‘A very huge moment’ – Gros ‘excited’ to return for Track Champions League

Mathilde Gros has expressed how “excited” she is to return for the UCI Track Champions League 2022 and said it will be “a very huge moment”.

The 23-year-old French rider was victorious on home soil earlier in the year as she took gold in the Women’s Sprint at the Track World Championships.

Gros triumphed after eliminating defending world champion Emma Hinze in a thrilling semi-final, before beating Lea Friedrich in the final to win gold at the Velodrome National in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France.

Eurosport caught up with Gros and she explained why she is so excited about the upcoming edition of the UCI Track Champions League, after the success of the event so far.

“I’m super happy and excited to be back here in front of my family and friends for the Track Champions League,” Gros told Eurosport.

“I feel it’ll be a very huge moment, lot of emotions will resurface but I’m looking forward.”

Reflecting on her experience of the dazzling event so far, she added: “It was incredible, so good. There were so many people in Mallorca.

“I remember my parents came with my grandmother. We saw a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of people. It was a new format, a new lights atmosphere, they really put track cycling in the spotlights, it was so great and I loved it.

“The format surprised a lot of the riders because of the lack of recovery between races. Sometimes you could have one or two hours in a normal race between two rounds of the sprint.

“I think that also gave us the opportunity to progress in endurance. At the end of the five rounds, we had the endurance and it was cool. The first weekend was hard but then round to round, we evolved in this aspect.

“I think every year is different, we’ll have to start from zero again. It’ll be hard. We have 18 talented riders with new ones who want to fight and race some more experienced riders. It’ll be a surprising season with twists and turns, and for sure we’ll have a nice show.”

Will Gros do anything different in this edition?

“I think I’ll more take the rounds one after the other and focus on each race, each round,” she said.

“I would like to try new things. Last year it was more of a race for the overall standings. This year, I would like to try new things with Paris 2024 in my head. Enjoy on the track as I did at the Worlds. Enjoy and dare.”

Asked what she loved most about the event, Gros said: “First, it will be a show. Every rider gives everything in each race; the format is short and interesting.

“You can bring kids to the Track Champions League and the lights make the atmosphere so special.”

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After a great debut season, the UCI Track Champions League is back for season two, with Laura Kenny joining the party. You can watch it all live and on demand on discovery+. We will have extensive coverage across eurosport.com and the first race is in Mallorca on Saturday Nov 12, with the action starting at 5:30pm UK time.

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