BBC Sport cycling


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 15:21 GMT, Monday, 19 July 2010 16:21 UK

2010 Commonwealth Games: Pendleton pulls out of event

Keirin finish

Pendleton wins World Track Championships silver in the women's keirin

Olympic champion Victoria Pendleton has told BBC Sport she will miss the Commonwealth Games in Delhi to focus on November's European Championships.

The 29-year-old's decision mirrors Sir Chris Hoy, who pulled out of the 2010 Games on Friday because of the clash.

The European event will count as a qualifier for the 2012 Olympics and Beijing sprint gold medallist Pendleton said London remains her main focus.

"It's a no-brainer, points for Olympics qualification are on offer," she added.

"Unfortunately you are not going to jeopardise going to the London Olympics, so we have to go to the Europeans.

"It's really unfortunate we can't do both competitions and support the Commonwealth Games."

We have been put in a situation where the European Championships clash and we can't ignore an opportunity to gain points for the Olympics

Victoria Pendleton

And British cycling chief Dave Brailsford believes other cyclists will continue to prioritise those events offering qualification points for the Olympic Games.

"Those who have clear Olympic ambitions have to prioritise: is it the Commonwealth Games or is it Olympic points and those who want to compete in the home Games in London will 100% go for the Olympic points," he told BBC 5 Live.

"Their thinking is that they would like to get as many points on the board as early as possible. They don't want to end up running into the 2012 Games looking at preparation periods being compromised by having to chase points to qualify.

"It's a very tough decision but ultimately they have gone for the Olympic qualification points considering that is what their careers are based around."

The first senior European Championships - an event formerly restricted to riders under the age of 23 - takes place from 5-7 November.

Pendleton disappointed to miss Commonwealths

However, the competition has suddenly become more significant for Britain's top riders because of the changes agreed by the International Cycling Union (UCI), with results counting towards qualification for London 2012.

The quest for an Olympic place began after March's World Championships in Copenhagen and will run until the Track World Championships in Melbourne in 2012.

Four-time Olympic champion Hoy said the Olympics must "take precedence over everything" following Friday's decision to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games.

And Pendleton, the defending sprint champion having won gold at Melbourne in 2006, said she had little choice but to miss the Delhi Games.

"The Commonwealths have been a really important competition in the schedule just one below the Olympics," stated Pendleton.

"But if you can't qualify for the Olympics, then it puts us in an awful situation.

Sgyrsiau Sbwriel

"I'm really disappointed that I can't support India in their Games as it's somewhere I really want to visit.

"But we have been put in a situation where the European Championships clash and we can't ignore an opportunity to gain points for the Olympics."

A venue for the European championships has yet to be confirmed but the competition will limit the number of riders to one from each country per event, along with the number of European teams allowed to race in the team sprint.

Pendleton compared the changes - which will be in place for London 2012 - with Jamaica choosing between sprinters Usain Bolt and Asafa Powell for their athletics team.

Print Sponsor

see also
Hoy rules out Commonwealth Games
16 Jul 10 |  Cycling
Thomas pulls out of Delhi Games
24 Sep 10 |  Commonwealth Games
Pendleton fear for Commonwealths
17 Jun 10 |  Cycling
Ennis to miss Commonwealth Games
01 Feb 10 |  Athletics
England calm Delhi Games concerns
30 Dec 09 |  Sport Homepage

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.