Cyclists who ride their bicycles with 'no hands' have been celebrating this morning after it was announced that the practice has been recognised as an individual discipline, and is to be considered for possible inclusion in the next-but-one Olympic Games.
'Riding a bike no-handed' is something most young children do after they have mastered staying upright on two wheels, but this is the first time the art has been thought of as anything other than a 'kids' dare'.
A high-level IOC meeting in Geneva this week agreed that there was justification for discussing the possibility of including 'No-Handed Cycling' in the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024. It would be a fitting place to introduce the event, with France being the home of cycling.
Trials will be organised at velodromes in Manchester and Paris in July and August, and road racing no-handed could come as early as next January. A suggestion that a 'No-Handed Tour de France' be staged was thrown out on account of the difficult mountain stages, although a decision about a proposal, for a 'No-Handed Paris-Roubais' was put on ice for the time being.
*The 'no-hands' position is one regularly adopted in the closing stages of major cycling events, generally by the rider who is about to win, but not exclusively. Instances have occurred in the recent past where riders in second and even third positions have held both hands aloft in the final stretch of races. To some people, clearly, winning isn't everything, and it's the taking part that counts.