London’s Olympic Velodrome will host the 2016 UCI Track World Championships, it has been announced today in Florence by the UCI Management Committee.
The event, to be held at the arena where Team GB’s cyclists won nine Olympic medals last year, will take place between 24 and 28 February 2016, less than six months before the Rio Olympic Games begin.
News of London being awarded the championships is a boost for UK Sport’s Gold Event Series, which is seeking to bring 70 world class sporting events to the UK by 2019.
The successful bid is the result of a co-operation between British Cycling, UK Sport, London Legacy Development Corporation, Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, London & Partners and the Mayor of London.
Reacting to the news, Minister for Sport, Hugh Robertson, said: “This is another great coup for British sport and a real legacy from London 2012.
“ The capital’s velodrome is a stunning, world-leading venue and I am sure the 2016 Track World Championships will have capacity crowds supporting our best cyclists ahead of the Rio Games.
“UK Sport’s Gold Event Series is helping to cement this country’s reputation as a leading destination to host the biggest events in world sport.”
London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, added: “This is absolutely fantastic news for London, marking the arrival of yet another thrilling world class sporting fixture to our city.
“These prestigious championships will be centred around our stunning Olympic velodrome, a remarkable venue that saw such awe-inspiring performances from British cyclists last summer.
"Interest in cycling is rocketing in this city and I’ve no doubt London’s 2016 Track World Championships help will propel this even further.”
Seven of those nine medals won at London 2012 were gold - Team GB winning the men's team sprint and men's and women's team pursuits, plus Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton respectively winning the men's and women's keirin, Jason Kenny taking the men's sprint, and Laura Trott victorious in the women's Omnium.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.