Posted by Editor on 05/15/07
Wrubleski Loses Appeal to Attend Giro D'Italia Feminile
National Road and Time Trial Champion Alex Wrubleski (Colavita-Sutter Home) has been denied the opportunity to race with her professional squad at the Giro D'Italia Feminile, due to a date conflict with the National Road Championships.
Canadian Cycling Association (CCA) criteria require athletes to attend the Nationals in order to be selected for projects such as the World Championships, however, exemptions are allowed under certain circumstances.
According to Wrubleski's coach, Paul Kelly: "While National Championships are important, the Giro Feminile may be the biggest women's race in the world. Can you imagine 25 years ago, if the CCA told Steve Bauer that he cannot miss nationals to compete in the Tour, or he would not be allowed to compete for Canada at the Olympics or World Championships?
Maybe it's time, once again, to look at the big picture."
Kris Westwood, Director of High Performance Programs at the CCA, agreed "It is always something we struggle with every year: the athletes' professional team commitments versus their national team commitments. The carding criteria and national team team criteria clearly state that athletes must attend the national championships, and we are just upholding those criteria. There is a process to apply for an exemption, and Alex's team did, but the High Performance Committee (HPC) declined the application."
So how would a similar appeal be handled for Michael Barry, should he be selected to the T-Mobile team for the Tour de France?
Westwood: "We have to deal with each situation on a case by case basis. Michael has not applied for an exemption, and we will deal with it when/if it happens. However, there are different considerations at play. Alex is in our Olympic qualifications pool, and Michael is not. Michael is a member of a ProTour team, and we will never qualify for Olympics through the ProTour, so if he raced (at Nationals), he could actually take points away (from someone in the men's pool)."
"It is true that there are more (UCI) points available at the Giro (then at Nationals), but we have to uphold the value of the Championships. Alex has a lot of talent, but she has not yet proven herself on the international stage. There are others that have - like Anne Samplonius (Team expresscopy.com) who will still attend the Nationals."
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