UCI: Veneto has not won Road World Championships and we welcome rival Dutch bid
By Callum Murray
The UCI, cycling’s world governing body, today strongly denied a claim in a press release from Veneto that the Italian region has been awarded the right to host road cycling’s World Championships in 2020, pointing out that bidding is still open and welcoming a rival bid from Drenthe and Groningen in the Netherlands, which emerged earlier this week.
The UCI told Sportcal that it “welcomes the opportunity to discussing this bid [Drenthe and Groningen] further with the various parties involved. The UCI Management Committee will make a decision at its next meeting mid-June.”
The UCI’s statement contradicts Veneto’s claim that the event has “has in all effects been assigned, albeit sub-judice, to Veneto…”
Citing what it described as “several rumours in the Italian and foreign news recently,” Veneto organisers were responding to suggestions that it had withdrawn from hosting the event because of a lack of support from the local government, saying: “The Veneto 2020 committee has in no way withdrawn from the World Championship race; on the contrary, we are continuing to work on the project with commitment and determination, pending the final deadline in June, when we expect to obtain the definite designation by completely meeting all the requests and guarantees prescribed by UCI protocol.”
Veneto 2020 claimed that the event was awarded to the region by the UCI management committee at last year’s World Championships in Bergen, Norway. However, while acknowledging that the original intention had been to award the event on that occasion, the UCI has denied doing so.
Claudio Pasqualin, president of the Veneto 2020 organising committee, said: “In response to recent revelations, I must emphasise that, during the 2017 event in Bergen, the 2020 World Championships were assigned to Italy on the basis of the project put together by our 2020 Veneto Committee. The project is centred on the pro race kicking off from Venice, with the various other events being held in the many cities of the region and the city of Vicenza hosting the final finish line for the tests.”
Doubts were also cast over the Veneto bid by the result of Italian elections earlier this month which failed to produce a winner, meaning that the country is presently without a government.
However, Pasqualin’s statement continued: “For our part, we are continuing to work with maximum commitment on all fronts. We’ve taken all the necessary steps; we presented a complete technical dossier which was positively received by the UCI, and even the on-site surveys conducted by UCI delegates got an excellent response.
“In light of all this we hope that the Italian political situation after the March 4 election will resolve itself in the upcoming weeks, so that the 2020 Veneto project can definitively take shape within the UCI timeframe.”
Hosting the World Championships would cost Drenthe and Groningen in the region of €15 million ($18.5 million), which the national government is expected to subsidise, according to Dutch media reports.