False start! Rio 2016 push back test event after velodrome delays

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Rio 2016 has rescheduled the Aquece Rio International Track Cycling Challenge, the first competition to be held in the Rio Olympic Velodrome, to allow more time for the track to be laid.

The test event was initially to be held March 18-20. Due to the construction delay, it’s been rescheduled to April 29-May 1.

An Inside the Games article reports that organisers claimed the velodrome was 76% complete in December, having been 65% ready during September.

The venue was originally scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2015.

However, Rio 2016 have now been forced to delay the test event after confirming a delay in preparatory work for installing the track.

The velodrome is one of several venues being built in the Barra de Tijuca Olympic Park, with other arenas reportedly closer to completion.

“Rio 2016 and the International Cycling Union (UCI) look forward to an exciting test event and will continue to work closely together in the preparation and planning for both the test event and the Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Rio 2016 said in a statement.

“There is no impact on the Games-time competitions, with Olympic track cycling taking place from 11-16 August and Paralympic track cycling from 8-11 September.”

News of the delay comes a day after the city of Rio de Janeiro cancelled the construction contract for the Olympic Tennis Centre, less than seven months before the start of the Games.

The Associated Press reported Friday that Rio 2016 has faced deep cuts, of about $500 million, to keep the operating budget balanced, and that domestic ticket sales have been slow as the country wrestles with its worst recession since the 1930s.

A November 2015 photo gallery of Rio 2016 Olympic venues under construction can be found here.

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