Deep disappointment and frustration with this situation caused by the UCI, riders stand up to the latest changes
Representatives of the XCO riders have released a harsh statement to show their dissatisfaction with the UCI's controversial decision on the grid position of Van der Poel, Pidcock and Sagan. The text accuses the organization of changing the rules and they claim to be deeply "frustrated and disappointed".
Riders hit back at UCI: controversy grows with accusations of favoritism
Cyclists have shown their discontent with the UCI over the decision to apply an XCO World Cup rule to the XCO World Championships, which will be held tomorrow at 15:30 (11:30 for the women's race). The change of script of the organization benefits such media names as Van der Poel, Pidcock and Sagan. A decision that increases their medal chances, especially for the first two, favorites in any race they participate in.
Through the representatives of the riders, Rebecca McConnell and Maxime Marotte, the participants claim that a decision of this magnitude cannot be taken just a few hours before the start of the race and accuse of changing the rules. In addition, they point out that it could have consequences for the start of the Olympic Games.
The statement ends with the strong affirmation "we express our deep disappointment and frustration with this situation caused by the UCI," which shows the clear rejection of the riders to this last minute decision.
The statement, signed by Schurter, Neff, Sarrou, Lecomte, Fini, Cink, Keller, Fluckiger and many others, is reproduced below.
It's great to have big names from different disciplines in our sport and we can't wait to race against them. But we are really not happy how the UCI is treating our discipline by changing rules regarding start position one day before the race.
The point at this time is not whether or not the rule being applied is fair, unfair or suitable -this is a topic for another day. The concern is the way and timing that UCI has applied and enforced this rule. And the consequences that follow for individual riders and teams with Olympic games quota positions likely to be impacted. At this moment it's not only about contesting the World Championships, but the Olympic start positions that are being fought for along side.
It is evident that UCI has contradicted itself in the application of the rule. Hours out from the start of the World Championships is not time to selectively look for rules and we express our deep disappointment and frustration with this situation caused by the UCI."