Sports Minister confident London bid for 2016 World Track Cycling Championships will succeed
Monday, 23 July 2012
July 23 - Hugh Robertson, the Minister for Sport and the Olympics, is confident that a British bid for the International Cycling Union (UCI) 2016 Track Cycling World Championships at the brand new Velodrome in the Olympic Park will be successful.
It was exclusively revealed by insidethegames in May that British Cycling were looking to bid and it has now been officially confirmed by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who made the announcement to coincide with the victory of Londoner Bradley Wiggins in the Tour de France.
"I want our great capital city to play its own part in the cycling revolution that is taking place by hosting the Track Cycling World Championships in 2016," said Johnson.
Robertson claimed that hosting the competition at the Velodrome (pictured top) is now a big priority for him and he admitted being confident in securing the event after a complete change in strategy in bidding for major events following the disastrous failure of England's bid for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where they were left humiliated by receiving just two votes.
"One of the things that I vowed to myself after the 2018 football bid was I was going to make sure we overhauled the bidding system for major events," Robertson said at a press conference here.
"Since that time, we have successfully bid for the World Gymnastics Championships, the World Athletics Championships, European Eventing Championships and the European Hockey Championships and secured all of them.
"So I think we learned a lot about how you deploy ministers and all the rest of it in sporting events.
"We have been working on this one [the 2016 Track Cycling World Championships] for some while at Sport Accord [in May in Quebec] and other events.
"We are not the only people who want this.
"Our bid will have to stand up on the merits of the case."
Robertson added that the bid is boosted by Britain's current success in the sport of cycling which is epitomised by Wiggins becoming the first British rider in history to win the Tour de France yesterday.
"We will have an extremely strong bid, not only in terms of the strength of cycling in this country, and I think the UCI know this is a country in which cycling is very much on the up," he said.
"You've got all the key ingredients, fantastic performers at the top level, now world beating facilities and that's not just a bit of ministerial puff.
"You have Chris Hoy saying that it's the best track anywhere in the world and then legions of middle-aged lycra wearers bombing around the Chilterns on a Sunday to give it a community side.
"So I think it has all the basis of a really strong bid and I will give it my strongest personal push and see where we get."
May 2012: Exclusive - London on track to bid for 2016 World Cycling Championships at Olympic Park Velodrome