Following their omission of elite women cross country riders for the 2007 UCI Mountain Bike and Trials World Championships in Fort William, British Cycling have now added three senior women and three senior men to their cross country team.
Notably, Jenny Copnall, the current and four-time UK elite national XC champ who spoke out in anger at her original absence from the team, has been included in the new line up. Copnall will be joined by Ruth McGavigan and Elizabeth Scalia in the three-member elite women's team, while Simon Richardson, Nick Craig and Paul Oldham have been added to the elite men's team.
"There is a longer term battle for sure but, for the time being, this is the immediate result that I was looking for so I am happy about that," Copnall told BikeRadar after hearing the news.
In announcing the additions to the team, British Cycling called it a "one-off dispensation" to allow the extra riders, even though in theory Britain could field seven elite women in Fort William. The selection criteria are based on "strict performance goals" which are directly linked to funding.
"These [performance goals] are simply to win medals and gain top ten placings in international competition," say the selection criteria. "Selections may also be made of younger, or less experienced riders who have an identified need to experience competition at this level and are deemed to have the potential to win medals in major championships in future years, particularly with a view to the London 2012 Olympic Games."
© BikeRadar 2007