International Cycling Union (UCI) President Brian Cookson has promised to increase the visibility of track cycling and give riders more opportunities after they warned that it faces being dropped from the Paralympics.
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) added the sport to the programme for Tokyo 2020 after its future had been in doubt following an administrative error by the UCI meant that it had missed the deadline for applying and not been included among the first 16 sports confirmed for the Games in the Japanese capital last October.
Cookson admitted that they had "dropped the ball" and pledged to fulfill the promise he had made in his 2013 election manifesto of making growth and development of cycling in the Paralympics as one of the "six pillars" of the sport.
That promise is set to be fully tested after Sir Philip Craven, President of the IPC, warned that there had been "serious reservations regarding the sustainability of the track cycling discipline", even though it was included for Tokyo 2020, unlike sailing which was dropped completely because of its lack of universality.
A total of 14 countries won medals in the 17 events that made up the track programme at London 2012 but the UCI has assured the IPC that they will make strides to develop the sport further around the world.
"Para-cycling's success at London 2012 shows the reach and popularity of our sport at the Paralympic Games, and we look forward to working with the IPC to continue the growth of Para-cycling in the years ahead," Cookson said.
"The UCI will continue to work to increase the number of high performance Para-cycling athletes and top tier events where they can compete.
"The UCI is committed to make a major contribution to the success of the 2020 Paralympic Games and beyond - this is an exciting time for Para-cycling."
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