Great Britain look set to head to the BMX World Championships in Medellin, Colombia without the national champion. A petition asking British Cycling to reverse its decision to omit Tre Whyte has so far attracted over 2,700 signatures.
Last month Whyte was told he would not be joining Liam Phillips and Kyle Evans for the World Championships from May 25-29 despite the fact Great Britain has four more spots available.
He was also told that he could not self-fund his attendance – an additional blow as this is precisely how he came to compete at the same event in 2014, when he finished third in Rotterdam ahead of the two British riders selected by British Cycling.
The petition was started by Whyte’s mother, Tracey Hill, who writes:
“Tre left his family and friends and moved to Manchester to dedicate his life to this sport. Today Tre received an email informing him he had not been selected and would not be going to the world championships in Columbia, this means he cannot participate at Rio 2016.
“Please help me by signing this petition and get British cycling to override the decision and take my son to the Olympics.”
The GB Cycling Programme operates a formal appeals procedure for challenging selection decisions. However, the first line of the selection criteria states that selections are made “on a discretionary basis” by the panel.
The following factors are listed as considerations.
- Race performances in comparable UCI & national BMX SX competitions in the period 1st January 2016 to 10th April 2016. The selection panel will take account of age and experience of riders, as well as quality of the field, nature of the course, consistency of results and the format of the BMX competition;
- Training performances in the period 1st January 2016 to 10th April 2016;
- UCI World Rider Ranking;
- UEC European Ranking; and
- Any other points that the selection panel deems necessary.
Whyte is currently 70th in the UCI World Rider Rankings – Great Britain’s third-ranked rider.
British Cycling has been approached for comment.
A couple of weeks ago, in the wake of Shane Sutton’s resignation, Whyte told The Guardian that senior management had created a bad atmosphere at British Cycling and said he didn’t feel like he had their support.
“I feel, walking into the building, I don’t feel that proud to pull on the GB jersey any more. When I walk into the building I don’t feel that supported by senior management. My coaches around me are really supportive and they know I want to train and get faster and are doing as much as I need – the nutritionist and the doctors and the gym coaches and physiotherapist. But not when it comes to senior management, whose vote actually counts and whose support I need the most.”