Wiggins opposes revised Olympic track programme

Briton fears changes will kill off endurance track cycling

While Bradley Wiggins (Garmin-Slipstream) wrapped up overall victory and his 2009 road season in Australia's Jayco Herald Sun Tour on Saturday, thoughts of track racing, specifically the International Cycling Unions's (UCI) recommendation to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) regarding the elimination of three marquee endurance events from the 2012 Olympics, weighed on the 29-year-old Briton's mind.

"They've changed the program now, given the women a load of events. It's a shame, it will probably end up killing off track endurance cycling," Wiggins told the Brisbane Times.

Last month the UCI recommended to the IOC the elimination of the men's individual pursuit, madison and points race in order to equalize the amount of men's and women's track events in the Olympic Games. Currently, the men have seven events (individual sprint, team sprint, keirin, individual pursuit, team pursuit, points race and madison) while the women have three (individual sprint, individual pursuit and points race).

The proposed Olympic track programme for the 2012 Olympics in London would have five events each for men and women: individual sprint, team sprint, keirin, team pursuit and an omnium.

"We're pawns in their game. We're just riders, it doesn't matter what we think," Wiggins told the Brisbane Times. He said the new programme was unfortunate "for the younger guys".

Wiggins has been a multi-time Olympic medalist in two of the events slated to be eliminated, the individual pursuit and madison. Wiggins earned the gold medal in the individual pursuit at both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games. He also won the bronze medal in the madison at the 2004 Olympic Games with partner Rob Hayles.

Wiggins has won three additional Olympic medals in the team pursuit (gold in 2008, silver in 2004 and bronze in 2000), an event which will remain in the Olympic track programme.

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