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The Cycling Australia board of management met at the weekend and discussed the new 'high performance' programme for BMX riders in readiness for the sport's inclusion in the 2008 Olympics. And the board is seeking an official "review" from the world's governing body of cycling into why and how it dropped the men's kilometre and women's 500m time trials from the Olympics.

Cycling Australia wants UCI to review Olympic cull decision

Cycling Australia starts a new high performance program from July 1st with the inclusion of new Olympic cycling discipline BMX.

"A workshop with high performance personnel will take place in the next two weeks to map out the BMX program structure for the next four years," said a statement from Cycling Australia.

"We are looking forward to a closer integration with BMX," said Cycling’s Australia’s CEO Graham Fredericks.

"They will join us along side our track, road, mountainbike, athletes with disability and junior programs in what we regard as one of the most successful high performance environments in world sport."

Because of the Australian cycling team’s success at the Athens Olympics, the Australian Sports Commission increased the sport’s funding by 20 percent.

A similar cash boost was received by British Cycling recently, showing there’s a direct link between medal hauls and increased government financial support for sport governing bodies.

Such support could be pruned back in future years for some nations if key Olympics events such as track cycling are themselves pruned. Pro road cycling is funded largely through commercial sponsorship, track cycling relies heavily on support from national governments.

And it’s against this background that Cycling Australia has formalised its opposition to the UCI’s decision to cull two track events.

In a statement, Cycling Australia said: "The CA board will continue to explore avenues and support others in seeking a review by the sport’s international governing body, the UCI (International Cycling Union), of its decision to drop the men’s kilometre and women’s 500m time trials from the Olympic competition program."

The petition against the UCI’s cull is nearing 10 000 names.

http://www.petitiononline.com/…/petition.html

http://www.cycling.org.au

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