2012 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships - Phil Dixon: “The show must go on”
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2012 UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships
Phil Dixon: “The show must go on”

Phil Dixon, British Cycling’s Team Manager at the UCI Cyclo-Cross World Championships has insisted the show must go on, despite sickness sweeping through the team and sidelining nearly half the squad.

Annie Last – eighth at last weeks World Cup – is the latest name to join Juniors Alex Welburn and Hugo Robinson, Under-23 Steve James and several backroom staff struck by severe sickness on Friday night and Saturday morning, compounding the losses felt by a team already missing elite riders Gabriella Day and Jody Crawforth before the competition started.

The sickness – which is yet to be attributed to food poisoning – swept through the team, and counted out key competitors, all of which were looking forward to riding in front of tens of thousands of cyclo-cross fans.

Despite this disappointment, Dixon is focussing on the day of encouraging results – including a top thirty ride by Kenta Gallagher – before regrouping for Sunday’s elite competition. Speaking to British Cycling, Dixon said “the show must go on.”

“We have put everything in place to minimise any risk of illness or food poisoning, but the risk – however small – will always remain. Fortunately, we have a great team around and this meant there was no disruption to those who could race today or tomorrow. The focus is now very much on returning the affected athletes to health, while also getting Ian Field, Paul Oldham, Nikki Harris and Helen Wyman to the start line in the best possible shape.

“These riders have the opportunity to make these World Championships memorable for all the right reasons and that’s what everyone is now aiming toward.”