Brailsford optimistic over new Olympic track programme
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Brailsford optimistic over new Olympic track programme

by Ben Atkins at 12:26 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Track
 

With the majority of reactions to the new Olympic track programme being negative, Great Britain’s Performance Director Dave Brailsord is broadly optimistic; particularly that it gives women the same number of events as men.

"The issue of gender inequality within the Olympic track cycling events needed to be resolved and in that regard,” he said in a statement, “I think the IOC move is to be applauded.”

Many riders, including Rebecca Romero and Taylor Phinney – the reigning Olympic and World individual pursuit champions, respectively – and many Madison and points race specialists have protested about the loss of their own events, but Brailsford sees the changes as inevitable.

“The detail of how the parity could be achieved was by adding or removing events and there were always going to be winners and losers,” he said.

“It's a shame to have lost great events such as the Individual Pursuit, Points and Madison,” said Brailsford, “however I believe the UCI have been very creative to include the omnium within which the individual pursuit and the points race will still figure."

The omnium – the event that replaces the individual pursuit and points race for men and women, and the Madison for men – is made up of five different events: a 200 metre flying start sprint time trial, a 5km scratch race, a 3km individual pursuit, a 15km points race and a kilometre time trial. The event does feature two of the events lost, although the combination of sprint and endurance events suits all-rounders rather than specialists.

The omnium has only been included in the World Championships for men since 2007 and women since this year, and is currently not part of the World Cup programme. It remains to be seen when or if it will be included, but with its newly confirmed Olympic status it should be soon.

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