London, May 9, 2014: UCI President Brian Cookson today addressed the annual Confederacion Panamericana de Ciclismo [COPACI] Congress, attended by the cycling federations of the Americas, which is being held in Puebla, Mexico and coincides with the Pan-American Road Cycling Championships taking place in Puebla.
As part of the COPACI Congress, the UCI has also organised a Sharing Platform, which is being attended by around 20 Americas National Federations, where a range of topics will be discussed including how best to develop smaller federations and how to support youth cycling.
UCI President Brian Cookson, addressing the COPACI Congress said:
“It is an honour for me to be here in Puebla for the COPACI Congress and Pan American Road Cycling Championships – my first as UCI President. There is much to be excited about in cycling in the Americas. In February, Colombia hosted the UCI Track World Championships. It was a magnificent event, further boosted by the victory of local hero Edwin Avila in the Points Race.
In April, Mexico staged the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships with 28 nations and 122 athletes gathering from all the continents for the first time since the London 2012 Paralympics.
“Events such as the Tour de San Luis, the Tour of California – which I will be attending later this month – and Tour of Colombia are big milestones on the UCI calendar and are important opportunities to showcase our great sport not just in the region, but to the world. And of course the Americas will also be hosting the 2015 UCI Road World Championships and the 2016 BMX World Championships.
“The eyes of the world will become even more focused on South America with the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and then the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018. So the continent has a unique and powerful opportunity to use the global profile of the Olympic brand to provide a huge boost to cycling across the COPACI region.”
Confirming UCI plans to set up a World Cycling Centre [WCC] satellite venue in Central or South America, Brian Cookson added:
“As President of the UCI, one of my core aims is to grow and develop cycling across the world and certainly the COPACI region is key to achieving this. One of the ways we can do this is to help ensure that riders from as many disciplines as possible, from right across the continent, are able to develop into world class athletes capable of winning medals in World Championships, starring at the Olympic Games and wearing the yellow jersey in the Tour de France.
“To help facilitate this, the UCI is committed to creating at least one World Cycling Centre satellite venue in the COPACI region. This will be an important development, not just for the nation that will host the WCC satellite, but for aspiring athletes across the Americas who will benefit from world class training, coaching and support facilities.” —- By: Rob Fawdon