The World Track Championships just finished up in Manchester, England and the host country totally dominated the meeting with ten gold medals. After getting robbed of a stage win in the Amgen Tour of California it was great to see Mark Cavendish (and his partner Bradley Wiggins) on the top spot of the podium in the Madison event. Even America hauled in a bit of hardware with Jennie Reed winning a thoroughly exciting Kierin final and Sarah Hammer taking silver in the women's pursuit. Teenage phenom Taylor Phinney set a world record in the 3000m pursuit, he has an outside chance to medal at the upcoming Beijing(hack, hack) Olympics.
But, that's not the subject of my blog. It seems like the UCI just can't do anything right these days and it also includes picking the events for the Women on the track. The men ride a 1 kilometer time trial which takes the best about a minute for the 0.62 of a mile distance. The UCI, for some reason unknown to just about everyone, have the women ride a 500 meter time trial. Does the UCI think that women can't ride 1 kilometer? If so, then why do they have a 3000m pursuit for the women. To make matters even worse, the men ride a 4000m pursuit. In Anglo-speak that's 2.5 miles. Does the UCI think that women can't ride 2.5 miles on a bike? Why then do they have a Women's Scratch Race that is 10 kilometers (6 miles) long?
But, the biggest joke is the team sprint an event where, in the men's division, three riders compete. This first rider leads the first lap then drops out. The second rider completes the second lap on the front then drops out leaving the third rider to ride the final lap. The whole event takes about 50 seconds total for the three laps. Someone please tell me why the women do the same event but with only two riders? Is there some genetic difference that keeps women from competing for 15-20 seconds more by doing a third lap with a third rider?
In track and field(that's 'Athletics' for those of you from Europe) then men and women run the exact same distances as the men from the 100 meter sprint to the 42km (26.2 mile) marathon. If women can run for over two hours, why can't they race for 15-20 seconds more on the track in a bicycle race? It boggles the mind. Personally, I think the women bike racers should petition the UCI for equality. If they want to be respected and get the same honor and glory, they should be riding the same distances. I just can't wait to see what the UCI screws up next.