Sarah Storey says UCI was warned short Worlds notice would damage attendance

Sarah Storey
Sarah Storey is Great Britain's most decorated female Paralympian, and won a further three golds at the Rio Paralympics last year

Cycling chiefs were warned that giving seven weeks' notice for the Para-Cycling Track World Championships could affect attendance, British Paralympic champion Sarah Storey has revealed.

Governing body the UCI announced on Monday the event will take place in Los Angeles from 2-5 March.

Storey, 39, told BBC Radio 5 live that athletes "deserve a lot more notice".

"All these things were posted to the UCI to advise them, but they decided to still go ahead," she said.

"Some people may not even get a visa if they have the finance to travel. Some athletes work full-time and they need this time to re-bank favours with the boss."

The 14-time Paralympic gold medallist added she had "been pressing for a decision for a number of weeks".

Her fellow Paralympic champion Jody Cundy had earlier described the decision as a "joke".

"The frustrations being aired are quite right," said Storey. "It is just a shame."

There were no major track championships scheduled for 2017 prior to the announcement.

"There is no current structure," Storey said. "The whole of track cycling needs to be put on the map to allow track specialists to race.

"I've been on the commission for three years and every year, every meeting I ask when we are going to have track World Cups. When are we going to have a proper structure?

"My questions have gone unanswered."

In announcing the date for the event on Monday, UCI president Brian Cookson said the organisation was "conscious" some athletes are yet to return to full-intensity training.

"We believe that holding these UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships for the first time ever in a post-Paralympic season signifies notable progress and will enable our athletes to benefit from an enriched calendar as the discipline continues to develop," he added.

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