The damaged Rio 2016 Velodrome will stage next year's Para-cycling Track World Championships following repairs ©Twitter/Sidney White

Rio de Janiero has been awarded the 2018 International Cycling Union (UCI) Para-cycling Track World Championships after it was revealed damage caused by a fire at the Olympic Velodrome in July was not as bad as first feared.

The award was one of two editions of the Para Track World Championships made by the governing body, with Apeldoorn in The Netherlands handed the 2019 event.

A balloon was found to have caused the fire at the velodrome in Rio de Janiero in July, with damage caused to the roof and a section of the track.

The Governing Authority of the Olympic Legacy in Brazil confirmed the cooling system of the venue had not been affected after making their initial assessment, when they also confirmed a legal case had been opened.

Brian Cookson, the UCI President, confirmed the damage to the track was not as bad as first thought. 

The governing body have been informed repairs to the roof will shortly be completed.

"We are assured it will be up and running again, the damage was not as bad as some people reported," he told insidethegames here during the UCI Road World Championships.

"The damage to the track itself was quite superficial, it was really just soot from the roof.

"We are assured by the Brazilian Government that the repairs to the roof will be completed in the next couple of weeks.

"We are told the Velodrome will be back in action in good time."

Located at the Barra Olympic Park, the velodrome is one Rio 2016 venue where concerns have been expressed about legacy.

The facility re-opened in May for the first time since the Games and hosted a three-day festival.

The UCI state they will be the first international federation to host a World Championships in Rio since the Olympic and Paralympic Games ©Getty Images
The UCI state they will be the first international federation to host a World Championships in Rio since the Olympic and Paralympic Games ©Getty Images

This included the Rio de Janeiro State Championship, BMX freestyle presentations and a business exposition.

Organisers hoped the event would promote the velodrome as a major training facility in the region.

The UCI said they will be the first international federation to hold a World Championships in the Olympic host city since the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Cookson also claimed the governing body had worked hard to ensure hosts of the premier Para-cycling event.

The UCI were criticised for the late awarding of the 2017 Championships to Los Angeles, with a decision made just seven weeks before the event in March.

Britain's 14-time Paralympic gold medallist Dame Sarah Storey has also claimed there has been a "lack of clarity" over the organisation of Para-cycling competitions.

She suggested the uncertainty over a potential Track World Championships in 2017 gave athletes who took breaks after Rio 2016 little time to prepare.

"In the past we have been criticised for not giving long enough planning and training," Cookson said.

"It has been very difficult from time to time to get host cities and organisers for our Para World Championships.

"We have worked very hard and have made the necessary arrangements and I think we have got a good future to look forward to."

Apeldoorn will host the Championships for the second time, having previously done so in 2015.

The Dutch venue has previously staged the 2011 Track Cycling World Championships and will do so again next year.