The Canadian Cycling Association, faced with rising costs, was forced to cut funding for national downhill mountain bike champions to attend the UCI World Championships. The decision was made in order to dedicate more funding to cross-country athletes because cross-country is an Olympic discipline.
In past years, the national champion in elite men, elite women, junior men and junior women categories received funding to attend the world championships. Several Whistler athletes have earned that funding over the years, including Brook Baker and Jeff Beatty in the junior categories, and Sylvie Allen in the womens elite group.
The new policy comes into effect for this year.
The CCA also made a similar decision regarding cyclocross, another non-Olympic discipline.
There are currently 23 quota spots for Canadian downhillers in the 2005 UCI World Championships seven men, seven women, seven junior men and two junior women. All will be self-funded this year.
While the athlete funding has been directed back to cross-country, the CCA will continue to support downhill through coaching and training camps, as well as through the Canada Cup series and national championships.
The national downhill championships take place June 19 at Mont Ste-Anne, Quebec, and the world championships at the end of August at Livigna, Italy.