Register your protest now!
Britain’s cycling community was shocked over the weekend to hear that the UCI has voted to remove the men’s kilometre and women’s 500m TT from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. It has been known for some time that an event would need to be lost to make way for the introduction of BMX racing;British Cycling, along with other national federations, was consulted about which events they would be happy to lose and after deliberation they recommended that the Road Time Trial be culled, or, if the event had to be lost from the track program, that it be the points race, an event many non-cyclists find too confusing to follow.
One of the great selling points of the Kilo and the 500m were their simplicity – once the gun goes, there’s no hiding place, it’s just pedal as hard as you possibly can and the best athlete wins, something sports fans across the board could appreciate.
There is some suggestion that the UCI’s decision to ditch these two flagship track events is political. The IOC have said that to keeps costs down for a host nation, they don’t want to simply add more medals to the sport of cycling with the introduction of BMX. The Kilo and 500m are aongst the cheapest events for the host nation to run – the tracks paid for, the officials are there already, all they need to pay for is the medals – whereas the TT is quite expensive, requiring as it does a separate course to the RR. Could it be that the UCI is trying to garner enough outrage to force the IOC to reconsider its stance on losing two medals?
Assuming you, like many cycling fans the world over, are disappointed by the UCI’s decision, BikeBiz.com editor Carlton Reid has organised an online petition at www.petitiononline.com/1000k/petition.html – head over there now and make your voice heard!