UCI responds to 10 000-strong kilo petition - BikeBiz

UCI responds to 10 000-strong kilo petition

The 10 000+ names include Phil Liggett, Chris Hoy, Theo Bos, the Deputy Leader of the House of Commons, Bradley Wiggins, the president of the American Track Racing Association, race organiser Alan Rushton, BMXer Geth Shooter, the president of the biggest bicycle manufacturer in the world, and editors of international cycle magazines. In reaction to the petition, the UCI has released a statement that raises more questions than it answers...
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Sign the petition here: http://www.petitiononline.com/.../petition.html

The UCI statement says:

"The decision to remove the events in question ensues exclusively from a detailed study led by the UCI, to whom thus returns the whole responsibility of this choice.

"Any other interpretation of the situation does not correspond to the reality, and must be considered erroneous.

"The UCI also reminds that this decision was taken in the view to protect the chances of participation to the Olympic Games to the largest number of athletes, given that the specialists of these disciplines are regularly registered also on events of individual and team sprint."

However, national cycle federations had been expecting the UCI statement to contain details of the voting results in the survey sent to the federations. It's believed most federations voted to exclude the road time trial but the UCI had already decided not to exclude any road event. That meant the low number of votes to exlude the kilo and the women's 500m sprint were de facto the highest.

If true, the UCI's survey was flawed from the outset.

The UCI needs to release the results of the vote and all the correspondence it sent to the 24 federations. The UCI's continued lack of transparency does the organisation no credit.

In a major comment piece in yesterday's The Scotsman newspaper, sports journalist Richard Moore said: "Against some stiff competition, last week's decision by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to drop the men's kilometre and women's 500 metres from the Olympics has been universally hailed as one of the most extraordinary and perverse courses of action ever taken by a sporting governing body."

The petition has now been linked to by the British Cycling website. Photojournalist Larry Hickmott interviews Chris Hoy about the kilo cull.

Hoy: "All the history and heritage this event has will be lost forever. People in the future will look back and not even remember what a great event it was just like we do with the events that were cut before we were born. I certainly don't want to be remembered as the last ever Olympic Kilo champion. I feel like they've cut my career in half.

"From a personal point of view, I'm obviously disappointed, but for the event and the sport, I think it's a real shame.

"We should be lobbying to include the Kilo and 500 Time Trials with the other events in the track program along with BMX. It's kind of ironic I started out in BMX and it could almost end my career. Even so, I still don't feel any resentment to it. I think it's a great sport, great for the kids and elite performers alike."

http://www.britishcycling.org.uk/.../17_ChrisHoy.shtml

10 000 have signed the petition. Here are the most prominent names, and some of their choice comments:

OLYMPIC MEDALLISTS

Chris Hoy

Bradley Wiggins

Anna Meares

Jason Queally

Theo Bos

DJ van Hameren

Stuart o'Grady

Marty Nothstein

Tournant Arnaud

Brian Steele

Craig Maclean

Ross Edgar

David Weller

PARAOLYMPIAN MEDALLISTS

Jiri Jezek

Thomas Neal

Darren Kenny

Dory Selinger

POLITICIANS

Nigel Griffiths MP, Deputy Leader of the House of Commons

COACHES/OFFICIALS

Philippe Raimbaud, general manager of La Boulangere team

Greg Boorer, mechanic, Australian cycling team

Phill Bates AM, member of the UCI track commission from 1993 to 2001

Kathy Celo, Disabled Sports USA

Kathy Volski, president, American Track Racing Association

Peter Keen OBD, Lucozade Sport Science Academy Performance Director, former performance director at British Cycling,

Andrzej Glowinski, medical Officer, GB Cycling Team, Seoul Olympics 1988

Alan Rushton, race organiser

B.Smith, Braveheart Fund

James Victor, Australian Womens Road Cycling Coach, 1997-2004

John Bethell, TLI

Arnis Zvejnieks Latvian Cycling Federation

Wayne Davidson, president, Zimbabwe Cycling Federation

Martin Barras, head coach Australian track team

RIDERS, THEN AND NOW (track, road, MTB and BMX)

Kerrie Meares

Dean Downing

Johnny Bairos

Danny Clark

Jamie Staff, World Keirin Champion, 2004, past BMX world and national champion

Yvonne Hijgenaar

Josh and Ben Kersten

Jonathan Norfolk

Yvonne McGregor MBE

Marco Librizzi

Curt Harnett

François Pervis

Josiah Ng

Chris Witty

Richard Paris

Adam Duvendeck

Jonny Clay

Malcolm Elliott

Gérard Louis Robert

Graham Jones

Geth Shooter

Alison Dunlap

Butch Stinton

Oli Brooke-White

Leigh Barczewski

Bill Kund

Tony Hoar, Tour de France finisher 1955 (Lanterne Rouge)

Neil Stephens

Jamie Staff

Henk Vogels Snr

Gérard Louis Robert, World Master Track Champion 2003 & 2004, Time Trial 500m. 2004

Butch Stinton, Masters World 500 TT Champion

Gordon Singleton, Former WR holder, 1000m

Magnus Backstedt

(Short biogs of all riders will be placed here soon. Help would be appreciated).

