The Para-Cycling Track World Championships will take place in Los Angeles, California, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced on Tuesday. The event will take place in Carson at the VELO Sports Centre in March.
Carson has become a sports hub in Los Angeles, and will no doubt be a significant part of the city’s 2024 Paralympic Games bid. The VELO Sports Center has a 250m track made of Siberian pine and has previously hosted the UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships (2004) and the World Championships in 2005. The venue has also previously hosted the Para Cycling Track World Championships back in 2012.
Typically the Para Cycling Track World Championships have only been every other year, and thus not on the year after or before the Paralympic Games. 2017 marks the first time the Track World Championships will be held the year following the Paralympic Games, and will now be an annual event.
The Los Angeles bid was a strong bid especially with Carson hosting a UCI Track Cycling World Cup event the week before. That will allow cycling fans in California to see able bodied and para cyclists in a two week period, and it will keep the costs down for national federations looking to compete.
“We are conscious that the award of this event comes late in the season for the athletes, teams and parties implicated in the organisation of the event. However, we believe that holding these UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships for the first time ever in a post-Paralympic season 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 US Olympic Committee for organising this important event in such a short time.” Said UCI President Brian Cookson in a statement.
It is a big step for Para Cycling but the field seems capable of handling it with times getting faster and faster every year. With this event now being an annual event the competition in non-Olympic year seasons will ramp up and should push stronger times.