BikeNZ has celebrated a successful season by bringing together the 15 competitors who secured New Zealand 18 International Cycling Union (UCI) World Championships throughout 2009. High performance programme members Alison Shanks and Sarah Walker were amongst those gathered for the function in Wellington.
BikeNZ Chairman Richard Leggat thanked the organisation’s commercial partners along with the Academy of Sport for their contributions to the nation’s success.
“Our high performance programme is very focused on delivering outcomes in our targeted areas of endurance track cycling and BMX, and in this regard Alison and Sarah led the way,” said Leggat. “These outstanding performances are not limited to this pair alone with the women’s and men’s pursuit programmes and other endurance track events enjoying significant international success.
“We are a very focused and committed High Performance Programme led by our High Performance Director Mark Elliott who has put in place the best coaches and performance support professionals who are as driven as the athletes for success,” he added.
The nation’s 18 titles included Shanks elite women’s individual pursuit title at the UCI Track World Championships in Poland and Walkers’ two BMX World Championship wins in Adelaide, Australia. In addition to these elite victories the nation’s riders claimed junior and master world titles in addition to its para-cycling success.
Leggat also praised New Zealand’s national funding body SPARC for its commitment to the sport. SPARC Chief Executive Peter Miskimmin applauded the riders for delivering on the Government’s investment.
“The achievements of these 15 athletes are tremendous,” said Miskimmin. “It is simply extraordinary that a single sport has produced 18 world titles in a single year.
USA Cycling issue revised Masters Track Nationals results
Kenny Williams has been handed a two-year ban by the United States Anti-doping Agency (USADA) as a result of a positive drug test at the USA Cycling Masters Track National Championships in August.
Williams tested positive for an unnamed anabolic agent in a test conducted by the USADA on August 21. In the wake of the initial finding the 42-year-old admitted, on September 21, to knowingly taking steroid Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and was provisionally suspended by the USA Cycling Federation from that date.
The USADA reported on Wednesday that Williams has accepted the ban, which will end on September 21, 2011.
Williams is also required to return medals, points and prizes awarded after July 27, the date he admitted to having first used DHEA. USA Cycling has confirmed that Williams will be stripped of the 3000 metre individual pursuit and kilometre time trial titles he claimed at the Championships in August.
Williams' victory in the 40-44 3000 metre individual pursuit had been achieved in an unofficial world record time of 3:26.097.
Accordingly, USA Cycling has removed Williams from the results of the Championships and instated James Tainter and Jason Sprouse as the respective National Champions in the 40-44 kilo and 3000 metre individual pursuit.
Williams' removal from the results has resulted in the following revisions to the men's 40-44 USA Cycling Masters Track National Championship results:
Broken pelvis brings early end to track rider's season
Black Dog Professional Cycling Team Madison and points race rider Ryan Sabga has been forced to withdraw from the third round of the UCI Track World Cup in Cali, Colombia, after sustaining a broken pelvis in a fall while doing his final preparation for the event.
Sabga, double silver medalist in the team pursuit and madison at this year's US national championships, will be out of action for approximately four to six weeks, making his participation at the Beijing, China, round of the UCI World Cup also unlikely.
"It's a disappointing end to my season, for sure," said Sabga, "We came back from Manchester, and I really dialed in my training well to fix the couple of things I was lacking. On top of that, Ryan (Luttrell) and I had raised our Madison to higher level, from a technical perspective. I was looking forward to seeing what we could do in Cali. I've been going pretty well, so for this to happen is, as I said, super disappointing to me."
Ryan Luttrell, who was also involved in the fall but was unhurt, will take Sabga's place in the points race. Consequently, he will compete in both the points and scratch races in Cali but, without a healthy partner, will be unable to take part in the Madison.
Quick Step's newest recruit to target Track Worlds selection in Colombia
New Quick Step signing Iljo Keisse will compete in a busy schedule of events at the third round of the International Cycling Union's (UCI) track World Cup this week in Cali, Colombia.
Het Nieuwsblad reports that the 26-year-old Belgian will return to World Cup competition for the first time since the Manchester round of the series in 2008, and will compete in the points race, Madison and team pursuit. He has made the journey to South America in order to qualify for next year's track World Championships, which will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark in March.
Keisse will join Kenny De Ketele for the Madison, reuniting the pair that finished fourth in the same event at last year's Beijing Olympics. The duo will then combine with Steve Schets and Ingmare De Poortere for the team pursuit.
Schets is scheduled to also compete in the scratch race, while De Poortere will race the 4000 metre individual pursuit.
Keisse's presence at the World Cup will means he will miss this week's Quick Step training camp in Calpe, Spain. He confirmed a one-year contract with the ProTour team on Monday and has planned to compete in the Track World Championships before racing with the Belgian squad on the road from March onwards.
Keisse's first event in Colombia will be the points race on Thursday. Headed into the third of four World Cup rounds, Belgium currently sit 15th on the overall team standings.
