Hoping UCI backpedals

TRACK CYCLING ? THE Olympic dreams of Gracemere cyclist Kerrie Meares continue to be shattered.

A back injury forced Meares, 22, out of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games after she was paraded as one of Australia's future Olympic cham- pions during the Sydney 2000 Olym- pic Games closing ceremony.

Now she will be forced to sit out one of her pet events, the women's 500m time trial, if the UCI (Interna- tional Cycling Union) does not rein- state the event into the Beijing 2008 Olympic program.

The women's 500m time trial and men's one kilometre time trial were scrapped on the weekend to allow BMX to make its Olympic debut in Beijing.

A UCI survey of 24 countries deci- sion the fate of these two events. There is a strong push for the UCI to reinstate these events to Bejing with momentum gathering.

An online petition on the cycling- news.com website to review the de- cision continues to gather mo- mentum.

On Sunday evening there were 485 signatures. At 5pm yesterday 4423 supporters had signed.

No one is questioning BMX's in- clusion into the Games, it is a great honour for the sport, but it is the lack of discussion about the events being omitted which have the world's track sprint stars angry ? particulary the women's compet- itors.

"We (women's cyclists) don't have enough events now and they've tak- en more away and left us with just one (at the Olympics) ? I can't un- derstand their logic,'' an angry Meares said.



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