The UEC have awarded four European Championships at their latest meeting ©UEC

The European Cycling Union (UEC) named the hosts of four competitions at the organisation's board meeting in s-Hertogenbosch.

The meeting in The Netherlands coincided with the Cyclo-Cross European Championships.

The UEC named Serra de Estrela in Portugal as hosts of the 2020 European Mountain Bike Marathon Championships, while Anadia will stage the Under-23 and Junior Track Championships in the same year.

Anadia, which is also in Portugal, last held the event in 2017.

Altdorf in Switzerland was named as host of the 2020 European Juniors Indoor Cycling Championships, while the European Mountain Bike Marathon Championships in 2022 will take place at Jablonné v Podjestedi in the Czech Republic.

The UEC board stated they had also launched a series of initiatives aimed at strengthening cycling's place in the the international sports scene.

This includes the creation of a Paracycling Commission in 2019, which will be headed by The Netherlands' Simon Meijn.

A review of a series of initiatives has been requested for the next four years by UEC Commissions, such as the organisation of a Cyclo-Cross European Cup, a BMX Free-Style and Mountain Bike e-Bike European Championships and co-ordination of the 2020 Europe Tour Road calendar.

The introduction of the mixed team relay in the 2019 Road European Championships and greater emphasis on gender equality was also discussed.

A working group was set up for the creation and production of a programme involving several vital points for activities over the next four years, including the development of a calendar for the Olympic disciplines and cyclo-cross.

Strengthening of a marketing, media and events organisation plan, along with Solidarity Commission activities, new activities and a long-term financial plan, will also be part of the programme.

The UEC announced a series of decisions at the European Cyclo-Cross Championships ©Getty Images
The UEC announced a series of decisions at the European Cyclo-Cross Championships ©Getty Images

"A series of new features and initiatives will give greater value to our activities and we will do this by expanding the scope of our action in sectors that up to now we have not been involved in or our presence has been weaker," said Rocco Cattaneo, UEC President.

"These sectors are Paracycling, e-Bike and new BMX disciplines.

"Youth sport is certainly one of our priorities and this is why we have asked our Commissions to study new projects aimed at developing and increasing the level of activity in all disciplines not just Olympic.

"We have reached the end of two very successful years, during the course of which our events have grown significantly in terms of popularity and following.

"The success of the Glasgow European Championships is undeniable as well all the other Championships. 

"Success which motivates us to approach the next period with ambitious objectives and projects.

"I would like to thank board members, all our team and the Commissions for the excellent work they have done and for their commitment and efforts to develop the UEC and support the 50 National European Federations which are our sport’s greatest asset."

The UEC also confirmed Enrico Della Casa was mandated to create an Education, Training, Youth and Sport Commission.

The Commission is set to pursue mutual objectives of the UEC and the European Olympic Committees.

A joint Congress with the African Cycling Confederation was also approved by the Board, with the aim of bringing the two bodies closer in achieving their aims.

The first joint Congress will take place in Rome on March 9 and 10, with around 102 National Federations belonging to the two continents set to take part.