Changes Olympic Track Program - Belgian Federation
Addendum: Notes and proposals concerning the reform of Track Disciplines at the
Koninklijke Belgische Wielrijdersbond
Note concerning the reform of track disciplines at
the Olympic Games
With reference to the communication that the track disciplines at the OG will be
adapt, please find herewith some remarks.
In 2009 two meetings have been held, a first one during the WC in Poland and
a second during the Woels Cup in Moscow. During these 2 meetings there was
no mention of whatsoever that in 2012 an equality of medals should come.
In Moscow a project was presented about the new qualification system. One had
to take into account that the “qualification systems must allow the
participation of the best athletes through a fair and transparent process within
the framework of the Olympic Charter”.
At the same time the radio men/women should be adapted, but it has never been
said that there should be also an equality of medals. It is surprising that
apparently only track cycling should adapt, because the ratio in the other
cycling disciplines are not 50/50:
road 145 men - 67 women
time trial 40 men - 25 women
MTB 50 men - 30 women
BMX 32 men - 16 women
track 153 men - 35 women
On the other hand, there are other Olympic sports where the medal
distribution is not 50/50 (ex: kayak, gymnastic, shooting, wrestling, …).
However, the assuming regulations give also a number of problems which are
1. Restriction globalisation
If we’d apply the new qualification based on the WC in Poland, we’d get the
following table of
TP + omnium =18 nations (AUS+COL+JPN+MAS+NZL+USA+Europe) = 6 out of Europe and
12 in Europe
IP+TP +PR+MAD= 21 nations (Europe+AUS+COL+HKG+JPN+NZL+USA) = 6 out of Europe +
TP+omnium=18 nations (=48 riders) (AUS+CAN+CHN+COL+CUB+NZL+USA+Europe= 7 out of
IP+PR=16 nations (=21 riders) (AUS+CAN+CHN+COL+CUB+HKG+NZL + Europe= 7 out of
Europe + 9
New system = 23 AUS+CAN+CHN+COL+CUB+JPN+MAS+NZL+USA (9) + 14 Europe
Existing system = 24 AUS+CAN+CHN+COL+CUB+HKG+JPN+NZL+USA (9) + 15 Europe
So this measure reduces the number of countries that will participate instead
of increasing it, and so this runs counter to the foreseen goal to get more
countries at the start.
2. Qualification omnium
How can one qualify for the omnium ? If this goes through the existing system,
which is the best individual ranking in the following disciplines
- 1 km
- Points race
- 4 km IP
this means that you need to have riders in 4 disciplines to delegate 1 rider.
For a small federation this is an impossible task (not enough top riders in all
these disciplines). Also the level of the costs will be too big to get 1 rider
to the Games, which is again a disadvantage for the little federations.
3. Little cycling nations & individual talents.
This measure is a disadvantage for the smaller nations who have no money to
develop teams, but who could have individual talents (look at IRL, ARG, HKG, …).
In this way, individual talents could never get the chance to participate at
the Games. The system must remain that individual talents, also those from
smaller nations, could participate at the Games. If this does not happen the
number of nations will still decrease and only the greater nations will be able
to participate, which will drop back the globalization and in the long term the
OG-conditions will not able to be realized.
4.Ratio type of riders compared to the composition
of the calendar
In current track cycling we distinguish 3 type of riders: sprint, pursuit and
endurance (points race, madison).
The ratio of races on the calendar for this type of riders compared to the
number of presumed participants in 2012, is irrelevant.
By dropping the points race and the Madison more than 80% from the disciplines
which are a part of the international calendar will disappear. The consequence
will be that these races will disappear from the international calendar and
that, on term, track cycling itself will disappear as an Olympic Games
These are common disciplines on most tracks all over the world (Europe,
Australia, South-America, USA etc.) and which offer chances not only to riders
with great physical potential but also to riders with tactic and technical
skills. The numbers of riders and nations which can participate at the great
official championships with realistic expectations (chances for a medal) are
much larger than in disciplines as for example TT-disciplines (Pursuit, 1.000
Meter etc.). This should be a very good argument and in agreement with the
In addition to that, the sprint disciplines will insufficiently reinforce the
calendar to continue to
comply with the Olympic conditions.