BICYCLE INDUSTRY

Tim Jackson, Masi, USA

Jon Whyte, Whyte bikes, ATB Sales Ltd.

John Kawacki, operations director, Giant UK

Russell Merry, partner of BMX distribution company, Hot Wheels.

Morgan Nicol, MD of Oval Concepts

Tony Lo, chairman of Giant Bicycles, Taiwan (world's biggest bicycle maker)

Nigel Roberts, joint MD of Trek UK

Michael Poyzer, manufacturer of Guess bicycles

Mark Brown, on behalf of the 700 members of the Association of Cycle Traders

Michael Addiscott, communications director, Cycling Scotland

Peter Slater and Tim Lawson, Science in Sport

Isla Rowntree, rider and bike buyer for Halfords

TV COMMENTATORS

Phil Liggett MBE

Anthony McCrossan, cycling.tv and Eurosport

Paul Sherwen

Scott Coady, director, The Tour Baby!

JOURNALISTS

Megan Tomkins, editor, Bicycle Retailer

Carlton Reid, editor, BikeBiz.com

John Stevenson, tech editor, Cyclingnews.com

Gerard Knapp, publisher, Cyclingnews.com

Jeff Jones, editor, Cyclingnews.com

Shane Stokes, reporter, Cyclingnews.com

Ben Searle, freelance

Peter Eland, editor, VeloVision.co.uk

Callum Murray, Sportcal.com

Peter Bryan, Daily Mail and Times correspondent

Ed Pavelka, editor, Roadbikerider.com

Cycling.tv

Mario Hartloper, editor, Bike Europe

Larry Hickmott, photographer

Phil O'Connor, photographer

Melissa Ryan, The Age, Australia

Richard Moore, The Scotsman


QUOTE:UNQUOTE

Johnny Bairos, 2000 US Olympic Cycling Team: "These two events are some of the core events in cycling in general. Many athletes are judged not only on the track, but on the road by what they could do in these events. To take these events out of the Olympic Games would be a big mistake and a loss for all of cycling."

Greg Boorer, mechanic, Australian cycling team. "I will never forget the excitement and passion of the crowd during the 500m and 1000m events. How can they take those events out of the Olympics? Are they mad?"

Neil Stephens: "The UCI should take into consideration the effect that this decision will have on federations that rely on government funding based on Olympic medals. Their ill informed decision will have a drastic effect on many cycling federations. Should they have really wanted the opinions of various cycling federations, would it not have been more sensible to take a vote at the World Championships, rather than a written note, where no show of hands can be counted? Perhaps the decision had already been made? NB These are my personal thoughts and may not be the thoughts of my work mates at the Australian Cycling Federation."

Jon Whyte, MTB designer, Whyte bikes and Marin: "I make my living from designing bikes and this decision could affect my livelihood."

Geth Shooter: "My background is BMX so I'm very pleased that it is going to be making an appearance in the Olympics. However, I feel the wrong decision has been made as to the events that have been moved to make room for BMX."

Malcolm Elliott, pro rider: "This decision is utter madness."

Yvonne McGregor, Commonwealth Games gold medal, 25-kilometre points race, 1994; Women’s world hour record holder, 1995: "Appalling."

