UCI Madness

Well talk about dropping a bombshell the UCI seem to be at the root of a rather heartfelt decision over how cycling will be represented at the Olympics over coming years. From a personal point of view I can’t help thinking that although a compromise has been reached, was it entirely necessary? Given that there are concurrently running events elsewhere within the Olympic calendar of events, the addition of BMX racing should not have any significant effect on the operation and logistics of the overall Olympics.

The UCI should have sought to place the IOC under mnore pressure to revise their stipulated rules and allow BMX without the need for concessions. Irrespective of this the decision to drop two of the most spectacular track events will remain a topic that is keenly debated for week and months to come and may not be forgotten by those it will impact on the most. Read a whole lot more over on Cyclingnews and sign the petition on-line here. I think this comment sums things up fairly concisely:

“I’m stumped, shelled for the women’s 500 and the kilo which are, in my opinion, far more interesting than the Madison and definitely more spectator friendly. I had heard last year that the Madison was going and I wasn’t going to lose sleep over it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great event but…it’s true that spectators have a really difficult time following it, whereas the kilo and 500 are straightforward. How can they be taken out like that? Does the UCI have the right to take out these events without consulting federations and athletes, and do they have the right to bring the already very few women’s speed events down to one? I should think not. I say we do something about it!” (Marion Clignet, Cyclingnews).

Also in the news is this bit of bad news about Mountain Biking that doesn’t seem to have been getting enough public airing for my liking. If situations like this aren’t taken seriously enough they will have real and massive impacts on the future of mountain biking – not just racing, but for the future of the sport both in North America and most likely in time over here in Europe too. That might be an overly pessimistic negative view of it, but in comparison to other extreme mountain sports like Skiing and Snowboarding, Mountain Biking might be seen to be on the receiving end of some unfavourable rulings:

From: Cyclingnews
Subject: Ontario Downhill MTB cancelled

The Ontario Cup Downhill Mountain Bike event has been cancelled. Due to circumstances relating to a claim and insurance concerns, Blue Mountain Resorts has notified the Ontario Cycling Association and Sirbikealot Racing and Promotions (the Downhill Race event organizer) that the event scheduled for July 2-3 will not happen.

“This is tremendously upsetting,” stated Steve Merker, Executive Director of the OCA. “Downhill racing in Ontario has recently seen a participation surge. Our first event of the year had record numbers and we were looking forward to building on that momentum. It’s truly sad that insurance concerns are frightening venues away from hosting sporting events and activities.”

Similar issues are happening in sports that use public facilities. Cycling is in danger of losing venues and therefore participation due to closures such as Blue Mountain. Dagmar Ski resort and Pleasure Valley, two very popular mountain bike destinations, have shut their gates to recreational and competitive cyclists within the last two years.

Closures and cancellations are threatening the Ministry of Tourism and Recreation’s goal “to increase Ontario’s sport participation and physical activity rate so that by the year 2010, at least 55 per cent of Ontarians are physically active.” The youth of Ontario will be affected the most by these closures.

The cancellation may have repercussions beyond Ontario. As Intrawest owns and operates many facilities across North America, this could jeopardize future events at venues such as Tremblant in Quebec and Whistler in British Columbia.

Finally I there hasn’t been anything stupid on here in a long time so here’s a whole load of Stupid Videos. Check out Too Much Gas and Cart Jump for carnage, but don’t look at Container jump unless you want to see bike related injury and scroll down to Bike over rocks for handy tips on where not to stand if you’re the cameraman at a downhill event.

Author: Cris Bloomfield

Usually mountain biking in the North.

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