Many of the signatories to the UCI/IOC petition are stressing their "shock", "outrage", "disgust" and "disbelief" at the UCI’s decision to cull the kilo and the women’s 500m sprint.
Within twelve hours of going online, the petition had registered 864 e-signatures and the total will grow as blogs, news-sites and emails start spreading the petition link from Monday morning onwards.
Signing the petition, James Victor, Australian women’s road cycling coach, 1997-2004, wrote:
"Let’s use a little bit of common sense when we make potential sport damaging decisions like this."
That’s a mild comment. There are many, many angry comments.
Anna Meares, the Olympic gold medalist and world number 1 women’s track sprinter, has signed the petition.
In an email to BikeBiz.com, she said: "I am feeling the same way about the UCI decision as everyone so it seems. I just wanted to say thank you for getting this great petition going and I hope it helps in the UCI reconsidering their decision. Good luck and I will certainly pass on the word. You have my full support."
Australia-based Cyclingnews.com has an excellent article about the cull.
It’s a "cruel sacrifice of two events that are absolute tests of the all-bets-are-off and no-excuses racing that is the heart and soul of track cycling…These are not obscure, outdated and irrelevant events. Indeed, the kilo is one of the foundation events from the first modern Olympics.
"This is not to deny BMX its place in an Olympics. Indeed, bring it in. But the UCI’s decision to cut these two track events, and leave female sprinters with only one event, is hardly consistent with maintaining growth of the sport, and helping host nations keep a lid on costs. It won’t cut costs, it won’t reduce the number of athletes, all it will do is take away two of track cycling’s most prized medals.
"This is like athletics dumping the 100 metres sprint…The UCI and the IOC are wrong. This is our sport they are killing, and who gave them the right to do that?"
French sports newspaper L’Equipe, said Florian Rousseau, Olympic kilo champion in Atlanta in 1996, was "shocked" by the UCI decision.
Gilles Peruzzi, the UCI’s track coordinator, claims 19 out of 24 national cycle federations answered the UCI’s survey to find out which events to delete.
"We consulted the federations using surveys in their asking to eliminate two tests from cycling. And most usually quoted were the 500m and the kilometre," Peruzzi told L’Equipe.
French national coach Gerard Quintyn said the decision was "aberrant, it is null."
French track star François Pervis said "Who are these people who take these kind of decisions? They never went in a cycle-racing track, it is not possible. What nonsense!"
Here’s the petition:
Cut and paste that link and send to anybody you feel may be interested in adding their voice to the growing disapproval of the UCI’s unilateral decision.
Here’s the details about the online interview with Jacques Rogge: