Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with ICU chief Pat McQuaid 2 March

    Belarus will hold the UCI Track Cycling World Championships 2013 at the highest level, President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with the President of the International Cycling Union (ICU) Pat McQuaid.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko noted that Belarus already has some experience in staging high-level competitions. “We have held junior championship and we did quite well, according to your estimates,” the President said addressing the guest. Belarus is getting ready to host the IIHF World Championship in 2014. The head of state noted that most favorable conditions will be created by the time the UCI Track Cycling World Championships is held. “We will create necessary accommodation conditions, the entire infrastructure, and this means that we will conduct the UCI Track Cycling World Championships 2013 at the highest level,” the President said.

    In general, when speaking about the development of cycling in Belarus, the President noted that the level of development of this sport in the country is quite high. Belarus ranked third at the world championship last year. “We believe this is a great achievement for such a relatively small country like Belarus,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. He noted that the country has made consistent steps to develop cycling. The country has developed good cycling. In the past, the Belarusians won world and Olympic Champion titles. The President recalled it was one of the reasons behind the decision to build the velodrome, the President noted.

    In addition, the head of state believes that the holding of such a tournament in Belarus will give a very strong impetus to the development of cycling.

    “We will do our best to make sure our guests feel comfortable here,” the President added.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked the International Cycling Union for the support in development of cycling in Belarus. “We appreciate everything you have done for us,” he said.

    Pat MacQuaid, in turn, said that the International Cycling Union praises Belarus as an appropriate venue to host the UCI Track Cycling World Championships in 2013.

    The ICU official said he paid a visit to the Minsk velodrome including the skating stadium and gave his high opinion of the facility.

    “We have no doubt that the world championship will be held at a high level,” he said.

    “Taking into account the investments that you have put into the development of cycling and infrastructure, we just had to satisfy your bid for the championship,” Pat McQuaid said.

    He also noted that he was informed about the coherent structure of cycling in Belarus and drew attention to the close collaboration between the International Cycling Union and the Belarusian Federation. He expressed confidence that this interaction will benefit the two sides in preparation for the UCI Track Cycling World Championships 2013.