Officials from the Wallonian region of Belgium have announced that the city of Namur will bid for the right to host the 2014 International Cycling Union (UCI) World road Championships.
Namur's bid could see them go up against the Flandrian city of Hooglede-Gits, which earlier this month announced its plans to pitch for the 2013 or 2014 World Championships. Speaking about the Wallonian bid, the region's Minister for Sport André Antoine told HLN.be that the Worlds' programme could be spread across the whole country.
"The Belgian Cycling Union is interested. The event could be divided between the north and the south of the country; that seems fair," he said. "Namur would host the professional [elite] events, while the other tests could take place in Flanders."
From 2012 onwards, the World road Championships will feature an expanded programme that will include a team time trial and the incorporation of the Junior World Championships. Apart from the practical aspects of the event, Antoine indicated that the costs of the estimated 10 million Euros required to host the Championships "should be spread across Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels."
HLN.be reports that France is also preparing to make bid for the 2014 World Championships. The last World Championships to be held in France were held in the city of Plouay in 2000, where Latvian Romāns Vainšteins claimed the elite men's road title.
Belgium last hosted the World Championships in 2002, when Italian Mario Cipollini triumphed in Zolder.
The 2010 UCI World road Championships will take place in Geelong, Australia.