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Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins criticizes Olympic cycling rules

07/27/2012 01:14 EDT | Updated 09/26/2012 05:12 EDT
LONDON - Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins is unhappy with the International Cycling Union rule that will allow track specialist Mickael Bourgain to compete in the Olympic road race.

Bourgain has been selected to compete in Saturday's race after French officials realized that, according to UCI rules, he had to represent his country in another competition at the Games to be entered in the keirin.

With no more spots available on the track, Bourgain was given a slot in the road race.

Wiggins, a former three-time Olympic track champion, said Bourgain's presence at the start is making "a mockery of our event and our profession."

He said track cyclists' inexperience in big road races could even make them dangerous for other rider.

"I wouldn't dare go up in a sprint against those guys," Wiggins said.

Wiggins turned his focus from track to road racing after the 2008 Olympics when the UCI decided to scratch his favourite event, the individual pursuit, from the Olympic program.

Wiggins also criticized the UCI rule limiting each country to one rider per sprint event at the Olympics. Because of that rule, Olympic champion Chris Hoy won't get the chance to defend his sprint title in London after the British team decided to select Jason Kenny for this event.

"That's the Olympics, isn't it?" Wiggins said. "That's, I guess, the ridiculousness of the rules of the Olympics, with the numbers in the events. We've got some of the best sprinters in the world and we can only have one spot, and the defending champion who can't ride."

Britain won 12 medals in track cycling at the 2008 Olympics, easily its most successful sport at that games.

Track cycling in London is scheduled for Aug. 2-7 in the velodrome at the Olympic Park.

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