Cookson hopes for calendar clarity

Hampshire Chronicle: Brian Cookson is hoping for more clarity Brian Cookson is hoping for more clarity

UCI president Brian Cookson has insisted the uncertainty surrounding the 2015 Track Cycling World Championships will be resolved soon.

The calendar for the 2014/15 Track World Cup series is still to be revealed and the venue for next year's World Championships is unknown. London's Olympic Velodrome will host the 2016 event.

It is understood a return to Melbourne, the World Championships hosts in 2012, is possible, depending on receiving the financial support of the state of Victoria, and Aguascalientes is another potential host.

The Mexican velodrome, which is at altitude, hosted last December's Track World Cup meeting which saw a host of world records smashed.

Cookson told Press Association Sport: "We have a number of proposals now on the table and we'll be making a decision very shortly about that.

"It's not ideal, but it's a real-world problem. The real-world problem was that there weren't any bidders coming forward.

"The ones that were interested originally had withdrawn, so we are now proactively looking and talking to people and I'm optimistic that we'll get a solution in time so everyone will be able to book their flights."

The concern is not about the World Championships themselves, but the lead-up to them, as the World Cup series carries qualification points for the event, and the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics themselves.

Riders must also qualify for World Cups through lower-profile meets throughout the summer.

Meetings in the next two months will determine the full calendar, but federations have expressed a desire for the 2014/15 season schedule to be known in full by May at the latest.

Cookson hopes to ensure the uncertainty does not happen again.

"We are going to look at the process by which we have been inviting tenders and bids for World Cups and World Championships, particularly on the track, where we seem to have had a problem of getting sufficient people interested," he added.

"That's clearly something we've got to address. The track commission and myself and the senior staff at the UCI are going to be reviewing that and trying to make some changes."

The Track World Championships which concluded in Cali on Sunday were a resounding success.

The Velodromo Alcides Nieto Patino has a roof suspended over the track, but no walls - meaning the elements have an impact - and there were concerns last Monday, when wind blew rain water on to the track.

Cookson is determined it remains a truly global event.

"There's a clue in the name - it's a World Championships, so there's got to be an opportunity of travelling from place to place," he said.

"It can't always be in the easiest places in Europe.

"What we've got to make sure is when it does travel around the world, it's in venues that are suitable, facilities are accessible and all the rest of it.

"I'm determined that that's what we'll do in the future."

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