14 Mar 2016

Glasgow “the ideal setting"

Glasgow is “the ideal setting” for the staging of four Olympic discipline cycling championships at the same time in one city in a world first for the sport, according to the head of European cycling’s governing body.

Following a visit to Glasgow to begin planning for the 2018 European Championships, the President of the Union of European Cycling (UEC), David Lappartient, said he was hugely impressed with the city’s facilities.

And he thanked Glasgow for embracing the unprecedented plan to bring the European Championships in Track, Road, Mountain Bike and BMX together for the first time as part of the new multi-sport event.

The events will attract 650 of Europe’s top cycling names to the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome at the Emirates Arena, the Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails, the streets of Glasgow and a new world championship and Olympic standard BMX track to be built in the Knightswood area of the city.

Mr Lappartient praised the plans for a ‘mini’ skills track for children and young people at the site of the new BMX facility, emphasising that it is essential to attract new young riders to the sport. A new BMX track has been a longstanding part of Glasgow City Council’s strategic plan for cycling aimed at increasing participation and providing the facilities to develop new elite talent.

The 2018 European Championships will be staged by the Host Cities of Glasgow and Berlin and will bring together the existing European Championships of athletics, aquatics, cycling, gymnastics, rowing and triathlon as well as include a new golf team championships. Around 3025 athletes will come to Scotland as part of a total delegation of 8500 including officials, media and others. A further 1500 athletes will compete in Berlin in the European Athletics Championships.

With the number of television viewers for the event projected at 1.03 billion – with many more across digital channels – Glasgow and Scotland will be promoted across multiple European markets as a leisure and business destination with the cycling road race route set to showcase the city’s finest landmarks.

UEC President David Lappartient said: “On behalf of the UEC Management Board, we would firstly like to sincerely thank the City of Glasgow authorities for their warm welcome during our recent visit to Scotland.

Glasgow will undoubtedly be the ideal setting for the four Olympic cycling disciplines, Mountain Biking, Road, Track and BMX, which are on the sports programme of the first multi-sport European Championships.

“We were impressed with the Chris Hoy Velodrome which has a very fast wooden track, according to internationally renowned riders.

“As for BMX, we would like to highlight the extraordinary work done to create a brand new track that will also include a training track, which is essential to attract young girls and boys from the age of five to this discipline. This will undoubtedly bring added value to the whole of this event.

The European Cycling Union is proud to share the stage with other very prestigious sports such as golf, rowing, athletics, swimming, triathlon and gymnastics and the City of Glasgow can count on the UEC’s unconditional support to make these 2018 European Championships a truly, unforgettable event.”

Colin Hartley, Glasgow 2018 Championships Director, said: “We were delighted to welcome the UEC to Glasgow for the first planning meeting for the four championships we will stage as part of this exciting new multi-sport event.

“Staging these four disciplines at the same time in Glasgow in 2018 will not only be a spectacular opportunity for spectators to watch some of the world’s top names competing on the roads, track, mountain bike trails and BMX track, but will also showcase a sport that is integral to the city’s plans to increase participation across all types of cycling.

“It is an honour to have the confidence of the sport’s European governing body that we can innovate to deliver these four events at the same time which we commit to doing so with excellence and flair.

“Staging the road race on the streets of our city centre will also be a fantastic chance to showcase our best landmarks to a huge TV audience across our core tourist markets in Europe.”