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Rio 2016 cycling test event pushed back

A test event for track cycling ahead of the 2016 summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil has been pushed back by organisers due to construction work at the velodrome being behind schedule.

The test event was scheduled for March 18-20, but has now been rescheduled for April 29 to May 1. However, Rio 2016 organisers insisted that the delay would not have a negative impact on the Olympics, from August 5-21, according to the Associated Press news agency.

The International Cycling Union said that it was “naturally concerned that the velodrome construction in Rio is being further delayed and that the test event has also been delayed as a result”.

The governing body added: “Our priority has to be the riders, whose training and preparation schedules have for a long time been set around the Rio Games, relevant test events and the wider global cycling calendar. It is crucial that all parties work together to ensure the very best conditions for the athletes both ahead of and during the games and guarantee that they compete in world class settings.”

Work on installing the track at the velodrome – pictured in August 2015 – will begin in February, Rio 2016 said. The Rio city government, which is responsible for construction work on the track, said that the project was “not delayed” and insisted that the velodrome was planned “to be delivered closer to the Games” to avoid incurring extra maintenance costs.