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Who deserves the US women's MTB spot?

  • Sue Haywood

    Votes: 28 63.6%
  • Mary McConneloug

    Votes: 16 36.4%
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the unvarnished nonsense
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Discussion Starter #1
Here's the Reader's Digest condensed version. Sue Haywood was awarded the solo female spot on the US MTB team for the Olympics by US Cycling. Their decision was based on awarding Sue the 15 UCI points she earned with a 3rd place finish in July of 2003. These 15 points were erroneously not awarded by the UCI originally due to a clerical error. US Cycling realized the error and correctly awarded the lone spot to the true winner.

Mary McConneloug, who finished just one point behind Sue, appealed the decision because the Olympic berth was to be awarded to the person with the most UCI points, regardless of whether or not the UCI count was correct. The arbiter hearing the case ruled in favor of Mary McConneloug. You got to love America, where coming in second place doesn't necessarily mean you don't get the blue ribbon. Just ask Al Gore.

It must feel really good to be going to the Olympics, even if you got there based upon a clerical error.

So, how about a poll? Who do you think should represent the US in women's MTB?
Sue or Mary?
 

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davis said:
Here's the Reader's Digest condensed version. Sue Haywood was awarded the solo female spot on the US MTB team for the Olympics by US Cycling. Their decision was based on awarding Sue the 15 UCI points she earned with a 3rd place finish in July of 2003. These 15 points were erroneously not awarded by the UCI originally due to a clerical error. US Cycling realized the error and correctly awarded the lone spot to the true winner.

Mary McConneloug, who finished just one point behind Sue, appealed the decision because the Olympic berth was to be awarded to the person with the most UCI points, regardless of whether or not the UCI count was correct. The arbiter hearing the case ruled in favor of Mary McConneloug. You got to love America, where coming in second place doesn't necessarily mean you don't get the blue ribbon. Just ask Al Gore.

It must feel really good to be going to the Olympics, even if you got there based upon a clerical error.

So, how about a poll? Who do you think should represent the US in women's MTB?
Sue or Mary?
Niether.......Allison Dunlap.

-TS
 

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Definitely Sue. She's one of the few "real" mountain bikers that are racers out there. I've had the pleasure of meeting her several times and she is the real deal. UCI can expect a letter from me. (Not that that'll scare 'em or anything.)

Mike
 

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davis said:
Here's the Reader's Digest condensed version. Sue Haywood was awarded the solo female spot on the US MTB team for the Olympics by US Cycling. Their decision was based on awarding Sue the 15 UCI points she earned with a 3rd place finish in July of 2003. These 15 points were erroneously not awarded by the UCI originally due to a clerical error. US Cycling realized the error and correctly awarded the lone spot to the true winner.

Mary McConneloug, who finished just one point behind Sue, appealed the decision because the Olympic berth was to be awarded to the person with the most UCI points, regardless of whether or not the UCI count was correct. The arbiter hearing the case ruled in favor of Mary McConneloug. You got to love America, where coming in second place doesn't necessarily mean you don't get the blue ribbon. Just ask Al Gore.

It must feel really good to be going to the Olympics, even if you got there based upon a clerical error.

So, how about a poll? Who do you think should represent the US in women's MTB?
Sue or Mary?
well, there are two sides to each story, and this is the side i heard:

from tim reynolds, AP sports writer:
Clouding the matter further was that those rankings reflected the year beginning July 14, 2003 -- one day after Haywood scored 120 points in an international race. Points figure into a racer's ranking for exactly one year, meaning on July 14, Haywood trailed McConneloug by 134 points in official rankings.

USA Cycling ultimately erred in adding the disputed 15 points, the American Arbitration Association ruled.
full link here: http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2004/07/20/sports1916EDT0467.DTL

i dunno, seems a bit screwy; not sure where i stand, although mary did win a silver at a UCI event this year, and i'd argue that a marathon race (which sue did much better on) probably isn't indicative of what the race will be like @ in greece. whatever, seems like both should go as giving the US one berth in the race sounds like it was screwed up too.
 

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the unvarnished nonsense
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<narlus> said:
whatever, seems like both should go as giving the US one berth in the race sounds like it was screwed up too.
LowCel and I were talking yesterday and that was the one point we both thought was odd. Two men, only one woman, and no law suits? If you tried something like this in the NCAA (I know, it's the Olympics, not American collegiate athletics) there would be lawsuits filed citing TitleIX faster than you can say "huh?".

I can only imagine how Sue must feel, to be told you're going to represent your country then having the rug pulled out from undeneath you. It's a shame they can't just send Mary AND Sue, but I'm guessing the IOC determines how many participants per event per country.
 

