City officials in Bergen claimed that Christmas Eve came early this year, when the state agreed to support their bid to host the cycling world championships in 2017. With NOK 30 million in state funding, it’s full speed ahead for Bergen to try to beat out rival potential hosts for the international sporting event.
“We’re ready to deliver,” promised Ragnhild Stolt-Nielsen, leader of Bergen’s city government, after the state minister in charge of sports and culture, Thorhild Widvey, announced the state support late last week. Bergen politicians had asked for NOK 40 million, but weren’t too disappointed to at least get NOK 30 million to help pay for road improvements and security.
Harald Tiedemann Hansen, president of Norway’s cycling federation, said the state support will allow Bergen’s bid for the championships to be taken seriously by the international cycling federation in Switzerland. A decision will be made on where the 2017 event will be held sometime after June next year.
Colombia has also shown interest in hosting the cycling championships. Norway, home of former world champion Thor Hushovd, has hosted the event once before, in Oslo in 1993. The event is expected to cost a total of NOK 156 million (USD 26 million).