Date: Monday, 27 August 2012
Posted by: Cycling Southland

Event A Great SuccessCycling Southland is already looking at hosting future major events after the junior world track championships in Invercargill.

The five-day championships saw 154 riders from 24 countries contesting 19 junior world titles, with New Zealand equalling the 10 medals it won in Moscow last year, with seven silver and three bronzes.

It was the first time New Zealand had hosted the junior world championships since Whanganui in 1983.

UCI vice-president Ray Godkin told The Southland Times the world body was always looking for new venues to stage rounds of track cycling's World Cup, but at a cost of €300,000 to €350,000 (NZ$540,000) and little chance to recoup that outlay, it would probably be beyond New Zealand's means. He said a more practical option would be a bid for cycling's world masters games.

Staged in three-year blocks, Manchester will host the event for the next three years. It staged the UCI-sanctioned championships from their inception in 1995 to 2006, before Sydney took over from 2007 to 2009.

Cycling Southland had looked into the masters championships but would prefer not to be locked into a three-year term. The option of hosting in a rotation with Sydney and the new track being built at Cambridge has been discussed.

While a World Cup would be cost-prohibitive, a world masters championships would cost about €20,000 over three years, and would return a much greater economic impact with cashed-up masters riders likely to include holidays in their itinerary.

Cycling Southland paid €30,000 for the right to host the world juniors and after staging a successful event this year would be interested in seeing them return in a few years' time.

Moscow has staged the junior event twice since 2009.

Godkin spoke positively about Invercargill's staging of the junior worlds and the quality of the Stadium Southland velodrome.

"I've been coming to these things for about 24 years and there's never been four world records broken in an entire championships, let alone four in one night," he said. "That means this track is better than most. The seating you've got here is wise, it's better to fill it up and then turn people away, that's the best way."

Godkin paid credit to the velodrome's German designer Ralph Schurmann, who also built the UCI's own velodrome in Switzerland.

Schurmann contacted former Cycling Southland president Steve Canny after four records fell on Wednesday's opening night, telling Canny the Invercargill track was the best he had ever built.

The Invercargill velodrome further established its international credentials when Russian Daria Schmeleva broke the world record in the women's 500m time trial, the fifth world record of these championships.

Event director Sue Clarke was rapt with the way the championships went off.

"It was just fantastic. The teams that were here were on fire and embraced the community; the community and local businesses were great too. And five world records, what more could we have wished for?"

The feedback from the 23 visiting nations had been positive, Clarke said.

"They've asked why we don't host more events. They were delighted with the facilities, delighted with the hospitality of Southlanders and the hassle-free events. That was our intention all along, to make them feel welcome."

The huge amount of bikes and equipment from the various countries was loaded on to a truck last night and driven to Christchurch airport with co-operation between local volunteers, Mainfreight and Air New Zealand.

Most of the visitors will leave today, although some of the Trinidad and Tobago and the Kazakhstan team would be leaving mid-week.

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