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Maybe I'm a litte biased..

because I live near Davis, but Sue really is getting screwed here. All along USAC has said that the Sandpoint points would count but now they won't stand behind their decision. The UCI didn't help anything by releasing their ranking on July 14 instead of July 12 like they were supposed to. I can't imagine how Sue feels right now. Its got to be terrible. One thing that kind of makes me mad is how USAC pulled the article where they named Sue to the Olympic team off their website. Covering their tracks I guess. Its not Sue's fault that the UCI and the race promoters can't keep things straight and she shouldn't be punished for it. Unfortnately there doesn't look like much can be done to get the spot back for Sue. I hope Mary does well in the Olympics and is very proud of her bookkeeping and legal victories.
 

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TheSherpa said:
Niether.......Allison Dunlap.

-TS
I second that... Damn injuries...
 

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Very sad situation...

It's neither of their fault, it's the system in place that is the problem. Hopefully, they follow through with their word and correct the situation, that is schedule more UCI events in North America. A whole lot of effort on both women's parts, sad that only one gets to go.

Good Luck Mary! Sorry Sue!
 

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Mary deserves it.

She knew the rules, tried to live by them, and US Cycling "changed the game" to her detriment. She stood up, asked them to play by their own rules and then went to a neutral third party that, fully informed by both sides of the dispute regarding everything either side had to say, decided the matter. She would have to live with either result.

USA only gets 3 cycling berths because of our finishes in past years. We don't do well in the Oly's, we get less cyclists in the field.
 

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davis said:
LowCel and I were talking yesterday and that was the one point we both thought was odd. Two men, only one woman, and no law suits? If you tried something like this in the NCAA (I know, it's the Olympics, not American collegiate athletics) there would be lawsuits filed citing TitleIX faster than you can say "huh?".

I can only imagine how Sue must feel, to be told you're going to represent your country then having the rug pulled out from undeneath you. It's a shame they can't just send Mary AND Sue, but I'm guessing the IOC determines how many participants per event per country.
The number of Olympic participants allowed per country for all cycling events is set by the UCI:

http://www.olympic.ca/EN/games/olympic/summer/athens/files/schedules/c/CY_Detail.pdf

(Scroll to page 11 for MTB)

The qualification is based on each country's position in the standings as of Dec 31, 2003. Therefore, Canada is allowed two (or three, can't quite recall) female and only one male for XC. The US gets two male and one female spot in the race.

They have to set up the qualification dates well in advance of the Olympics to allow for all the organization of getting teams, coaches, etc. to the competition. If the cutoff date were set to something just before the Olympics, it would be mayhem.

Too bad, eh? US women are doing well this year, and would actually qualify for three women if the cutoff was today. Dem's da breaks.

Kn.
 

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K'Endo said:
...Therefore, Canada is allowed two (or three, can't quite recall) female and only one male for XC.
For anyone wondering who Canada is sending:

"Joining Sydor on the start line for the women's mountain bike event will be the 2004 National Champion, Marie-Helene Premont, of Chateau-Richer, QC and Kiara Bisaro of Courtney, BC. For both it will be their first Olympic Games experience."

"In the men's mountain bike event, Canada will be represented by the silver medalist from the 2003 Mountain Bike World Championships, Ryder Hesjedal, from Victoria, BC and Seamus McGrath, from Millgrove, ON, winner of the silver medal at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. For both athletes, it will be their first experience at the Olympic Games."

From:

http://www.canadian-cycling.com/e2/news/04 july/19-Sydor Leads cyclists to the olympic games.htm
 

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Here is the point.

K'Endo said:
The number of Olympic participants allowed per country for all cycling events is set by the UCI:

http://www.olympic.ca/EN/games/olympic/summer/athens/files/schedules/c/CY_Detail.pdf

(Scroll to page 11 for MTB)

The qualification is based on each country's position in the standings as of Dec 31, 2003. Therefore, Canada is allowed two (or three, can't quite recall) female and only one male for XC. The US gets two male and one female spot in the race.

They have to set up the qualification dates well in advance of the Olympics to allow for all the organization of getting teams, coaches, etc. to the competition. If the cutoff date were set to something just before the Olympics, it would be mayhem.

Too bad, eh? US women are doing well this year, and would actually qualify for three women if the cutoff was today. Dem's da breaks.

Kn.
This is point that makes me so mad. In 2003 Sue and Mary did not chase any UCI points at all. Alison Dunlap brought in almost all of the US. UCI points up until her injury. If Sue or Mary did 25% of the races they did this year the US would have had 2 positions but they did not. Still they get rewarded by the effort that Dunlap did prior to her injury.

Dunlap is the best chance the US has at getting a medal. I just hope Mary enjoys the vaction she purchased to the olympics by spending more money then the others chasing races around the globe with no real competition to get an olympic spot.
 

