Track rider told he was ineligible to compete at World Championships hours before flight

The Kiwi discovered he was unable to ride due to a technicality

Dylan Kennett at the Rio Olympics in 2016 (Photo: Yuzuru SUNADA)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

A Kiwi track rider was frustrated to learn he would not be eligible to compete in the World Championships, hours before he was due to leave for Poland.

Dylan Kennett was set to fly to Pruszków ahead of the Worlds, held from February 27 to March 3, when he was told he could not race.

The 24-year-old is unable to ride the Worlds as he had not raced any World Cup events this season.

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Kennett said on Facebook: “Frustrating to get the bad news this morning (one hour before I was going to leave to go to the airport to fly to Poland) that I am not eligible to race the 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Championships due to not competing at any World Cups this season.

“I’ve been pushing through a very painful knee injury I’ve had since November to gain selection so makes it more harsh missing out like this.”

Kennett added: “This is my first World Champs I’ve not ridden since being in the men’s team pursuit squad from 2014 onward.”

He added he thought that the rule was a new introduction, but it has been in the UCI regulations for a number of years.

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Governing body Cycling New Zealand applied to the UCI for dispensation for Kennett to ride, but the appeal was rejected.

Cycling New Zealand acting chief executive Jacques Landry told the New Zealand Herald newspaper (opens in new tab), Cycling New Zealand said: “We’ve done all we can to get Dylan included by the UCI has turned down the exemption request and their decision is final.

“Even through Dylan has been apprised of his status from the onset, as well as our measures to make him eligible for competition, it is still disheartening when a rider cannot be part of our squad.”

Kennet was part of the World Championship-winning team pursuit squad in 2015.

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.