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by Mark Zalewski
February 16, 2017
In today’s CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Hermans wins Tour of Oman, stage 2; Valderde wins Ruta Del Sol opener; Gaviria wins first stage of Volta ao Algarve; Riders’ association protests disc brake usage without further safety measures; After a shining Tour performance, Pantano nurturing a big long-term goal; 2017 Paris-Roubaix to feature more cobbles than in 2016; No Cauberg finish for Amstel Gold Race in 2017; 2017 Women’s Tour to finish in London; Inga Thompson returning to cycling to advocate for the women’s peloton; Shane Perkins to race with Russia in bid for Tokyo 2020; Successful surgery for Chris Butler; Abu Dhabi Tour announces provisional start list; ‘One More Brew’ Garburn Winter Cyclocross.
Two-time world champion track cyclist Shane Perkins is in the process of gaining Russian citizenship in order to compete with the Russian federation on the track, in a bid to race the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The 30-year-old won a bronze medal for Australia in the men’s sprint at the London Olympics, but has not been a member of Cycling Australia’s high-performance programme since 2015 and was not selected for Rio.
“The Russian Cycling Federation has given me another opportunity to chase my dreams of Olympic representation in Tokyo 2020 which has special significance to me as my father [Darryl Perkins] raced the Olympics in Tokyo 1964,” said Perkins.
“I’ve spoken to Cycling Australia’s High Performance Program and staff and they have been supportive. I’m grateful to Cycling Australia for the support that they have given me throughout my career, and I’ll continue to be involved whilst I’m home in Brisbane, particular with the Junior Jets Program and it’s upcoming stars of the future.”
Perkins will be able to hold dual citizenship but will have to choose which federation he will compete for, and will only be able to compete in one national championships. He has said he will not defend his Australian Keirin title next month. He could make his debut for Russia at the 2017 Track World Championships in Hong Kong in April.
“Like any athlete, he is eligible and entitled to pursue options that will not just extend his cycling career, but give him the best options to compete at the highest level and support his family,” said Cycling Australia chief executive Nick Green. “Shane’s professionalism in his career and dedication to the sport has always been of the highest level. An Olympic bronze and dual world champion, Shane always wore the green and gold with the utmost respect and pride and this will no doubt continue no matter what country he represents.”