May 3/07 10:45 am - Symmetrics Cycling Withdraws All Riders from Pan Am Championships
Posted by Editor on 05/3/07
Symmetrics Cycling Withdraws All Riders from Pan Am Championships
Courtesy Symmetrics Cycling
The Symmetrics Pro Cycling team is officially withdrawing all riders from the Canadian national team heading to Venezuela for the Pan Am Road Championships.
Over the last 6 months Symmetrics Pro Cycling has been in contact with the Canadian Cycling Association (CCA) numerous times to inform them that our team would not schedule a race program that would conflict with this event. As an all-Canadian team that is focused on advancing Canada's UCI ranking, we felt an obligation to make our roster available for selection. In return, we expected the selection would be transparent, fair, and based on performance and merit. In our opinion, this would allow Canada to send the strongest team with the best chance of success. We also informed the CCA that if necessary, we would assist in the cost of sending our athletes as the CCA indicated it could not afford to send a full 10 man squad to this critical event. We planned our spring race schedule to ensure our athletes would be in peak form and had enough UCI racing to demonstrate their worthiness for selection.
Over the last 2 weeks, various riders announced they were selected to the Canadian National team, despite the fact that to our knowledge, the team had yet to be chosen. On Monday, April 30, we were advised by the CCA of the selection. Unfortunately, it now appears the selection process was neither transparent nor fair and we are therefore unwilling to participate.
By withdrawing our squad, Svein Tuft, one of the best riders in North America, a rider who has just won the 14-day Vuelta a Cuba, the Redlands Prologue, and more recently, the US Open Cycling Championships, will regrettably not be able to assist Canada in its quest for medals at the Pan Am Games. It also means that riders who have equally impressive results these past few weeks---Andrew Randell, Eric Wohlberg, Christian Meier, Cam Evans, and Andrew Pinfold - will not be attending.
Symmetrics has earned 85% of Canada's 2007 UCI points and over the last 2.5 years we have contributed over 700 points to Canada's standing. We are dedicated supporter of cycling in Canada and we are advocating for a fair and transparent selection process.
The decision to withdraw was extremely difficult for our organization as Canada will lose an excellent opportunity to acquire even more UCI points. However, we feel it is important to make this statement before more critical events like the 2007 World Championships and the 2008 Olympics are upon us. If our nation is able to maintain a top two ranking in the UCI Americas Tour Canada will receive an unprecedented six spots at the 2007 Road Worlds, which is the stepping stone to the 2008 Olympics.
Canada must send its very best riders to all international events and therefore, it is critical that the Canadian Cycling Association creates a more transparent and fair selection process for all future events.