British Cycling has announced that London’s Lee Valley VeloPark will host two rounds of the inaugural UCI Track Champions League on 3 – 4 December 2021.
London will host the fourth and fifth rounds of the landmark series, which heralds a new chapter in the history of track cycling. Featuring high adrenalin, short format races, the world’s highest profile riders and a unique viewing experience, the series has been designed to build the global profile of track cycling through an eight-year partnership between cycling’s world governing body the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and Discovery, alongside its dedicated event promotion business Eurosport Events.
The series will begin in Mallorca on November 6th, with Round 2 taking place in Paris on November 20th and Round 3 in Panevėžys, Lithuania on November 27th. The final round of the series will take place in Tel Aviv, Israel on December 11th.
British Cycling members will be offered priority access to tickets for the two rounds at Lee Valley VeloPark, with further details to be shared in the coming days.
British Cycling Chief Executive, Brian Facer, said: “The UCI Track Champions League is an exciting initiative that will showcase track cycling at its best and we are thrilled to bring two rounds to London in its inaugural year. We’re also delighted that the UCI and Discovery approached British Cycling to host the UCI Track Champions League, recognising both our place as a leading track cycling nation over recent years and the unique atmosphere generated by British fans at Lee Valley VeloPark.
“The UCI Track Champions League will feature disciplines which are familiar to current track cycling enthusiasts but present them in a way that will attract new fans, introducing them to thrilling action and the personalities whose dedication and talent has taken them to the very highest level of the sport.
“It is particularly pleasing that London is the only city to have been awarded two rounds, which will enable twice the number of fans to experience the event. We also know that our partners at Lee Valley VeloPark will help us to stage a fantastic weekend of action that will rekindle memories of London 2012 and the many famous days and nights since.
“As with every Olympic year, 2021 will see a spike in interest and engagement with track cycling, and the UCI Track Champions League will keep that momentum going throughout the rest of the year and beyond.”
Great Britain Cycling Team rider Ed Clancy has been named as one of the UCI Track Champions League Founding Riders, alongside Emma Hinze (Germany), Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands), Mathilde Gros (France), Sebastián Mora (Spain) and Simona Krupeckaitė (Lithuania), while Sir Chris Hoy MBE and Kristina Vogel will support the series as ambassadors.
Each round of the series will feature the same race programme with riders scoring points across the six rounds in either the Sprint or Endurance category. Each category has two different types of races in which competitors can accumulate points: sprinters will race both the Sprint and Keirin while endurance riders will race both the Elimination and Scratch. 18 riders will compete in each category, totalling 72 riders — equal numbers male and female.
The points accrued by riders will determine their place in a league table, with a prize pot totalling more than €500,000 up for grabs for riders across the series. The prize pot will be equal for male and female riders. At the end of each round the four current leaders of each category will be awarded the coveted leader’s jersey to wear at the next event.
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority Chief Executive, Shaun Dawson, said: “Since the day it opened, Lee Valley VeloPark has given people the chance to ride this world-famous track, as well enjoy BMX, a road circuit and mountain biking. Community access, track days, corporate hires, hosting leagues and schools, and getting children riding for the first time is at the heart of what do, but major events are in our DNA.
“After the year that everyone has had, we can’t wait to play our part in getting life back to normal and bringing in a super loud Lee Valley crowd to see the world’s best riders in action and cheer on supreme athletes.”
You can find more information on the event at www.ucitrackchampionsleague.com