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Delhi 2010 will be a great spectacle: Sir Chris Hoy

NEW DELHI: Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi will not be devalued by the absence of some of big-name stars, four-time Olympic champion cyclist Sir Chris Hoy has said. He has been forced to pull out of the event in Delhi in October due to a scheduling clash with the European Championships, which offers Olympic qualification points ahead of London 2012.

Fellow cyclist Victoria Pendleton, gymnast Beth Tweddle and heptathlete Jessica Ennis will also be not taking part but Hoy is confident Delhi 2010 will still be a great spectacle, sportinglife.com has reported.

Asked if he thought withdrawals had devalued the event, Hoy said: “I don't think it does – the Commonwealth Games is bigger than a few athletes here and there and it is an historic and great event. It is unfortunate that this time around there will be a few of the British cycling team not there and a few of the other athletes not there too. But it will still be a fantastic Games and I'm sure it will be one to remember.

“It is no reflection on the Games themselves that a lot of the athletes aren't riding - it is because of the clash with the European Championships. The international cycling governing body has announced the dates very late for the European Championships, so it left us in a position where we couldn't really make that call – it was made for us.”

Hoy admits he is frustrated by the whole situation and still does not know the venue where the upgraded European Championships – due to start in November – will be held. “It is a bit frustrating because all of the decisions that have been made have not been passed by the athletes,” the Scot said.

“There has been no consultation process, so decisions are made and just dropped out of the blue. You try to let your voice be heard, but we have just got to get on with the job in hand. I don't even think we know the venue. I don't know if it has been finalised yet, but it just gives you an indication of how things are being organised and planned,” he said.

“It just doesn't seem to be particularly well thought-out in my opinion, and it is quite frustrating when you are still at this late stage and you don't have definite answers in terms of where you are going and when.”

Ross Edgar, who won gold for Scotland in the team sprint alongside Hoy in the 2006 event and has no doubts that it remains an important competition. “A lot of people have played it down this year and there have been some criticisms, but at the end of the day it is a massive event and I am really looking forward to riding in it,” Edgar said.