Jason Christie. Photo supplied.Ashburton-born cyclist Jason Christie has been given a lifeline ahead of next month’s Commonwealth Games.
Cycling New Zealand announced this week that Christie, who wasn’t initially named in the squad to head to the Gold Coast, had been called in as a replacement for Alex Frame and will compete at the Games.
It came off the back of a tumultuous couple of months, in which Christie appealed his non-selection with the New Zealand Sports Tribunal.
The Sports Tribunal earlier this month dismissed Christie’s appeal against the decision not to be selected by Cycling New Zealand, which chose five other riders ahead of him, including a substitute when one became unavailable.
Christie appealed on the grounds that CNZ’s nomination criteria had not been properly implemented or followed, that he was not afforded a reasonable opportunity to satisfy the applicable criteria and that there was no material on which the nomination decision could reasonably be based.
Based on results and his performance, he believed that he should have been selected ahead of five of the other riders.
Christie won the National road race championship in controversial fashion in early January, when he appeared to be showing a “middle-finger salute” to riders who finished just behind him in the sprint.
He later claimed the two fingers were to celebrate his second win of the title and no malice was intended, although he issued a statement, saying, “I want to publicly apologise for this image of myself that I’m deeply ashamed of.
“I know there is no excuse for this and I promise to do better next time.”
Christie, who is in Tasmania preparing for the Oceania Championships this weekend posted to his social media accounts yesterday, announcing the news to his followers.
“What can I say, never give up, don’t stop believing,” he said.
“Super excited to be heading to the Gold Coast to race the Commonwealth Games Road Race.”
Christie was back in his old stomping ground earlier this year and showed everyone his class with a comprehensive win in the Ride the Rakaia.
A non-professional cyclist, with no ties to a team or sponsor, Christie now races for Tasman.
By Matt Markham © The Ashburton Guardian - 23 March 2018