CUE Rocky music. Pan to Chris Hoy sprinting up Buchanan Street with thousands of helmeted athletes in his wake. Cut to a brisk jog up the steps of the Concert Hall and close in on two arms raised by the great Olympian to celebrate Glasgow as the greatest sporting city in the world.

It’s a wrap. It will serve as a trailer to the film of the week.

In the manner of a defiant boxer, cut and bruised but not defeated by wounding criticism, Glasgow will rise from the canvas tomorrow to provide another chapter in a different story.

The faults of the city centre have been chronicled. The sporting story demands similar investigation.

History will be made in Glasgow today. The first UCI Cycling World Championships will start in the city, ending on August 13. It is the first time all 13 disciplines have been brought together for one event so 190 road, track, BMX and mountain bike titles will be contested and Glasgow, in its traditional generosity, is even allowing the jamboree to seep to other parts of Scotland.

READ MORE: UCI World Championships 2023: Everything you need to know

There will be an invasion of 2600 competitors from all over the world and 8000 punters have signed up for a mass participation event.

Glasgow, again, is the centre of the sporting world.

This is a city that was the birthplace of the most popular sport in the world. This dear, dreich place has witnessed, too, the sunniness of Usain Bolt, the brilliance of the greatest European final ever played, the spectacular swings of the best ever British sportsman (Andrew Barron Murray, who was born in the city) and the conspicuous success of a series of international events held in the city.

This is a city that punches above its weight, outpaces rivals and sets records in the sporting world.

Glasgow’s sporting credentials stretch back into the late 19th century. It was the first place to host a football international (Scotland v England at West of Scotland Cricket ground in 1872) and it was the crucible that forged modern football.

The rules were codified in England but the game that Messi has taken to the colonies was devised by the Scotch Professors, the purveyors of passing and movement, who displayed those skills in the First Hampden, now a bowling club alongside a railway line.

The Herald: The Queensferry Crossing will close for one eventThe Queensferry Crossing will close for one event (Image: free)

The Third Hampden – there was a 30-year loitering at the Second Hampden of Cathkin Park – has survived in various forms for over a century. It has witnessed the greatest ever European Cup final – the 7-3 defeat of Eintracht Frankfurt by Real Madrid in 1960 – and roared at the greatest ever European Cup final goal scored by Zinedine Zidane in 2002.

Inevitably derided by many Scots, it remains a favourite with UEFA and is in line to host both European club finals and international tournaments.

It was part, too, of a more modern phenomenon. Glasgow in the 21st century has become the hostesss with the mostess.

Usain Bolt was the undoubted star of track and field at Hampden during the Commonwealth Games of 2014 but the whole city reverberated to bowls at Kelvingrove, cycling at the Chris Hoy Velodrome, rugby sevens at Ibrox, boxing at the SEC (where Josh Taylor gave powerful intimations of his future greatness), and swimming at Tollcross.

There was more. And it was smoothly run and well attended.

It was no surprise then in 2018 that Glasgow shared with Berlin in hosting the first European Championships, bringing together for the first time a host of sports.

READ MORE: UCI Cycling World Championships set to get underway in Glasgow

This event spoke powerfully to two truths. First, the city, with help from outside agencies, can put on a show. Second, the athletes were inspired by the reaction of punters to their disciplines.

Tollcross, for example, was a raucous, energising area for the swimming events. Adam Peaty, one of the greatest swimmers of all time, was visibly moved when he climbed from the pool to give immediate reaction, amid extraordinary acclamation, to yet another victory.

Similarly, the Davis Cup matches held first in Braehead Arena and then the Emirates in the east end played an influential role on the road to ultimate Cup triumph in the tennis world cup in 2015 in Ghent by Team GB. The most significant players were born in Glasgow, of course. Andy and Jamie Murray were formed in Dunblane but opened their eyes for the first time in Glasgow. Leon Smith, team captain, comes from the south side, albeit just outside the city boundary.

Yet despite their native appreciation of the city’s love for sport they, too, were overwhelmed by the reaction of the crowds. This was an arena resembling a boxing hall in Tijuana in its passion and loud support. Andy Murray visibly winced at the noise as he walked on to court for the semi-final against Australia in 2015.

The Davis Cup came back, of course, and the Billie Jean Cup was also played in Glasgow.

The message from sporting institutions is that Glasgow is a place to come, to compete in, to savour a culture of friendliness and reliable organisation.

The arrival of these showpiece events are greeted by a populace that simply loves sport. The people in Glasgow and its environs “buy into” events so that attendances are high, creating that buzz that is the soundtrack to any great event.

The cyclists whir into town this week. They bring with them financial benefits estimated at £60m. Their presence cannot dismiss the genuine problems of a city.

But they may just serve to remind us and the world that Glasgow holds significant sporting history and can offer joy and accomplishment in the present.

Let the games begin!