Track World Cup overall standings after the second round
Italian Six Day event faces hurdles in testing times
Cremona Six Day organiser Claudio Santi has admitted that he still needs to overcome problems threatening next year's event, which gets underway on January 21. The challenges relate to sponsorship funding for the race as Cremona's Six-Day joins the growing list of events in this category that face an uncertain future.
"Unfortunately we are not yet certain that the International Six Day of Cremona will take place, despite our organisation, which has decided to commit to setting up [the event] after some months' work - there are problems about which we need to take advice," said Santi.
Santi explained that financial contraints imposed by the diminishing budgets of companies is the most pressing challenge. "The sponsors, as forecast, have their respective budgets dictated by economic crises, but the expenses that will be incurred remain; a reduction [in expenses] or lack thereof means we have provided an estimate which currently does not allow for the risk of not reaching unattainable figures," he added.
"But there is still hope that in our meetings over the next 48 hours this lack of budget will be rectified and we can conduct an event included in the international calendar from [cities such as] Rotterdam, Bremen, Berlin and Copenhagen," Santi continued. "Friday is the last day [40 days before the event] to present [event] programs to the Italian Cycling Federation and the UCI."
Santi said that the success of this year's event may help in guaranteeing its future, as he makes a presentation to the President of Cremona Fiere, Antonio Piva, about the likelihood of presenting the event's program to the Italian federation and cycling's governing body or giving up. "The success of 2009 is irrefutable however; it met with enthusiasm from around the world, for the warmth and beauty of the City of violins, nougat, cycling and song.
Should next year's 6 Giorni di Cremona Internazionale go ahead, the official launch will be held on...
Individual pursuit, points race, Madison out of the Olympics
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has approved massive changes in the track cycling events for the London 2012 Games, eliminating the individual pursuit, points race and Madison from the programme.
The London Olympic Games will now feature five men's and five women's events, as proposed by the International Cycling Union (UCI) as part of a gender-equality plan, according to the Associated Press. The 2008 Beijing Games had seven men's events and three women's events.
"The changes reflect the IOC's desire to continually refresh the program, as well as its commitment to increase women's participation," the IOC said in a statement on the last day of its executive board meeting.
Under the new plan, there will be 84 women track cyclists in London, or 45 percent, as compared to 35 riders, or 19 percent, in Beijing 2008.
The new plan has events for both sexes in the individual sprint, team sprint, keirin, team pursuit and the omnium. The latter is a five-race event which includes a 3km individual pursuit, 200 metre sprint, 1km time trial, 15km points race and a 5km scratch race.
There has been massive protest against the changes, which affect among others, American Taylor Phinney and Briton Bradley Wiggins.
Briton Rebecca Romero, who is current Olympic champion in the women's individual pursuit, had announced her dissatisfaction with the plan before the announcement was made. “I'm all in favour of moving to achieve parity between men and women but there must be a better solution," she said. "This is a major culling. There's got to be something better."
The International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) ratification of radical changes to the Olympic Games track programme has received a mixed response from national federations and riders alike. Decisions that create winners and losers within the same sport is likely always going to receive a mixed response, which is exactly what arrived from the cycling industry following yesterday’s IOC meeting.
British Cycling’s performance director Dave Brailsford praised the IOC’s changes, which eliminate the individual pursuit, points race and Madison.
"The issue of gender inequality within the Olympic track cycling events needed to be resolved and in that regard, I think the IOC move is to be applauded,” said Brailsford. “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.
“It's a shame to have lost great events such as the Individual pursuit, points and madison, 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," he added.
The decision is a double-edged sword for Brailsford, as it is for many of this colleagues at other national federations. While male and female track athletes will contend for an equal number of medals at the London 2012 Olympic Games, Brailsford’s individual pursuit champions Bradley Wiggins and Rebecca Romero will not be able to defend their respective Olympic titles on home turf.
"There didn't need to be such a massive overhaul," Romero told Radio 5 Live. "This is a massive overhaul of the Olympic track programme which will have massive consequences for the sport.
A world away in New Zealand BikeNZ high performance director Mark Elliott is wrestling with the same conundrum. Three of the nation’s five Olympic track medals have come from the individual pursuit, and in Alison...
The International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced that it will suggest adding a sixth event to the omnium event at the London Olympics in 2012. The UCI said the changes made in the Olympic track events were an “historic turning point” for the cycling world.
Yesterday, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced that it had adopted the UCI's recommendations to delete certain events and add the omnium, in order to make track cycling more equal for men and women cyclists.
The omnium currently consists of five events: 200 m individual sprint; 1 km/500 m time trial; individual pursuit; points race; and scratch race. Responding to criticism that this format was too heavily oriented towards the sprint specialists, the UCI said that it would add a sixth event, to make it “attractive to the public and indeed more oriented towards endurance.” It did not say what the event would be.
The UCI had originally asked that, in order to reach the goal of gender equality, two more women's events be added to the Olympic programme. The IOC turned that down, saying it could not increase the total number of cycling medals or the total number of athletes at the Games. In response, the UCI came up with the proposal adopted yesterday.
In its statement released Thursday evening, the UCI noted that the changes were intended solely for the Olympic Games and would not affect its World Track Championships, which have ten men's and nine women's races.