UCI president Brian Cookson admits the governing body has ‘dropped the ball’ with para-cycling and insists he will make good on the promises in his 2013 manifesto.
Cookson, who replaced Pat McQuaid as the head of the UCI (opens in new tab), said in his manifesto that he would help the sport grow as one but instead the sport almost missed out on a berth at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
The UCI submitted missed the original deadline for applying (opens in new tab) to be included in the 2020 Games, but was handed a reprieve by the International Paralympic Committee (opens in new tab) last week.
Having been told by IPC president, Sir Philip Craven, that there are ‘serious reservations about the future of track cycling’, Cookson told Insidethegames.biz (opens in new tab) that the UCI is committed to the success of para-cycling in 2020 and beyond.
"Para-cycling's success at London 2012 shows the reach and popularity of our sport at the Paralympic Games, and we look forward to working with the IPC to continue the growth of Para-cycling in the years ahead," Cookson said.
"The UCI will continue to work to increase the number of high performance Para-cycling athletes and top tier events where they can compete.
"For example, we will keep on raising the profile of Para-cycling through our leading events, such as the UCI Para-cycling World Championships and UCI Para-cycling World Cup.
"The UCI is committed to make a major contribution to the success of the 2020 Paralympic Games and beyond - this is an exciting time for Para-cycling."
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Stuart Clarke is a News Associates trained journalist who has worked for the likes of the British Olympic Associate, British Rowing and the England and Wales Cricket Board, and of course Cycling Weekly. His work at Cycling Weekly has focused upon professional racing, following the World Tour races and its characters.
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