New Zealand BikeNZ high performance director Mark Elliott responded today to the recent decision by the IOC that cut the blue ribbon events from the Olympic games track program . Three of the nation's five Olympic track medals have come from the individual pursuit, and in Alison Shanks the nation also has the reigning International Cycling Union (UCI) World Champion.
"It's disappointing from the viewpoint of endurance track that the blue ribbon event of individual pursuit has gone along with the points race and Madison," said Elliott. "That said the even gender split is commendable and BikeNZ is well placed in regards to the women's team pursuit with our team picking up the silver medal at the world championships this year. Our power to podium programme has identified a group of talented women and we have been developing them for a year now.
"It's a disappointment for Alison Shanks as the reigning world champion, but let's remember that we still have the world championships in all of these disciplines every year," he said. "And for us to have a successful teams pursuit programme we must have world class individual pursuit riders. The focus for us now will be to have balance across world championship outcomes and our Olympic outcomes."