The International Cycling Federation (UCI) announced today that Los Angeles will organize the 2017 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships from March 2 to 5.
Racing will take place at the VELO Sports Center in Carson, in the west of Los Angeles, California. Built in 2004, the Siberian pine 250-meter track hosted the 2004 UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships, the 2005 UCI Track Cycling World Championships, the 2012 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships and four rounds of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup between 2004 and 2008.
It is the first time in the history of para-cycling that there will be a UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships the year following the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Continuing a tradition inherited from the International Paralympic Committee, the UCI, in charge of the discipline since 2007, did not organize the Para-cycling Track World Championships the years following the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games. The 2017 Worlds in Los Angeles therefore mark a significant step forward in the development of para-cycling. From now on, the UCI would like the Para-cycling Track World Championships to take place every year, as is the case with the other cycling disciplines.
The same goes for the UCI Para-cycling Road World Championships which will take place in 2020, the same year as the Tokyo Games, contrary to the practice in force until now, according to which the Para-cycling Road World Championships haven’t been organized in an Olympic and Paralympic year. The 2020 edition has been awarded to Ostend (Belgium).
A week prior to the 2017 UCI Track Para-cycling World Championships, on Feb. 25-26, Carson’s VELO Sports Center will welcome the fourth and final round of the 2016-2017 Tissot UCI Track World Cup. The proximity of the two events will allow national federations to limit their traveling costs. Furthermore, these two events will ensure a wonderful week of track cycling in which both para-cyclists and able-bodied athletes will participate.
Commenting on the announcement, the UCI President Brian Cookson said: “We are conscious that the award of this event comes late in the season for the athletes, teams and parties implicated in the organization of the event. However, we believe that holding these UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships for the first time ever in a post-Paralympic year signifies notable progress and will enable our athletes to benefit from an enriched calendar as the discipline continues to develop. We would like to thank the U.S. Olympic Committee for organizing this important event in such a short time.”
U.S. Olympic Committee Chief of Paralympics Rick Adams said: “We’re incredibly excited to be hosting the 2017 UCI Track Para-cycling World Championships in Los Angeles this March. Thankfully, LA is perfectly suited to host an event of this caliber on a tight timeframe and we can ensure that athletes and teams participating will have a great experience. With the UCI Track World Cup being held the previous week, Carson’s VELO Sports Center will be the place to be this Spring for track cycling’s world elite.”