Cycling Australia CEO Nick Green has confirmed the national body is aiming to host the UCI Road World Championships in 2021 or 2022. With 2021 the 100th anniversary of the first edition of the Worlds in Copenhagen, Green has expressed a higher possibility of success in pursuing the 2022 slot.
In January, the South Australian government expressed interest in hosting the 2020 Worlds, with Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur explaining to Cyclingnews that he would back a bid. However, the 2020 date appears to be too soon on the calendar for Cycling Australia and Green.
Australia has hosted just one edition of the road worlds, despite sitting 15th overall on the elite men's worlds medal table in 2010. Since the turn of the new millennium, Hamilton, Canada (2003), Australia in 2010, Richmond, USA (2015), and Doha, Qatar (2016) are the only-non European hosts.
With Bergen, Noway hosting the 2017 Worlds, Austria next year and Yorkhsire in 2019, a non-European Worlds could fit into the UCI's bid to share the premier event across the globe in 2020. However, Green and Cycling Australia are looking further ahead to secure the Worlds.
"As an organisation, we have interest in hosting another world road championships," Green told Cyclingnews. "I think 2021, 2022 was the earliest available. We expect that 2021, the 100th year of the road world championships, my inkling is that even though it is available it will stay in Europe. I think tactically we would look at what the next available year is, and 2022 becomes the first available year."
While there was a recent change at the head of the UCI with David Lappartient disposing of Brian Cookson as president, and Australian Tracey Gaudry no longer a vice-president, Green states that "we still have a very good relationship with the president and decision-makers within the UCI."
With a deadline of July 2019 to submit a bid for the 2022 Worlds, Green added that while time is on their side, it is imperative to build the best case possible to ensure a successful application.
"We have then 18 or so months to think about a proposal and how we fund it, because it ultimately needs to be funded, and then select a host state to work with," Green said. "We are in discussions to identify and work with a host state who could potentially host it into the future. That work hasn't been concluded. It has started but there are a number of milestone things we have to get across the line."
With Cycling Australia facing a reduced budget and streamlining its operations as a result from 2018, Green stressed the success of the bid will depend on the ability to attract funding. Adding that while Bergen was considered a top-class event, there are severe financial repercussions for the city.
"Ultimately, it is a 25 million dollar event so they are not cheap," he said. "We saw in Bergen, they put on one of the best cycling events I've been to and I've only been to three, but from what people tell me, it was the best event. But they are losing a lot of money out of that. It is a 25 million dollar event so we have to secure the necessary funding for it to occur."
Along with the Worlds bid, Green explained that Cycling Australia is also in advanced discussions to host a round of the Track World Cup since 2010.
"We have plans in play and have been negotiating with the UCI to host track world cups. We have a bit to do to close that off with the necessary funding from a government partner to make that occur," said Green. "The UCI stand ready to go and I guess it's my job to secure the necessary funding to afford it. As you know, these are not cheap these events."
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