The 2016 UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships will see the introduction of a new category for women riders: Women Under 23 (see article 5.1.002 of the UCI Cyclo-cross Regulations). Athletes aged from 17 to 22 will be eligible to race in this new category, which is abbreviated to WU. Women aged 23 or more will compete in the Women Elite category. Until now, all these athletes raced together in the category, Women.
If judged pertinent, the WU category could be introduced to the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in the future.
For the Continental Championships, the WU category will replace the Women’s Youth category (which combined Junior Women and Women Under 23). National Federations wishing to do so may replace the Junior Women category by the new WU category.
The questions and answers below clarify the main points in relation to the new Women Under 23 (WU) category.
How are UCI points awarded for these WU races?
• UCI World Championships: top 30 places (same points scale as Men Under 23)
• Continental Championships: top 10 places (same points scale as Men Juniors)
• National Championships: top 10 places (same points scale as Men and Women Elite)
The points scale can be found in Annex 4 of the UCI Cyclo-cross Regulations.
Is there prize money for WU category at the World Championships?
Yes, according to the UCI Financial Obligations, the prize money will be the same as for the Men Under 23 at the UCI World Cyclo-cross Championships (first three places).
Can a woman rider who is under 23 compete in both the WU event and the Women Elite (WE) event on a Championship weekend where separate races are held for each category?
No. As with Men Under 23, a woman rider who is under 23 must compete in the WU category event during a Championship weekend.
What about all other UCI Women’s C1 and C2 events?
For C1 and C2 races, the “old” race category of “Women” remains (Women age category 17 and older). Separate points will not be awarded.
Is there a separate WU UCI ranking?
No. As with the Men Under 23, Women Under 23 will simply be ranked in the Women UCI ranking.
What is the recommended duration for a WU race?
According to article 5.1.048 of the UCI Cyclo-cross Regulations, a WU race will last as close as possible to 40 minutes.
How will the start order be determined for a WU race?
According to article 5.1.043 of the UCI Cyclo-cross Regulations, using the most recently published UCI cyclo-cross individual ranking of the current season (or the final ranking of the previous season if no ranking has yet been published for the current season).