Posted by Editoress on 07/26/13
Earlier in the season, we wrote about an International Olympic Committee (IOC) delegate visiting the Nove Mesto World Cup to report back on the potential for adding the Eliminator to the Olympic program at the Rio Games in 2016. A similar study was undertaken for BMX Freestyle. While the formal report will not be released until later in August, word has leaked out that neither event will be added to Rio, and that suggested changes to the Track program will also not be instituted. In other words, status quo for all cycling events from the London Games.
The obvious question is: where does this leave the Eliminator going forward, since it no longer has potential Olympic status to buoy it up? UCI staff held a meeting with XC teams today in Andorra, and put four options on the table for the teams to consider and provide feedback on:
1. Drop the Eliminator. It just disappears, leaving Cross-country and Downhill as the only World Cup disciplines.
2. Keep the Eliminator as it currently exists. Pretty straightforward, but doesn't get around the current problem that the top riders don't do it.
3. Make the Eliminator mandatory for the top 32 men and top 16 women. It would only be open to these top-ranked riders, and would effectively be a seeding process, since the finishing order would determine start position for the cross-country. This would provide a real incentive to race it seriously, since a top male rider could suddenly find themselves starting on the fourth row in the cross-country.
4. Scrape the Eliminator and run a Short Track instead.
One of these four options will be implemented for next season.
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