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Women's team pursuit - handle with care

New Zealand's Sarah Ulmer

New Zealand's Sarah Ulmer (Image credit: Jon Devich)

It may go some way towards compensating trackies for the men's kilometre and women's 500 metre time trials being taken out of the next Olympics, but the UCI needs to be careful how it introduces new teams events into the next track world championships, reports Gerard Knapp.

The move by the International Cycling Union (UCI) to introduce new team-based track events at the 2007 world championships will need to be carefully planned in with existing schedules to avoid affecting the performances of track cycling's leading riders in their chosen solo events.

Generally, however, it seems the UCI's move to offer more track events has been generally well received, especially after the howls of protest last year when it nominated the men's one kilometre and women's 500 metre time trials to be axed from the Beijing 2008 Olympics, presumably to satisfy the International Olympic Committee's request to bring in BMX racing into the Olympics program.

In a meeting at the 2006 Road World Championships in Salzburg late last month, the UCI approved the introduction of three new events for next year's Track Cycling World Championships: the men's omnium and women's team sprint, as well as the women's team pursuit. Further, both women's team events will be added to the already crowded Track World Cup schedules in 2007-08.

While the men's omnium and women's team sprint are welcomed by the sprinters, it is the women's team pursuit that has excited many in road cycling, as it provides an opportunity for more stars of road to enter track events.

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