Mission accomplished: Track Cycling World Championships next for ambitious Hong Kong?
After hosting a successful leg of the UCI Track World Cup, association chairman Leung says city might consider an even more prestigious competition in 2017
Hong Kong will consider hosting the Track Cycling World Championships after the UCI World Cup series was successfully completed at the Tseung Kwan O venue on Sunday.
The chairman of the Hong Kong Cycling Association, Leung Hung-tak, was delighted with the response of the first ever world level event at the Hong Kong Velodrome despite costs soaring to more than HK$7 million over three days of competition.
“We have proved we can successfully host the World Cup and a higher level competition is part of our plan,” said the cycling chief.
“We saw a full house 2,700 fans attending the last session of the event, which is exceptional and totally out of our expectations.
“We will first discuss among ourselves before deciding what to do next and, hopefully, we can come up with a decision after the Chinese New Year. But we definitely will consider the 2017 World Championships, if not, a second World Cup will be part of our plan.”
The next track season (2016-17) will normally kick off in November – whether it will be three or four legs will have to be decided by the UCI, the world governing body before the 2017 World Championships takes place in late February or March.
“The World Championships will be the biggest competition in track cycling and it will be a big honour for Hong Kong if we can stage the event, but we need to play carefully because we understand the UCI will charge a big licensing fee,” said Leung.
Other than the two world level events, Leung said they could also consider the world junior Championships. “The government will have more financial support for world championship level competitions and that’s why we can also consider the junior worlds,” he said.
The World Cup Hong Kong leg received high praise from UCI officials, who attended the event here.
“Hong Kong have a good chance of staging more events in future as they have proven their ability,” said Gilles Peruzzi, UCI track cycling manager. “There is a tremendous venue here and the organisers have done a good job. All you need to do is to organise more events and the more events you organise, the better you become.”