UCI president Pat McQuaid has re-ignited the 'kilo debate' by claiming the kilometre time trial was dropped from the Olympics Games because Australia and Great Britain dominated the event. "It had come down to a specialised area among a couple of nations," said McQuaid at the World Track Championships in France. "It doesn’t really go along with the Olympic ideal.”

Beware, don’t win Gold medals, it’s against the Olympic ideal

So, any countries dominant in a sport aren’t going along with the Olympic ideal? That’ll be news to America.

According to Jeremy Whittle of The Times, McQuaid resurrected the fact that national cycle federations were surveyed about which disciplines to drop in order to get BMX into the Beijing Olympics and beyond:

“We surveyed 28 nations that were involved in track cycling in Athens and asked them their opinion. All of the pressure to reintroduce the kilo since the decision was taken has come from Great Britain or Australia, because they have vested interests. It had come down to a specialised area among a couple of nations. It doesn’t really go along with the Olympic ideal.”

In yesterday’s kilo event at the World Track Championships, there were riders from 18 nations.

Last year, Bikebiz.com travelled to the UCI HQ in Switzerland and reported that the UCI survey of national cycle federations was deeply flawed. In January 2005, internal UCI documents show that the UCI had already discussed it would be track events culled from the Olympics, not road. But, in the March survey to 24 national cycle federations, the list of events which federations could vote on to cull, road events were included. Many federations picked out the road time trial for deletion, not knowing that their votes would not be counted because the UCI would only be deleting track events.

Despite repeated requests, the UCI has not published the survey questions or the results in full.

An online petition to ask the UCI to re-run the survey, correctly, gathered 10 679 signatures in just eight days, including many top names in cycle sport around the world. The UCI dismissed the petition.

Olympic champion Chris Hoy won last night’s kilo gold medal at the World Track Championships but his event will now die because it is no longer an Olympic event. The kilo had been in the modern Olympics since they were re-started in 1896. When it threw out the kilo, the UCI also threw out the women’s 500m time trial.

Last year, McQuaid told BikeBiz.com:

"It was the International Olympic Committee who told us to exclude track events, nor road, because the women’s 500m, for instance, was only introduced [into the Olympics] at Sydney [in 2000]."

The IOC quickly denied McQuaid’s claim.

McQuaid said that the decision to cull the women’s 500m time trial was not well received in China. The event was China’s best hope for a cycle gold medal.

"Yes, it’s a catastrophe for Chinese cycling," admitted McQuaid last year.

"But in a country of one billion people, they’ve got to be able to field cyclists in other disciplines, they need strength in depth, not just one event."


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