UCI confirms 2014 world championships have been salvaged for Ponferrada
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

UCI confirms 2014 world championships have been salvaged for Ponferrada

by VeloNation Press at 8:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
 
Earlier financial problems overcome, but further guarantees must be met

Despite earlier rumblings that the 2014 world road championships in Ponferrada could be moved to a different location due to economic difficulties, the UCI has now confirmed that the Spanish city will indeed host the top-level event.

On September 19th the UCI gave Ponferrada thirty days to meet certain funding requirements, amid concerns that it would be unable to meet its commitments.

Spain is currently experiencing one of the worst financial crises in Europe and amid plunging employment and a collapse in spending, there was a lack of sponsors getting involved in the event.

In mid-October it was reported that the regional council of Castilla y León had stepped in to provide the necessary support and now, one month later, the UCI has given a green light to the project.

“I am delighted to confirm that the Ponferrada organisers have responded quickly and efficiently to our request, providing us with the financial and organisational guarantees that we required,” stated the UCI President Pat McQuaid today. “We can now look forward with confidence to the 2014 UCI Road World Championships in one of our traditional cycling nations.”

However the UCI has added the proviso that the worlds confirmation is dependent on the remaining guarantees being met.

On October 17th El Mundo quoted Ponferrada’s mayor Carlos Lopez Piesco as saying he was ‘overjoyed’ that the project had been saved.

“The decision by (Castilla y León) President Juan Vicente Herrera has been decisive and removes all doubts over the possibility of the Worlds," he said then in a press conference.

“He has always demonstrated his sensitivity and affection for Ponferrada and El Bierzo [valley] and once again demonstrates his commitment to this land.”

The world road race championships was last held in Spain in 2005, when Madrid hosted the event. Tom Boonen won the Elite road race while Regina Schleicher took the women’s title. Michael Rogers and Karin Thurig were the time trial victors, while the Under 23 gold medals went to Dimitry Grabovsky (road race) and Mikhail Ignatiev (time trial).

Next year’s worlds will be held in Florence in Italy, with Richmond in the USA hosting the 2015 event.

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