IOC scraps Individual Pursuit
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

IOC scraps Individual Pursuit

by Nick Mulder at 12:10 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved several substantial changes to track cycling, among them, the elimination of the individual pursuit, points race and Madison from the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The IOC’s decision goes hand in hand with the International Cycling Union’s gender-equality proposal which has now set the number of men and women’s events to five, contrary to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games where the men overshadowed the women with seven events to three.
“The changes reflect the IOC's desire to continually refresh the programme, as well as its commitment to increase women's participation,” read a press release published that followed the final ICO executive board meeting.

These new changes have strong effects on women’s presence in the world of track cycling, raising the percentage of the total number of female competitors to 45% from 19% in Beijing.
The men and women will now be able to battle it out for Gold in the sprint, team sprint, keirin, team pursuit, and omnium events. To the dismay of several endurance cyclists such as Taylor Phinney and Briton Bradley Wiggins the individual pursuit has been erased from the program along with the men's and women's points race and men's Madison events.

The omnium is composed of five events covering most aspects of track racing but tends to favor the sprinters. The events are 3km individual pursuit, 200 metre sprint, 1km time trial, 15km points race and a 5km scratch race.

The changes didn’t come without a fight, however, a petition with a total of total of 4,408 online signatures were presented to the IOC in advance of their decision. The petition was however not enough to sway the executive board to keep the events.

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