European Cycling Union (UEC) President David Lappartient has claimed Glasgow is the “ideal setting” for all four Olympic cycling disciplines ahead of the first multi-sport European Championships in 2018.
The Frenchman made the statement after visiting the Scottish city for a first planning meeting with Glasgow officials, who are continuing their preparations to co-host the new event in two years time with Berlin.
Glasgow is scheduled to host cycling, aquatics, gymnastics, rowing, triathlon and a team golf event at the inaugural edition, while Berlin will be home to athletics.
Around 650 of Europe’s top cyclists are due to compete at the Championships, with road events set to take place on Glasgow's streets, while mountain biking will take place at the Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails.
The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome will reprise its role from the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and host track cycling.
An Olympic standard BMX track will also be built in the Knightswood area of the city, as part of Glasgow City Council’s strategic plan for cycling which is aimed at increasing participation and providing the facilities to develop new elite talent.
Lappartient praised the venues and expressed his support of plans to have a mini skills track for children and young people at the new BMX facility, which will be part of the bid to attract new young riders to the sport.
“On behalf of the UEC Management Board, we would firstly like to sincerely thank the City of Glasgow authorities for their warm welcome during our recent visit to Scotland,” he said.
“Glasgow will undoubtedly be the ideal setting for the four Olympic cycling disciplines, mountain biking, road, track and BMX, which are on the sports programme of the first multi-sport European Championships.
“We were impressed with the Chris Hoy Velodrome which has a very fast wooden track, according to internationally renowned riders.
“As for BMX, we would like to highlight the extraordinary work done to create a brand new track that will also include a training track, which is essential to attract young girls and boys from the age of five to this discipline.”
It is expected that around 3,025 athletes will travel to Scotland as part of a total delegation of around 8,500 across the sports.
This number includes officials and media, while a further 1,500 athletics stars will be present in the German capital.
One of the key aims of the Championships is to help the European Federations involved grow their audience and develop further sponsorship opportunities, having gained the key exposure of the European Broadcasting Union and their free to air broadcast partners.
It is claimed that around 850 million television viewers across the continent will watch the first edition of the Championships, with an even wider audience being able to access coverage on multiple digital platforms.
Colin Hartley, Glasgow 2018 Championships director, believes the multi-sport event will provide huge opportunities for both the city and cycling to be showcased to a major audience.
“Staging these four disciplines at the same time in Glasgow in 2018 will not only be a spectacular opportunity for spectators to watch some of the world’s top names competing on the roads, track, mountain bike trails and BMX track, but will also showcase a sport that is integral to the city’s plans to increase participation across all types of cycling,” he said.
“It is an honour to have the confidence of the sport’s European governing body that we can innovate to deliver these four events at the same time which we commit to doing so with excellence and flair.
“Staging the road race on the streets of our city centre will also be a fantastic chance to showcase our best landmarks to a huge TV audience across our core tourist markets in Europe.”