Australia’s top ranked female rider, Chloe Hosking, said she plans to appeal the decision by Cycling Australia not to select her as a part of the team for the UCI Road World Championships in Bergen later this month.
In a controversial decision, Australian team selectors didn’t just omit Hosking, who is ranked eighth in the world, but also left two places on the team unfilled. This means despite Australia having earned the right to send seven riders to the Worlds road race, as the third-ranked nation in the world, the plan is only to send five.
“As Australia’s top ranked rider and the most winning rider we have had in a while, I kind of feel like it’s my responsibility to not just let this decision stand. I know the history of appeals; they are very rarely successful. But $250 seems like a small price to pay to let Cycling Australia know my thoughts,” Hosking told Ella CyclingTips.
The decision not to field a full team drew disappointment not just from those riders left off the roster, but those selected as well. Cycling Australia High Performance director Simon Jones said in an interview with Ella CyclingTips that it was a decision based on the team’s prospects for a result.
“The women they’ve done well this year, but from what I can see looking at the events in the single road races or the big races, we don’t have a clear athlete that we can back 100% with a full team,” said Jones. “And on that basis – and on the only basis that I think which is performance first – we felt that was best.”
You can read more from the interview with Jones here.
In an email to Ellla CyclingTips, Hosking expressed that her frustration with the selection goes far beyond a personal level.
“Am I insulted that I’m not considered ‘high enough’ quality to make the team? Absolutely. But this is bigger than my personal ego,” she said. “This isn’t a precedent we want to be set going forward and to say nothing would be to make it seem like we think it’s okay. What message does this send to young girls coming through the sport? I certainly don’t think it sends the message that Simon Jones thinks it does. I’m disappointed that the women selected have been advised not to say anything. As the elite of Australian women’s cycling it is their voices we need to speak up but since they can’t, or won’t, I will.
“Australian sport has made huge steps forward in supporting, encouraging and growing women’s sport in the past three years. Look at the women’s AFL and the recently sold out stadium that the Matildas played in. Cycling Australia not choosing to send a full team is not in line with the Sports Commission’s own stated goals.
I feel like I have been made an example of to, in Simon’s own words, ‘raise the standard’ of women’s cycling in Australia. Do I agree with it? No. Do I respect it? No. Do I need to live with it? Yes.”