UCI’s track changes questioned
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Monday, November 02, 2009

UCI’s track changes questioned

by Conal Andrews at 7:39 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
 
The UCI’s planned changes of the Olympic track programme has been faulted by the Danish president of the Union Internationale des Vélodrome, Henrik Elmgreen.

"It seemed a little sad that the UCI has decided the Olympic changes, and it is really frustrating,” said Elmgreen to Feltet.dk. “The points race and Madison are among the most popular disciplines, and it would be a great pity to remove them because they reduce the number of nations that can win medals. It will actually be only four to six nations which will have the opportunity to win medals, while it is much more open in the points race and Madison.”

Elmgreen met UCI president Pat McQuaid on Saturday and reportedly tried to get the UCI to change its decision about which events will be dropped in order to fit in with the IOC’s stipulation that five events should henceforth feature for men and women.

“It's also good that there should be an equal number of disciplines for men and women, but I do not think it necessarily be the same disciplines for both men and women. Men and women are not the same,” Elmgreen explained to the Danish newspaper.

It’s heavily rumoured that the individual pursuit, the points race and the Madison will be dropped, with endurance riders having to make do with the omnium. Elmgreen said that if he had to choose, he’d keep the points race, madison, team pursuit, sprint and keirin as Olympic events.

The reported decision to drop prime endurance events has led to criticism from many riders, including British Olympic pursuit medallists Bradley Wiggins and Rebecca Romero.

Beijing gold medallists in the Madison, Walter Perez and Juan Esteban Curuchet, also want the endurance events to be maintained. "For the first time ever, the Olympics are coming to South America in 2016,” they said. “If those disciplines will be removed, we will not have a chance to medal.”

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