Canberra cyclist Chloe Hosking hopes for Olympic Games equality

Commonwealth Games gold medalist Chloe Hosking wants equality for the sexes for the Paris Olympics. Picture: Jamila Toderas
Commonwealth Games gold medalist Chloe Hosking wants equality for the sexes for the Paris Olympics. Picture: Jamila Toderas

It's too late for Tokyo, but Commonwealth Games gold medallist Chloe Hosking wants equality for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

There will be half as many women riding the road race as the men at the Tokyo Olympics, with the International Cycling Union announcing last month 130 spots for men but just 67 for the women.

Hosking will do everything she can to qualify for one of the four Australian women's berths up for grabs.

The 29-year-old Canberran is back home preparing for the Australian summer of cycling, which starts next week with the Bay Crits in Geelong.

But the whole of 2020 will be about qualifying for Tokyo.

The UCI have pledged to work towards equality for Paris, but as yet have no idea how they're going to do that.

They're in ongoing discussions with the International Olympic Committee about how to do it.

An obvious, and fair, solution would be to simply add the two numbers together and halve them.

For Tokyo there's 197 spots altogether - which would be about 98 each.

Hosking said it was ridiculous that parity hadn't already been achieved, but was hopeful it would be in place for 2024.

"There's no point banging on about it now because nothing's going to change between now and July," she said.

"But hopefully when it comes to Paris there's a more even quota number for men and women.

"That only 67 women can race the road race at the Olympics is ridiculous.

"It's the biggest event that we have and we only have it every four years.

"In comparison I think we had 120 [women] at the world championships."

Hosking's 2020 will have a different feel to it after joining USA team Rally UHC Cycling.

It means she'll spend about 30 per cent of her year in the USA, about the same in Europe and the rest in Australia.

Whatever races she does ride will be partly geared towards qualifying for Tokyo.

That's her main focus and if she doesn't make the Australian team then she'll look to win something else.

"I've got some races in the spring that I would like to have a really good showing at. And that's also to put my hand up for the Olympics," Hosking said.

"The goal is to get selected for Tokyo. Whether that happens or not is irrelevant.

"I just want to put myself in the best possible position and do everything I can to try and get selected.

"If I do - great. I get to race at the Olympics, I get to wear the green and gold and hopefully have a really good race there.

"And if I don't get selected then the nature of cycling is the calendar keeps going. There'll be other races, I'll have really good form and hopefully win. The goal for 2020 is just to win bike races."

This story Hosking hopes for Olympic equality first appeared on The Canberra Times.