Deliberations over some Tokyo 2020 cycling venues are set to drag on until at least September, as a mutually acceptable venue plan covering the track, BMX and mountain bike disciplines continues to prove difficult to pin down.
insidethegames understands that a recent visit to the International Cycling Union (UCI)’s Swiss headquarters by members of the Tokyo 2020 sports department, though productive, failed to achieve agreement.
The deadline for a solution - originally set for this week’s International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board meeting in Malaysia - has accordingly been extended.
The earliest at which a new blueprint is likely to emerge is now said to be a UCI meeting in late September.
The UCI is staging a last-ditch battle to avoid being dispatched to Izu, a location where there is already a velodrome, but which is 130 kilometres away from central Tokyo.
This venue would require something like $50 million (£33 million/€45 million) of work to get it ready for the Games, mainly adding spectator capacity.
But an IOC source has intimated that the cost would be paid by the keirin community.
The UCI contends it is simply too far away, has too small a capacity and would offer an unsatisfactory spectator experience if capacity were increased to an acceptable level.
"We have had a detailed review of proposals to change and will hopefully be in a decision to make a decision in the next few weeks," UCI President Brian Cookson told insidethegames here today.
The main alternatives to the velodrome at Izu are understood to be Hachioji City, close to the location of some Tokyo 1964 cycling events, around 50km west of central Tokyo, or for a temporary track or velodrome to be erected at an existing sporting facility, or even a car-park, as close as feasible to the Olympic Village.
As for BMX and mountain bike, the UCI would like to stick with proposals outlined in Tokyo 2020’s original bid book - that is to say Ariake North in central Tokyo for BMX and Sea Forest South in Tokyo Bay for mountain bike.
Alternatives for BMX could include Dream Island or the Makuhari Messe convention centre east of Tokyo that is now hosting fencing, taekwondo and wrestling.
Cycling is the last sport other than football and whatever new sports find their way onto the Olympic programme whose Tokyo 2020 venues remain under review following changes to the original blueprint that have produced savings of $1.7 billion (£1.1 billion/€1.5 billion) by making greater use of pre-existing and further-flung facilities.
The original Tokyo 2020 plan called for use of a temporary velodrome.
June 2015: Exclusive: Cycling venues still not agreed as revised Tokyo 2020 blueprint nears completion
April 2015: Exclusive: Moving events out of Tokyo could ruin Olympic experience for cyclists, fears Cookson
January 2015: Exclusive: UCI heads to Tokyo for talks on cycling venues