This article was printed November 24th in the Evening Express. It quotes Sarah Storey, who voices her displeasure that the UCI have not scheduled para track cycling events nor announced a para track cycling championship date.
I would like to hear from fellow cyclists as to their thoughts on the UCI and their sponsorship of para cycling. Is this something cycling should be deeply involved with? Are there para events for road, mtb, and cross cycling? Does the UCI have any obligation toward providing para events?
While there certainly isn't money in para events, it is a very worthy charity. But, I would hasten to add, so is the Special Olympic events for the mentally handicapped.
I enjoy professional events. Let's not forget road cycling is free when you attend. Free! I don't even think the money on Masters track cycling is worthwhile.. The championships is 8 days compared to 4 for world championships. That is twice the cost with very little return. Junior cycling has its place, as it is the very future of cycling in all disciplines.
But, Special and Para cycling are not spectator sports. They are events for the sole benefit of handicapped individuals and their families. Even the most prominent feature, wheelchair races included in marathon running events, is a side event at best, without much fanfare or media attention. But it is nice they include it.
What is your opinion? Does your support include financial contributions or just moral support? What is the future for special events?