Canadian Cyclist


May 21/08 5:50 am - Manitoba Responds to Junior Women XC Controversy at Canada Cup XC #1

Posted by Editoress on 05/21/08

Manitoba Responds to Junior Women XC Controversy at Canada Cup XC #1

At the first round of the Canada Cup cross-country series in Bromont, Quebec last Saturday, there was an unfortunate incident which marred the finish of the junior women's race. Bianca Adolf from B.C., who was in the lead at the time, mistakenly headed out for an extra lap rather than crossing the finish line. This meant that Leah Kirchmann of Manitoba took the victory. B.C. asked to have Adolf declared the winner, but Manitoba correctly pointed out that under the rules of racing, the B.C. rider did not cross the finish line.

There has been some discussion as to whether it would have been more "sporting" to give the B.C. rider the win, and the Manitoba team manager has sent the following clarification on the situation:

We would like the facts of the matter reported as this is only fair to all the parties involved.

Manitoba did not protest the results of the race, as they were accurate. Leah Kirchmann was the first Junior Woman to cross the finish line and the rest of the results for the remaining athletes were accurate as presented by the Race Officials in both the preliminary and Official Results. It was the BC Coach who was requesting a change in the results of the race to accommodate a mistake made by his athlete Bianca Adolf.

All of the Junior women were instructed at the start line by the start Commissaire that they would be doing 4 laps. The girls were excited about the reduction from 5 laps to 4 and discussed this amongst themselves in English. The Start Commissaire confirmed this to the Chief Commissaire.

The only rider who went out for an extra lap was Bianca Adolf. All other riders crossed the finish after their fourth lap.

Our Manitoba athletes are well prepared to compete in all aspects of the sport of cycling and are taught to be attentive to the instructions given by the Start Commissaries. Our Manitoba Coach was present at the start of the race to assist the Junior Women and ensure that they understood all of the instructions being given. This has proven to be key to a good start and riders who are ready to race.

It is clearly stated in the rules that it is the Rider's responsibility to know and count the number of laps during the race. Preparing the athletes for this aspect of the race is just as important as preparing them for the other components of a mountain bike race such as cardio, technical riding, hill climbs, descents, feeding, rules, pacing, and more.

It is not the rider's, nor the coach's responsibility to "approve" a change to the race results as was requested of us by the BC Coach. The rules of competition are the same for all and are in place to allow for fair and equal competition. The Commissaries make the final decision based on the rules. We do not do any of our athletes any service by changing the rules to accommodate an athlete who has made an error.

As we prepare our athletes to compete at the National and International Level, those who are best prepared in all aspects of the race requirements will consistently perform according to the rules and demands of the sport for which they are competing, and thus be in the best position to represent our Province and Country.


Ruth Schappert
Manitoba Cycling Association


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