Representatives from the national cycling federations of China, Australia, Britain, and France have all expressed their surprise at the International Cycling Union's decision to drop track time trials at the Beijing Olympics. Official objections may follow. The UCI claims out of 24 national federations surveyed, 19 answered and the majority of them were in favour of dropping the kilo and the women's 500m sprint.

Which national federations voted against the kilo?

The UCI needs to publish the survey findings, and the questions asked, if it is stem the flow of complaints from Olympians, track stars, bicycle industry figures and cycling enthusiasts.

An online petition started by has received over 3000 signatures in 36 hours.

The petition has been signed by Olympic stars such as Chris Hoy, Theo Bos, Anna Meares, and Jason Queally. Other supporters of the campaign include TV commentator and CTC president Phil Liggett MBE and Morgan Nicol, MD of Oval Concepts.

Paralympic athletes Jiri Jezek and Darren Kenny have also signed. Jezek said the UCI’s decision "could kill track cycling."

The International Olympic Committee approved the inclusion of BMX to the 2008 Olympics in July 2003. As the IOC demands the overall number of events for the Olympics remains the same, the decision to add BMX means other disciplines had to be dropped to make room and it was the UCI which had to decide which events to drop.

Gilles Peruzzi, the UCI’s track coordinator, claims 19 out of 24 national cycle federations answered the UCI’s survey to find out which events to delete.

"We consulted the federations using surveys in their asking to eliminate two tests from cycling. And most usually quoted were the 500m and the kilometre," Peruzzi told French sports newspaper, L’Equipe.

New Zealand and Russia are believed to be among the countries which supported the removal of the kilo.

However, many national federations have been quick to distance themselves from the UCI’s decision.

Cycling Australia’s chief executive Graham Fredericks said:

"All federations were invited to make submissions to the UCI and this is certainly the first we’ve heard that the track time trial events were being targeted for removal from the Games program."

French national coach Gerard Quintyn said the decision was "aberrant, it is null."

Tian Junrong, vice-director of China’s Administrative Centre of Cycling and Fencing, China’s governing body of cycling, said:

"I was so surprised when I heard the events were removed from the Games. The changing of events poses an incredible difficulty for us to win an Olympic gold medal on home soil."

A statement from British Cycling said:

"British Cycling, like other national federations, was consulted by the UCI, about which medals they wanted to be withdrawn and British Cycling subsequently recommended that the Road Time Trial medals (Men’s and Women’s) be withdrawn as it felt ‘road events’ exist without the Olympics but track needs the Olympics as its showcase to the world."

David Hoy, a Scottish Cycling official, and father of Chris Hoy, the Athens kilometre time-trial champion, was one of the first signers of the online petition.

He said: "I feel sure that this will not be the end of the story."

He has written to culture secretary, Tessa Jowell, the Scottish Executive, the British Olympic Association and the Commonwealth Games Committee.

"This is not just a personal tirade from a grumpy dad. There is general disbelief in the cycling world at this decision," said Hoy Sr.

A number of British bicycle shops have asked their local MPs to create an Early Day Motion in Parliament, a mechanism to gain cross-parliamentary support for an issue.

In other news...

Danish software company Bikedesk expands to UK, aims to streamline bike store experience

Off the back of unprecedented success in Denmark, Bikedesk has announced it is expanding into …