UCI President Brian Cookson is pushing for more track events at Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

International Cycling Union (UCI) President Brian Cookson is targeting an expansion to the track programme at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, as well as the growth of BMX freestyle competitions.

Numbers of medals available in the velodrome were cut ahead of the Beijing 2008 Games in order to incorporate the addition of BMX.

Further men's track events were them omitted to ensure gender equality at London 2012.

There are currently five male and five female events on the programme: the individual sprint, keirin, team sprint, team pursuit and omnium.

Only two - the team pursuit and the multi-discipline omnium - can involve endurance athletes.

"We’re looking at the possibility of adapting the programme after Rio 2016 and we will discuss with the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and Tokyo 2020 what changes we might make," Cookson told insidethegames during the SportAccord Convention last week. 

"I would very much like to see the track programme defended and expanded, if possible.

"I think previous administrations at the UCI gave out signals that track racing was in decline.

"What is clear to me is that its not in decline at all.

"It is growing strongly and we are putting a lot of effort into developing track racing."

A less predictable event such as the madison could be added for Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images
A less predictable event such as the madison could be added for Tokyo 2020 ©Getty Images

Cookson would not divulge exactly what events they would want to be added, but prioritised increasing the number of medal opportunities for a greater number of participating riders and countries.

This is likely to favour more unpredictable events, such as the madison and points races which proved so popular after home victories at last month's World Championships in London.

Jon Dibben won the men's points race before British cycling legends Sir Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish teamed up for madison success.

Only men currently compete in the two-person madison, but a female competition is being mooted.

Cookson also vowed to look at the composition of the omnium, to "maybe move things around and take something out to bring something in".

They would not need more athletes, just more medal events, as most riders in a potential madison would be competing in the team pursuit.

The UCI grudgingly accepted a proposal to move the cycling programme out of the centre of Tokyo to Izu, while problems also remain with the construction of the velodrome for Rio 2016 after a test event was cancelled last month.

The Briton would not go so far as to say they were "owed" events but vowed to talk to the IOC to push for more.

"I’ve given out a message that we agreed to compromises in Tokyo in moving-out to Izu," he said.

"It’s clear that one of the things we’d like to see is a modest expansion of the track programme."

Innovative BMX freestyle events are thought to be popular in IOC circles ©Getty Images
Innovative BMX freestyle events are thought to be popular in IOC circles ©Getty Images

A BMX freestyle competition has also been mooted for Tokyo 2020, potentially using similar venues to those proposed for street and park skateboarding events in the Japanese capital.

This is thought to be a key aim of the IOC in increasing support for the Games among younger audiences.

Cookson, however, appears more focused on track aims and is adamant traditional cycling can is also as popular as ever among young people.

"I think BMX freestyle is a great and exciting discipline, which appeals to youth and TV," he told insidethegames.

"But just as many young people interested in the traditional disciplines in our sport than 'X Games-like sports'.

"We have no problem in getting young people into road, track and mountain biking."