NILAI: National track cycling team will have to make do with only minor tweaks to their bikes as they will not be getting an all-new model for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.
National track cycling head coach John Beasley said as the final approval for the grant to develop the new bikes was delayed significantly, there is just not enough time for the bikes to be developed and qualify for the prestigious competition.
Beasley said all new bikes need to be registered with The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) by August, and used in the Glasgow World Championship on Aug 3-13, to qualify for the next year’s Olympics, so all the team could do now was to slightly improve on the current model.
“The (modified) bike will be roughly the same (as the current one). We are going to look at changing the shape slightly, smoothing the edges, and small structural things to see how we can make it stronger, lighter and more rigid as well as make it more aerodynamic.
“Yes, we are going to use the same mould (as the old bike), we have no choice because we do not have enough time. The budget (funding) only came in February,” he told reporters after meeting with Paris Olympics Chef de Mission Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin at the National Velodrome here, today.
Beasley was referring to the Vorteq WX-R bike which is currently being used by the national cycling team, developed over a period of three years between 2018-2020 at a cost of RM13 million.
The bike was used at the Tokyo Olympics, where Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang won the keirin silver, and has been credited with wins and podium finishes in many other races since then.
Commenting on the development, Mohd Azizulhasni said he had no qualms over the decision and agreed that it would be the best option for the team.
“I can say our (current) bike is (already) one of the best,” he added.-Bernama