Dubai: The International Cycling Union (UCI) has teamed up with Eurosport Events to unveil a new UCI Track Champions League competition - set to start next year.
The latest announcement follows an initial announcement that was made in March in Berlin, under the working title, the ‘UCI Track Cycling World League’. But, now the name, logo, a revised schedule and ambassadors for the series have also been revealed.
Scheduled to start on November 5, 2021, the re-named ‘UCI Track Champions League’ will feature shorter-format racing with only elite racers eligible for it. The new league is planned to be hosted in six European velodromes over six straight weekends.
The series is set to follow on from the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which are scheduled to finish in August and the 2021 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Turkmenistan, scheduled for October.
Race disciplines for the competition will be the individual sprint, keirin, elimination and scratch, with all of the action completed in one day and broadcast over a two-hour slot.
The nine best riders in individual sprint and keirin, as well as the medallists of bunch races at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships, will gain selection for the first UCI Track Champions League. Riders will then be eligible to gain points towards the next UCI Track Cycling World Championships.
As per the latest announcement, Germany’s Kristina Vogel and and Scotland’s Sir Chris Hoy, two of the greatest track cyclists in cycling history have been named ambassadors for the series.
UCI President David Lappartient was pleased with the progress made by the sport. “This sort of an event will bring in a novelty to our sport, and the fact that it has been specially designed for television fans will ensure the sport of cycling has a bigger appeal around the world,” he noted.
“From November to December 2021, the UCI Track Champions League will bring together the world’s best sprinters and endurance specialists over six closely-spaced weekends in short formats with the aim of broadening the discipline’s audience to a new, thrill-seeking public,” he added.
Hoy is a six-time Olympic gold medallist and 11-time world champion, making him Great Britain’s most successful Olympian and the most successful track cyclist in the history of the sport.
“I’m excited to reveal my new role as ambassador today alongside multiple Olympic and UCI world champion Kristina Vogel. The UCI Track Champions League is set to bring the action and atmosphere of track cycling close to viewers than ever before,” Hoy said.
“After a long career on the track experiencing that adrenaline rush first hand, I’m pleased the cycling discipline is being recognised by Eurosport Events as one to promote on a global level,” he added.