Bradley Wiggins, a Londoner, has become the first Briton to win the Tour de France and the capital's cyclists have a second reason for celebration this weekend with the news that London will bid to host the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in 2016.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has confirmed that British Cycling has selected London to bid to host the prestigious international cycling event, which could potentially be one of the first major international tournaments to be held in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park following the London 2012 Olympic Games.
British Cycling hope that London's knowledge, expertise, facilities and enthusiasm for hosting world class sporting events will make it an ideal partner to host the 2016 world championships. Hosting the event would also present a fantastic opportunity for world cycling to benefit from the exposure and interest in cycling that the London 2012 Olympic Games looks set to generate.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "Huge congratulations must go to Bradley Wiggins. His incredible determination, focus and will to win blew away the rest of the field and propelled this legendary Londoner to the summit of his sport. His inspirational performances, ably supported by his fellow Team Sky riders including Brits Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish, will encourage thousands more people to take to two wheels. And I want our great capital city to play its own part in the cycling revolution that is taking place by hosting the track cycling world championships in 2016. This is the best sports city in the world and the wonderful velodrome we have built in east London would be packed to the rafters for such an event."
British Cycling with the support of London & Partners' and UK Sport's major event teams, together with the London Legacy Development Corporation and Lee Valley Regional Park will now develop and submit a bid to the cycling governing body, Union Cycliste International. A decision is expected this winter and if successful, the Championships would take place in early 2016 at Lee Valley Velodrome.
The decision to partner with London was the result of a bid process that involved all three international velodromes in the UK. After receiving responses from London, Manchester and the new Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow, British Cycling decided that the velodrome shortly to be used for the Olympic games offered the greatest potential to once again raise the bar for an event last delivered in the UK in 2008.
Jonny Clay, Cyclesport and Membership Director at British Cycling, said: "Success in our sport has always been anchored in Manchester and that city remains the home of British Cycling. In that context it was always going to be tough to consider hosting a worlds anywhere else, but we felt that the potential impact for the sport and for cementing the reputation of the velodrome in London meant that this time, the Lee Valley velodrome was the right partner for ourselves."
Shaun Dawson, Chief Executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, which will own and run the Velodrome post-London 2012, said: "We are delighted and proud that Lee Valley Velodrome has been selected as the British venue biding for this thrilling event.
"The iconic Velodrome – already one of the stars of the Olympic Park and soon to become the centrepiece of Lee Valley VeloPark – will be the perfect setting for this prestigious event.
"The Velodrome has already hosted the UCI World Cup this year and visitors and the media from around the globe will soon be coming to the venue for the London 2012 Games. Having the opportunity to host the 2016 Championship at the Velodrome would further enhance the popularity of cycling, support elite cyclists and help us develop future winners and champions."
Notes to Editors
England has already been selected by the European Hockey Federation (EHF) to host the women's and men's EuroHockey Championships 2015 at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre and this will be the first major international tournament to be held in Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after the London 2012 Olympic Games.
About British Cycling - British Cycling is the national governing body for cycling as recognised by the UCI – the international federation for the sport. Based in Manchester at the National Cycling Centre, British Cycling works across all levels and six disciplines of the sport (BMX, Mountain Bike, Cyclo-Cross, Road, Track and Cycle Speedway), from providing the support and encouragement people need to get riding their bikes for the first time, to being home to the hugely successful Great Britain Cycling Team. Continued success at the highest level is inspiring a boom in participation across the nation. There have never been more opportunities to ride a bike, be it for fun or sport, and British Cycling is at the heart of this growth. British Cycling also works hard to represent cyclists’ interests at all levels, including campaigning on important issues including road safety. As a membership organisation, British Cycling provides a suite of benefits and support to its members who currently number over 50,000. All membership revenue is invested back into cycling.
The Major Events Team at London & Partners - The major events team at London & Partners provides advice and support at every stage of the process – from bidding, to event delivery, to evaluation – with a specially dedicated team to help rights holders from around the globe 'unlock', secure or choose London as their venue for their event. This includes securing political support from national government, the Mayor of London and relevant Borough(s), providing expertise in bid development and building the case for funding, facilitating successful commercial partnerships to ensure long-term viability and assisting with operational requirements including permissions around road closures and street signage. For more information visit www.londonandpartners.com/majorevents
About London & Partners - London & Partners is the official promotional organisation for London. Our company attracts and delivers value to business, students and visitors. London & Partners is a not-for-profit public private partnership, funded by the Mayor of London and a network of commercial partners. Our remit is to drive leisure and business visitors as well as bidding to secure major events in London, to unlock the city for overseas businesses who want to set up or expand in London and to promote the capital’s world class universities to international students. Our intention is to work in partnership with organisations in London and across the world to deliver our goal - that London be globally recognised as the best big city on earth. For more information visit www.londonandpartners.com
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