Gerard Knapp, publisher, Cyclingnews.com: "The UCI is clearly wrong."Philippe Raimbaud, general manager of la Boulangere Team: "Il n'est pas d'effort plus pure et plus clair que celui d'un homme, contre le temps, sur l'unité de mesure la plus réconnue : le kilomètre. La piste a déjà trop souffert : veut-on sa mort définitive ? Et le cyclisme féminin pèse-t-il si peu?"B.Smith, Braveheart Fund: "Reconsider or lose a huge audience!"Tony Hoar, Lanterne Rouge in 1955 Tour de France: "As a founder member of the International BMX Federation I am pleased to see BMX in the games. However we should be expanding track cycling, not cutting it back."Peter Slater, Science in Sport: "I was in Athens last year and at the Velodrome every night, the Kilo night was very special and nail biting, the best atmosphere of any cycling event in the Velodrome – 60 seconds of raw excitement and entertainment, the best athletes in the world against the clock. Exactly what the Olympic Spirit is about, best prepared performance on the day takes the prize, mental strength as well as physical strength is required to win."Alan Rushton:"This needs re-thinking."Anthony McCrossan, cycling.tv and Eurosport: "The loss of one of the most exciting track races must be reversed! This is akin to removing the 100m from the athletics!"Jeff Jones, editor, Cyclingnews.com: "The Olympic kilo was what got me interested in track cycling. Don't kill it!"Phill Bates AM, a member of the UCI track commission from 1993 to 2001: "It is obvious that the UCI was hell bound to eliminate this event from the program. After all, how long did the team time trial remain on the road championship program after being dropped from the Olympics? The same will happen with the track time trials. I am glad I was not associated with the UCI Track Commission at the time of this horrific decision. It is a disgrace."Theo Bos:"UCI and IOC, are you insane?"James Victor, Australian Womens Road Cycling Coach, 1997-2004: "Let's use a little bit of common sense when we make potential 'sport damaging' decisions like this. Cycling Bodies worldwide will always find a balance in our endeavours to support all disciplines of our great sport. Sprint/Track cycling is the foundation of developing our young talent, providing a safe and dynamic environment for the many events that have become the traditional backbone of many cyclists careers. Professional Men's Road cycling will always survive and provide a career path opportunity to maintain cycling's presence on the World Sporting Stage. Women's Cycling is slowly achieving a career-path status for Women's Endurance Cyclists. The Madison and Keirin events at the Olympics provides the stage for the respective professional circuses of these disciplines to be recognised. The road competitions equally provide the stage for the professionals/icons of our sport. Track Cycling provides the ideal dynamic TV venue, and the speed disciplines are unequalled as the blue ribbon events."Gérard Louis Robert, World Master Track Champion 2003 & 2004, Time Trial 500m. 2004: "C'est vraiment pathétique, c'est un affront pour tout le cyclisme sur piste! quel gâchis!"Yvonne Hijgenaar: "Why? I can't understand this decision. The people who made this decision don't have a real Olympic heart."Anna Meares, World and Olympic #1 2004 and World Record Holder: "I can not put into words how bitterly disappointed and to be quite honest, angry I am at the decision of the UCI. I feel that the UCI have made their decision with out concidering fully the consequences of it. Pulling these two great events which are basically the last of the best man standing events will have a devistating effect on the sport of track cycling and in particular Womens track cycling. To take from an already depleated women's Olympic event calendar is unfair and leaves us even more unequalised then we were before. We only just got this great event in for women in 2000 and they are taking it from us so easily even though it has shown to be one of the most exciting, thrilling, suspense holding events. Ever since I started this sport 11 years ago my dream was to go the the Olympics and compete. I honestly feel that this decision has cut my career in half as the pinacle for every athlete is Olympic glory. I can not see the nations who compete in cycling agreeing with this so why has the UCI?"Graham Jones:"The track TT's showcase cycling in it's purest form. Eliminating these events will deal a serious blow to the sport, many riders careers and initiatives world wide focussing on creating new track cycling venues. This time the UCI should listen to the people it represents."Jiri Jezek, Sydney Paralympic Champ and multiple Europe Champ in kilo: "I must express my dissent from the decision, which could kill track cycling!"Richard Paris, Olympic time trialler, 1964: "I have competed in every style of racing, both track and road, and the kilometre time trial is the 'real race of truth'. Everyone understands the event and becomes a corner stone to build champions of all disciplines."Danny Clark:"Being a kilo rider myself and having a great career in cycling, I find the UCI decission to stop the kilo for the Olympics a huge mistake, as it narrows the events sprinters can do world wide and earn money and a living. Besides, sprinting and the kilo are real great events. This may come as a supprise to many hearing this from me, but the Madison should be done with as it is like watching a two man points race, it is so boring and so short and the talent of today's Madison riders is not up to Olympic standards. The kilo is a real test of man at full effort against the watch and it is exciting."DJ van Hameren: Barcelona and Atlanta milo rider for the Netherlands: "I sincerely struggle with the decision to cancel the 1km and 500m individual TT, the most pure event during the Olympic cycling competition. No tactics, just flat out, fastest out there wins."Kathy Volski, president, American Track Racing Association: "I come from an era of cycling where participation in the Olympics for women was not an option. The sport has come far. To eliminate a sprint event for women is truly distressing. The Kilometer is the perfect drama. It has a definite beginning, middle and end. These are truly classic events for track cycling."Frank Kersten:"This event is what makes cycling famous and the one event which has drawn my friends and I to cycling, removing it from the calender will remove thousands of current fans and the potential to destroy the future of cycling in Australia. You guys need to get with it and change your decision now."Leigh Barczewski, 1978 World Championship Silver Medalist - Tandem: "The UCI continues to try to kill track cycling. First it was to take the tandem out of the Olympics and then out of the World Championships. The tandem sprint was one of the most exciting events in all of sports...Now in their continuing effort to kill track cycling they take out two more exciting events from the track. Now the women have one sprint event and two endurance events. Almost every other Olympic sport has recognized that women should have the same opportunities as the men. Maybe the UCI will start to realize by killing track cycling they will kill off all of cycling." Martin Barras, head coach, Australian track team: "Despite a reduction in number of events, you can still strengthen the discipline of Track Cycling. One has to be mindfull of an established institution such as the kilo and the place it occupies in Track Cycling folklore. And it is very important that we reinforce the place of women in Olympic cycling and the cancellation of ANY women's event is undesirable. There is clearly others events which should be considered before those two."Scott Coady: "The Kilo is the most difficult cycling event period. It would be like taking the clean and jerk out of wieght lifting."Stuart O'Grady, pro rider and track star:"You cannot take the most exciting event from the Track out of the Olympics. There is a long history behind the Kilo and it rightfully deserves its place in the Olympics."

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