THE eyes of the sporting world will fall on Glasgow once again as the city hosts the first ever UCI Cycling World Championships.

The east end’s state-of-the-art Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome and the city’s other elite cycling venues will welcome thousands of athletes from around the globe for two weeks of fierce competition in August 2023.

Union Cycliste International (UCI) will bring together 13 existing individual world championship disciplines into one mega event for the first time, with participants striving to win the iconic rainbow jersey.

While the “innovative” new event will also incorporate some of the lesser-known styles of the sport, such as artistic cycling and cycle ball.

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The event has been hailed as the world’s biggest cycling event to be broadcast to a global audience and Glasgow has been chosen as host thanks to Scotland’s “proven expertise in delivering world-class and ground-breaking events”.

UCI president David Lappartient said: “I am delighted the UCI has awarded the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships to Glasgow and Scotland ... Glasgow and Scotland has a great deal of experience in the organisation of major sporting events, notably multi-sports, such as the first edition of the European Sports championships that it organised in 2018.

“I am convinced the UCI Cycling World Championships will be a great success and I look forward enormously to preparing them with our Scottish partners.”

Glasgow’s existing investment in cycling infrastructure, including the Emirates Arena velodrome and the new BMX Centre in Knightswood, means the city will not need to build any new structures to host the competition in four years time.

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It’s not yet known how much the games will bring in to the city, but the country’s elite athletes who have backed Glasgow winning the coveted bid, such as Dame Katherine Grainger, Sir Chris Hoy, Olympic gold medallist and world champion Katie Archibald and Olympic silver medallist Callum Skinner, have promised one guarantee for Scotland during the games - medals.

Glasgow-born Callum, who took silver in the individual sprint track cycling in Rio 2016, said: “I truly feel like a citizen of the nation, not just the city, and that’s something that’ll be so exciting [in the championships].

“They’re going to show off everything that’s great about this beautiful country ... the athletes are going to be bringing their A-game.

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“It’s going to be enjoyable, but they’re going to want to win. It’s going to be in 2023, a year before the Paris 2024 Olympic Games so it’ll be an important qualifying event.

“I think we’re all excited to welcome it to Glasgow.”

The tournament will add to the country’s record as an outstanding host for some the world’s most iconic sporting events, including the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the 2014 Ryder Cup and Glasgow 2018 European Champions with the 2019 Solheim Cup and UEFA Euro 2020 still to come.

And, it’s hoped the effect on the city’s desire to get active will be the same as the previous events.

Glasgow Life chair Councillor David McDonald said: “Since the Commonwealth Games, the city has really taken these events to it’s heart.

“We know Glaswegians come out for a good time regardless of the event but I think sport holds a special place in our hearts. This will continue that growth and excitement.

“We’ve got evidence now that shows bringing these big events does inspire people to come and try these sports for themselves. What we’re doing is investing in a programme to make it safe and organisations like Bike Ability, which supports children in deprives communities, so those who want to become involved in the sport can.”

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