Some of the latest cycling stars to sign include ex pro and Tour rider Tony Hoar, ITV commentator Paul Sherwen and Jamie Staff also signs the kilo petition. Both Chris Hoy and Jamie Staff entered track cycling via BMX. Hoy signed the petition when it started on Saturday night; Staff has been moving house in California but has signed now.
Speaking to BikeBiz.com who started the petition, he said:
“I was very, very shocked, The first thing I thought about was Chris [Hoy]. There are lots of track disciplines, why the kilo? We’ve been hearing rumours for months about which events the UCI would cut but everybody thought it would be the points race or something, not a sprint.
“The UCI’s decision knocked me for six.
“At least Chris [Hoy] will be the last kilo champion, but I feel for those riders who specialise in the kilo and won’t now be able to get an Olympic title.
“The kilo is a unique discipline, with a long history. I don’t know why the UCI came to that decision. I was shocked. Still am.
“Take a road discipline out. Lots of those guys don’t even bother turning up [to the Olympics]. It’s not the pinnacle of their career like it is for the track riders.”
Staff was also shocked when, in July 2003, BMX was admitted to the Olympics but he said the sport’s inclusion was richly deserved:
“Most people don’t realise how popular BMX racing is. There are just a few thousand registered track riders in the world but in the US alone there are 100 000 kids who race BMX.”
And BMX has incubated many top track riders, said Staff, with national cycle federations surprised at BMXer’s power output when tested:
“I remember British Cycling was blown away at my power output. At the time they thought BMX was just a bunch of kids riding in the dirt.
“You’ve got to realise that BMX racers are athletes. They train five to six times a week, many hours a day. They haven’t had the back up or support before. With the sport’s entry into the Olympics all that is changing.”
YOU CAN SIGN THE PETITION HERE: