London 2012

ON TRACK FOR LONDON 2012

Author: Chris Maher

Britain’s Elite Track Cycling Athletes have begun their campaign trail to London 2012 & the Olympic Games. This first round of official qualifying points were offered, at the new European Track Cycling Championships, held in Poland’s BGZ Velodrome between November 05th & 07th 2010. The Championships run by the UCI “Union Cycliste Internationale”, the governing body for competitive World Cycling in all disciplines, apply the rules & regulations that the Olympics follow. These 1st European Track Cycling Championships were the same races that form the new Olympic Track Cycling Program. It therefore has given us a chance to see how the Event could go. (Points List at bottom of Blog)

Reflections

The Olympic Track Program has changed since Beijing in 2008. Gone, is the Individual Pursuit, both Men & Women’s. Gone is the Points Race, both Men & Women’s, & gone also is the chaotic by spectacular Madison.

Beijing 2008 Medal Results

Men – Sprint    Gold: Chris Hoy (Gbr) Silver: Jason Kenny (Gbr)  Bronze: Mickael Bourgain (Fra)

Men – Keirin    Gold: Chris Hoy (Gbr) Silver: Ross Edgar (Gbr)   Bronze: Kiyofumi Nagai (Jpn)

Men – Points Race    Gold: Joan Llaneras (Esp)  Silver: Roger Kluge (Ger)  Bronze: Chris Newton (Gbr)

Men – 4Km Pursuit    Gold: Bradley Wiggins (Gbr)     Silver: Hayden Roulston (Nzl)     Bronze: Steven Burke (Gbr)

Men – Madison   Gold: Argentina Silver: Spain   Bronze: Russia

Men – Team Pursuit   Gold: Great Britain  Silver: Denmark Bronze: New Zealand

Men – Team Sprint    Gold: Great Britain  Silver: France  Bronze: Germany

Women – Sprint  Gold: Victoria Pendleton (Gbr) Silver: Anna Meares (Aus)   Bronze: Gou Shuang (Chn)

Women – Points Race  Gold: Marianne Vos (Ned)   Silver: Yoanka Gozalez (Cub)     Bronze: Leire Olaberria Dorronsoro (Esp)

Women – 3Km Pursuit  Gold: Rebecca Romero (Gbr) Silver: Wendy Houvenaghel (Gbr) Bronze: Lesya Kalitovska (Ukr)

Change at a Cost

In the 2008 Olympic Games, Great Britain won multiple Medals in many of the Races, being the dominant force in Track Cycling. The Women’s events though, were down to three from four in 2004, giving them less opportunity to win that many medals. These arguments have been addressed, at a cost. The loss of the Individual Pursuit, something Great Britain has excelled in, for the past decade or so, has hurt British Cycling. But also the loss of the mass start races like the Points Race that is popular throughout Europe. We now have BMX Cycling & a more even playing field on the Track.  For the first time, both Men & Women will compete in the same type of Events being offered. 5 races each for both the Men & the Women. The Sprint, the Team Sprint, the Keirin, plus the Team Pursuit & the Omnium. But the new rulings only allow one athlete per Nation for individual Events, & one Team per Event for the Team Events, to a Maximum of 16 entrants. That is then divided between 9 Men & 7 Women. In reality, Great Britain could only achieve a maximum 10 medals in Track Cycling, one for each Event, whether it’s a Gold, Silver or Bronze, with the maximum 30 medals on offer over the whole competition. 2008 was in fact a Gold Rush, according to the broadsheets, 12 Medals for Great Britain. But 2012 will need to be reviewed in a different light.

A Closer Look

Looking a little closer at the Events, there are 10 placements to be had for the Men, & 8 placements for the Women. Half the placements will be Sprint style races & the other half will be Endurance style races. This will require at least one GB Team Member to participate in two Events.

Men *9 members                       Women *7 members

Sprint *1                            Sprint *1

Keirin *1                            Keirin *1

Team Sprint *3                       Team Sprint *2

4Km Team Pursuit *4                  3Km Team Pursuit *3

Omnium *1                            Omnium *1

Total of 10 placements               Total of 8 placements

Qualification

Olympic qualifying points can be gained from the UCI European Track Cycling Championships November 2010 & November 2011. All 8 rounds of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics in 2010/11 Season & 2011/12 Season. And both of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships March 2011 & April 2012.

Athletes who have gained sufficient points will then be invited by the IOC “International Olympic Committee” to apply to take part. These invites will go out on the 1st November 2011. Should an athlete wish to apply for a position, then they will have till the 16th January 2012 to return their application. Confirmation will then be sent to each individual between 1st May & 9th July 2012. Depending on the number of applications received per Nation Quota (GB has 18 Track Placements), and then these will need too be confirmed to the IOC by the 16th June 2012. The Qualifying Points allocation will close after the Track Cycling World Championships finish in Melbourne Australia on the 8th April 2012.  Any spare allocations are at the discretion of the IOC & the final adjusted allocations will need to be submitted by 9th July 2012.

Leader Table By Nation – Men 08-11-2010

  • Team Sprint          Germany              255 Points
  • Sprint               France               180 Points
  • Keirin               Great Britain        300 Points
  • Team Pursuit         Great Britain        340 Points
  • Omnium               Germany              170 Points

Leader Table By Nation – Women 08-11-2010

  • Team Sprint          France               170 Points
  • Sprint               France               190 Points
  • Keirin               Belarus              170 Points
  • Team Pursuit         Great Britain        255 Points
  • Omnium               Spain                170 Points

Links will be added & updated up until the start of the 2012 Olympic Games on the 27th July 2012.