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SBD Global/January 11, 2017/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Para-Cyclists Given Seven Weeks To Prepare For Track World Championships

British Paralympian Jody Cundy has called the Int'l Cycling Union's (UCI) announcement that the 2017 Para-cycling Track World Championships will take place in L.A. in March, giving athletes only seven weeks to prepare, "a joke," according to the PA. The UCI confirmed on Monday the event will take place from March 3-5 in the Californian city, "which will be hoping the event can boost its case to host the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics." The timing of the announcement "will not sit well with potential participants given the extremely short notice -- coming when many have still not resumed intensive training following the Rio Paralympics." Cundy, who won two para-cycling Gold Medals at Rio 2016, said on Twitter, "I'm all up for racing and new events, but a full blown world champs with 7weeks notice. Seriously what a joke UCI-cycling UCI-paracycling." Adam Duggleby, the sighted pilot for visually impaired cyclist Stephen Bate, who won two Golds and a Bronze in Rio, tweeted, "Me and @kiwistevebate aren't going! That's what Rio Gold medallists think" (PA, 1/10). The BBC reported Barney Storey, coach and husband of British multiple Paralympic Gold Medalist Sarah Storey, tweeted, "Para-track worlds in seven weeks, the UCI are NOT helping progress the sport. 'Helping' the sport to be mediocre is not progress." UCI President Brian Cookson said that the organization was "conscious" that some athletes are yet to return to full-intensity training. Cookson: "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" (BBC, 1/10).
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