The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is pleased to announce that the Women's Road Championships of Afghanistan can take place in 2022. They will be held on 23 October in Aigle (Switzerland).
It had become impossible to stage the event due to the consequences of events in Afghanistan in August 2021 for part of the population, in particular women.
The organisation of the 2022 Women's Road Championships of Afghanistan is part of the continuing efforts of the UCI and its partners to support and assist the Afghan Cycling Federation.
The Afghan women cyclists in the Women Elite and Women Under 23 categories will compete on a course comprising two laps of a 28.5 km circuit with a 72 m difference in altitude (total: 57 km with a 144 m difference in altitude). The peloton will ride through the towns of Aigle, Yvorne, Rennaz and Vouvry, in the Chablais region of Vaud and Valais.
The race will start at the UCI World Cycling Centre (WCC) - the UCI's high-level education and training centre located in Aigle - at 10 am. The finish will be at the same place.
Two separate titles will be awarded: one for the riders in the Elite category, the other for those in the Under 23 category. However, all the participants (more than 50 riders) will start simultaneously and cover the same distance.
Among them will be Masomah Ali Zada (26), the first female Afghan cyclist to take part in the Olympic Games - as part of the refugee team created by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for the Tokyo 2020 Games - who fled her country in 2017, under threat because she was cycling. The other participants were also forced to flee their country, where they were banned from cycling, and are currently living in different parts of the world.
The 2022 Women's Road Championships of Afghanistan are jointly organised by the UCI WCC, the Afghan Cycling Federation, the organising committee of the Tour du Pays de Vaud and the Commune of Aigle.
UCI President David Lappartient said: "It is very important for the UCI to commit to helping members of the world cycling family who are deprived of the freedom to live their passion and pursue their dreams. In this perspective, after its initiative to help the Afghan cycling community by participating in the evacuation of its members whose physical integrity was threatened, the UCI has decided, exceptionally, to ensure, in collaboration with its partners, the continuity of the sporting activities of the Cycling Federation of Afghanistan by organising its Women's National Road Cycling Championships this year.”