Para-cyclists given seven weeks to prepare for Track World Championships

Jody Cundy
Jody Cundy won two gold medals at the Rio Paralympics

Giving athletes seven weeks to prepare for the Para-Cycling Track World Championships is "a joke", says seven-time Paralympic champion Jody Cundy.external-link

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

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

Britain's Cundy, who won two golds at Rio 2016, said: "I can not imagine any other sport doing the same."

The 38-year-old told Radio 5 live: "I know of athletes not going because it is too close for them to even get back on the track, while other nations are not going because they do not have the funding.

"I am not sure the message it sends to go to Los Angeles with half of the normal competitors. It takes away from the level of competition and makes it look Mickey Mouse."

Cundy says he only returned to training last month, for the first time since September's Paralympics.

He added: "'It would be nice to go in a prime condition, rather than last-minute panic-training and trying to cover all bases."

Barney Storey, coach and husband of British multiple Paralympic gold medallist Sarah Storey, tweeted:external-link "Para-track worlds in seven weeks, the UCI are NOT helping progress the sport. 'Helping' the sport to be mediocre is not progress."

UCI president Brian Cookson said the organisation was "conscious" that 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," added Cookson.

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