The UCI Track Cycling World Cup starting today in Manchester is just the first of a number of world class events in the country, the UKs elite sporting agency has announced. UK Sport has a target to host 64 events in 20 cities in the 1,000 days before the London 2012 games – one every two weeks from now until the Olympics in the capital.
The initiative covers 30 Olympic and Paralympic sports, representing a £32m investment, and more than 17,000 international athletes are expected to compete. It will also be a try out for the thousands of volunteers and officials
UK Sport boss John Steele said: "We believe this is the most comprehensive programme of events leading into a Games that any host has put together. It will provide British athletes with the opportunity to perform in front of a home crowd and the public with a chance to experience world class sporting action in their local area."
Of the 64 events planned, 25 are already confirmed with organisers aiming to agree the remaining 39 in the near future. It will take in events across the UK, ranging from the Archery World Cup final in Edinburgh to the Shotgun World Cup in Dorchester, as well as the BMX World Championships in Birmingham and the Blind Football World Championships in Hereford.
Some of the events listed on the programme will be on the London Organising Committee's official testing programme for Games readiness.
Lord Coe said: "We always hoped that hosting the Games would leave a legacy of more world-class events happening in this country, and it's great to see this is happening."
The first round of the UCI's 2009-2010 Track Cycling World Cup Classics runs until Sunday and will see many of the world's top Track cyclists in action, including four-time Olympic Gold medallist Sir Chris Hoy and current Olympic and World Champion Victoria Pendleton
All three days will be available to watch on television, with Friday and Saturday available via the red button on BBC interactive and Sunday will be live from 2-4.45pm on BBC2.
The next world class event will be the UCI Para-Cycling Track World Championships at the Manchester Velodrome from November 6-8, with tickets available www.ticketmaster.com.