5. Problem from exceeding the assumed quota
Sprint 6+2+2+1+1+30+5+9 =56 (3 med)
Pursuit 10+2+1+40+5 = 58 (2 med)
Endurance 4+2+26+6 = 39 (2 med)
Total 153 men
Sprint 3+9=12 (1 med)
Pursuit 3+9=12 (1 med)
Endurance 3+8=11 (1 med)
Total 35 women
New assumed distribution:
Sprint 56 (3 m)
Team pursuit 50 (1 m)
Omnium 18 (1 m)
Total 124 men
Sprint 12 + 24 (TSP) = 36 (3m)
Team pursuit 30 (10 x 3) (1m)
Omnium 18 (1m)
Total 84 women
So we have here an exceeding of the total number of riders which should be
6. Quality Women’s Team Sprint races
When we compare the times of the women’s team sprint (TS) with the individual
times realized over the same distance of 500m, we see that the individual times
are faster (World Cup Poland: Krupeckaite 33.296 compared to Australia 33.452).
In addition to that RUS who realized the 8th time in TS would only be 9th
individually. RUS would get an Olympic diploma in a time where individually one
should never get a diploma.
How can we explain this to the World of sports?
7. Unclear omnium discipline
If we argue that both the points race and the madison are not suitable for
broadcasting, how can an omnium be ? How could spectators follow this, they
surely wouldn’t understand what’s happening. In addition to that : the fight in
the current omnium competition after 3 disciplines is reduced to a handful of
competitors. Because of that, we’ll get a points race of which the spectator
wouldn’t understand anything and one can be sure that “mutual” services will be
An omnium on the track can’t be compared to a decathlon in athletics, where
the final result is made up on a points scale based on times or distances, while
in an omnium it’s made up on a points system based on obtained places.
8. The Omnium (WC) in its current form must change
The omnium in its current form is a discipline set up for Km or Pursuit (see
analysis participants WC Poland). However if the omnium has to remain, this
should be in another formula (ex. scratch , points race and IP or elimination,
spread out over 3 days and run over the full distance). Also it has to be
included in the World Cup and the qualification must go through the WCups in
order to qualify individually.
9. History Olympic Games - disciplines
Sprint 1896-2008 = 24
Team Sprint 2000-2008 = 3
Keirin 2000-2008 = 3
1km 1896/1928-2004 = 19
IA 1964-2008 = 12
Team 1908/1920-2008=22 WC 1962
The Km has been removed for the benefit of BMX in 2008.
As a basis we look at the history of the Games and the proposal is based on
the fact that individual talents could still qualify individually, which don’t
reduce the number of participating countries. This way, smaller countries can
still qualify also.
Preservation of the disciplines of 2008 because of the fact that the IOC is not
a demanding party to
implement in 2012.
It’s also sportsmanlike irresponsible to set up a laughing stock at riders
who work for the Games 6 years into the future. One couldn’t answer for that to
the sportsmen, federations and authorities who have to invest in athletes as
well as in accommodations.
There could be an adjustment from the men/women ratio (from 153/35 to
130/58), by a reduction of the numbers in the Team Sprint (10 countries with 3
participants) and in the team pursuit (10 countries with 4 participants instead
of 5) For this last discipline a 5th rider could be accredit outside the
village and who could still participate in the training sessions (as a sparring
partner in judo). This rider could still enter the competition before it begins,
once the competition has started one had to work further with the same 4 riders.
This would also avoid some frustration and be a more honest system because the
riders who are exchanged now don’t get any medal. If during the competition one
rider falls out, the race must go through with 3.
Raising the medal ratio to 6/4 or 5/5 according the above mentioned table.
Another possibility is also an extension to 12 medals on the track. This 2
extra medals could come from the individual road time trial and this for the
• Time trial is a part of road cycling which the Olympic Games doesn’t need
• The riders in time trial who participate also all participate in the
road race, which in fact means that these riders can still participate at the
• Because of the selection system (time trial riders have to come out of the
road or track) this is a break on the quality of participation at the time
trial, which is in contradiction with the fact the “the best athletes” should
participate. Countries have to make choices: put in a time trial rider in the
road team of a letting a road rider participate at the time trial).
• Road cycling doesn’t need the Olympic Games to survive as a sport. On the
contrary, track cycling desperately needs it. Track cycling only survives thanks
to state support and on economic level it’s not self supporting. If one should
abolish these disciplines, this means that the authorities will not invest any
money anymore in these non Olympic disciplines, with all the imaginable
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