The International Cycling Union (UCI) has named its host city for the 2012 UCI Track World Championships. The prestigious event will take place in Melbourne, Australia. It will be the second time the Championships have visited the city, after the Track Worlds were first held there in 2004.
"This is the second time Victoria will host this prestigious and exciting track cycling event - in 2004 the Track Worlds were a resounding success at Melbourne's Hisense Arena and we look forward to hosting another successful Championships in 2012," said ports Minister James Merlino.
Moreover, the state of Victoria will already host the 2010 UCI Road Worlds, with the cities of Melbourne and Geelong gearing up to organise the time trial and road events respectively.
"What a coup for Melbourne to host another world-class sports event like the Track World Championships that will not only bring international and interstate visitors to Melbourne but showcase our city to the world through an international broadcast," Merlino added.
"Interest in cycling will reach fever pitch next September [2010 - ed.] when the largest road race after the Tour de France - the UCI Road World Championships - comes to Melbourne and Geelong and with the Track Worlds to follow in 2012, Melbourne will be a hub for cycling in Australia."
Cycling Australia President Mike Victor was delighted to hear the news. "Melbourne hosted a hugely successful Track Worlds in 2004 and I am certain the 2012 Track Worlds will be another outstanding event for both competitors and spectators," Victor said.
World Champion and Olympic Gold Medallist Anna Meares - who secured a rainbow jersey in the 500 metre time trial when Melbourne first hosted the Championships in 2004 - said the event would provide an ideal preparation platform for her final Olympics in London in 2012.
"Riding in front of a hometown crowd is a fabulous morale booster and I have goose bumps remembering the atmosphere of a World Championships in Australia," Meares said.
Australia topped the medal tally at this year's Track World Championships in Poland with an impressive line-up of riders and won four gold, four silver and two bronze medals at the meet.
The exact dates of the 2012 UCI Track World Championships have yet to be announced.