Cycling News

‘From winning as a junior to struggling to finish’ – Why women’s cycling needs an under-23 category

Silver medalist Shirin Van Anrooij, gold medalist Blanka Vas Kata, and bronze medalist Anna Shackley celebrate on the podium during the U23 women

The first-ever Tour de l’Avenir Femmes takes place over the next few days. The best young talent in the women’s peloton have a prized opportunity to compete against their peers, hoping to prove themselves as the next stars of the sport.

It’s one of just a couple of opportunities that this group of riders will get to compete against each other this year. The other major event is the European Championships, which has had an under-23 women’s race since 1995, very much the outlier in women’s road cycling. The World Championships only recognised the under-23 women’s category for the first time in 2022, but this was as part of the elite women’s road race.

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