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Not so sure about that. Sue, Mary, and everyone else following this has known for months that those Sandpoint short track points would be counted. She could have challenged them a long time ago but waited until the 11th hour to do so. Sue deserves the spot, she won the most points.

EBasil said:
Mary deserves it.

She knew the rules, tried to live by them, and US Cycling "changed the game" to her detriment.
 

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"Mary McConneloug won her appeal Tuesday to be nominated to the Olympic women's mountain biking team, overturning USA Cycling's selection of Sue Haywood and ending a bizarre process that will likely be remembered more for confusion than accomplishment.

The arbiter ruled that USA Cycling's decision to add 15 points to Haywood's international total -- a decision that pushed her one point ahead of McConneloug in a yearlong battle for the lone women's mountain start position allocated to the Americans for the Athens Games -- wasn't justified.

"We fully support the arbitrator's decision to nominate Mary and feel that she will be a competitive force and fine delegate of the U.S. Olympic team," USA Cycling CEO Gerard Bisceglia said in a statement.

McConneloug was in Europe and not immediately available for comment. The arbiter's ruling was confidential and not released.

"She's very excited," said Jennifer Miller, a spokeswoman for McConneloug's Seven Cycles team. "She's elated, very, very happy. She was going to have a bottle of champagne."

McConneloug's name will formally be added to the official Olympic roster on Wednesday. Haywood, however, said she will file an injunction and further contest the decision. The issue was between McConneloug and USA Cycling; Haywood said she never agreed that the arbiter's ruling would be binding.

"It's one thing to not make it. But to be named and get that taken away from you by a clerical error on USA Cycling's part is extremely frustrating," Haywood said. "I got the most points. I earned the most points. And I'm not going to the Olympics?"

The appeal was heard during a conference call Monday.

McConneloug, the No. 2-ranked women's rider in the world, filed the appeal because she believed USA Cycling, in nominating Haywood to the team, did not follow its own criteria -- which states the top-ranked American rider in the International Cycling Union's rankings will be chosen for the Olympics.

The UCI did not award Haywood with any points for a race held in Idaho on July 25, 2003. Official results suggest Haywood would have earned 15 international points with her third-place finish in that event, but USA Cycling officials said those results were never forwarded to the international body's offices.

When choosing which rider to nominate, USA Cycling included those 15 points in Haywood's total -- giving her 1,489 for the year ending July 12, or exactly one more point than McConneloug earned in that span.

"In the spirit of fairness, we decided to include these 15 points since they were omitted from the official international rankings at no fault of the athletes," Bisceglia said.

The arbiter's ruling capped a series of strange occurrences that marred the entire selection process.

USA Cycling planned to name its Olympic mountain bike roster July 13, two days after the final international qualifying event and one day after it presumed the UCI would update its world rankings.

But no new rankings were released until July 15, because of what the UCI identified only as technical problems.

Clouding the matter further was that those rankings reflected the year beginning July 14, 2003 -- one day after Haywood scored 120 points in an international race. Points figure into a racer's ranking for exactly one year, meaning on July 14, Haywood trailed McConneloug by 134 points in official rankings.

USA Cycling ultimately erred in adding the disputed 15 points, the American Arbitration Association ruled. "
- by Tim Reynolds



Mary has been busting her ass all year playing this retarted points game. She should go based on the "A" effort she has put out this year. USA Cycling should award the position(s) based on the year-to-date results since the fitness and results leading into the Olympics are far more important than last year's non-Olympic year racing results.
Either way USA Cycling should be b!tch slapped for allowing the racing series last year to falter such that the USA UCI standings would be harmed and allow the number of Olympic berth riders to drop by failing to meet international competition criteria.

But alas it is all immaterial I suppose, as I come from Canada where they have organizations who read (and comply to) the UCI rules. ;)
 

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Mary must have no pride...

I can't imagine that Mary wakes up in the morning and feels like she deserves her Olympic spot - what honor is there in winning your Olympic spot on a clerical error? I wish Sue could pursue the USAC and then the UCI legally to force them to correct their errors. The whole thing is a sad comedy of errors though - USAC is apparently full of bumbling clowns.



PS. I was also hoping that Jeremiah Bishop would have made the mens team since he is about the nicest guy in cycling next to Tyler Hamilton.
 

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Gus8 said:
I can't imagine that Mary wakes up in the morning and feels like she deserves her Olympic spot - what honor is there in winning your Olympic spot on a clerical error? I wish Sue could pursue the USAC and then the UCI legally to force them to correct their errors. The whole thing is a sad comedy of errors though - USAC is apparently full of bumbling clowns.



PS. I was also hoping that Jeremiah Bishop would have made the mens team since he is about the nicest guy in cycling next to Tyler Hamilton.
Let's not forget that Mary woke up one morning last year as national champion.
 
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