races to 50 minutes, up from 40 minutes. The elite men regularly race over one hour, but the elite women's races will be the same length as the men's U23 races.
National federations will be allowed to add the women's junior category to the national championships from the 2019-2020 season, and the category will be included in the World Championships in 2020 in Dübendorf, Switzerland.
By the 2020-2021 season, junior women's races can be added to other UCI calendar events and the Continental Championships.
And in the following season, it will be required for events to include a junior women's category.
The growth of women's cyclo-cross racing has been exponential since the elite women were added to the World Championships in 2000. In 2016 the U23 women's race was added, and this season marked the introduction of equal prizes in the elite men and women's World Cup general classification.
The individual World Cup prize lists are expected to be equal by the 2021-2022 season, with increases being phased in over a three year period.