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Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Saturday, 26 September 2009 18:14 UK

Women could get cycling equality

UCI backs IOC plan for Olympic parity

Female track cyclists could gain parity with their male counterparts at the 2012 Olympics in London, enhancing the prospects of Briton Victoria Pendleton.

But it would mean a cut in the number of men's events from seven to five.

That could affect the chances of Sir Chris Hoy and Bradley Wiggins, who both won gold at the 2008 Beijing Games.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has approved the change in principle, but a decision would need International Olympic Committee approval.

Final votes will be taken on Friday, 9 October.

The Madison and the individual pursuit are the events which could be removed from the programme as a result of the proposal.

Olympic cyclists are Team of the Year

Wiggins and compatriot Rebecca Romero won the latter event in Beijing.

"It seems strange to scrap so many events but it's happened before," said Wiggins.

"I'm disappointed because it's my event that is involved, but then I don't know how exciting a pursuit is to watch or not."

British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford backed the suggested changes.

"It's always a real shame to lose some events," he said. "The Madison and individual pursuit are such classics.

"But I think it's exciting, innovative and it brings parity from a gender perspective. I like it."

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see also
Golf & rugby set to join Olympics
13 Aug 09 |  Olympics
Pendleton wants equality in 2012
26 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Pendleton wins fourth sprint gold
28 Mar 09 |  Cycling
Briton Pendleton wins sprint gold
19 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Superb Wiggins grabs pursuit gold
16 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Victory parade for medal winners
18 Aug 08 |  London

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