The full list of riders taking part in the men’s and women’s Sprint competitions at the 2022 UCI Track Champions League has been revealed, with no-less than eight newly crowned UCI World Champions among the star-studded roster.
Jeffrey Hoogland (Netherlands), who won his seventh rainbow jersey in the 1km Time Trial at the Tissot UCI Track World Championships in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (France) earlier this month, and Thomas Cornish (Australia), who helped his nation to victory in the Team Sprint event, are among 18 riders named on the Men’s Sprint list, and join fellow UCI World Champions Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands) and Matthew Richardson (Australia) who achieved pre-qualified status for the UCI Track Champions League last month.
The 18-rider strong Women’s Sprint list features Pauline Grabosch (Germany), who took the fourth rainbow jersey of her career in the Team Sprint in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, and Taky Marie-Divine Kouame (France) who won the 500m Time Trial. That duo join fellow UCI World Champions Lea Friedrich (Germany) and Mathilde Gros (France) who also achieved pre-qualified status.
Emma Hinze (Germany) had been set to defend her title but announced on Thursday she will miss the series in order to recover from a heavy race schedule.
17 sprinters (eight men and nine women) are set to make their UCI Track Champions League debuts.
Riders from 18 countries will be taking part in the Sprint competitions, with athletes from Australia (Thomas Cornish, Matthew Richardson and Kristina Clonan), India (Esow Esow), Kazakhstan (Sergey Ponomaryov) and Malaysia (Azizulhasni Awang) in action for the very first time. The Netherlands meanwhile, are the most represented nation, with five riders competing in total (Shanne Braspennincx, Jeffrey Hoogland, Harrie Lavreysen, Steffie van der Peet and Laurine van Riessen).
The full 36-rider Sprint roster for the UCI Track Champions League is as follows:
12 Sprint riders (split equally between male and female athletes) had previously achieved pre-qualified status based on their favourable performances in the 2021 Tissot UCI Track World Championships, 2021 UCI Track Champions League, and their results over the early part of the 2022 season.
The remaining 24 riders that have now been confirmed qualified on account of their performances at the 2022 Tissot UCI Track World Championships. That event took place between 12-16 October at the Vélodrome National in St-Quentin-en-Yvelines on the outskirts of Paris (France), which will also host round three of the UCI Track Champions League on Saturday 26 November.
12 places (six male and six female) were awarded to riders who achieved a top-six finish in either of the Keirin or Individual Sprint events.
When any of the pre-qualified riders occupied those places, or a non-pre-qualified rider achieved more than one of those places, the spot was awarded to the next-best qualifiers of each event.
BIGGER AND BETTER
The UCI Track Champions League is returning bigger and better in 2022 with the five-round series commencing in Mallorca on Saturday 12 November, visiting Berlin (Saturday 19 November) and Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (Saturday 26 November) before culminating with a double-header at London’s Lee Valley VeloPark on Friday and Saturday 2-3 December.
The racing format will remain unchanged, with Sprint riders taking part in Individual Sprint and Keirin events during each round while the Endurance riders battle it out in both Elimination and Scratch races.
Four champions (one male and one female rider in both the Sprint and Endurance categories) will then be crowned at the end of the series.
The full list of Endurance riders is set to be announced soon.
Jeffrey Hoogland, who also won a gold medal in the Team Sprint at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, said: “I really enjoyed taking part in the UCI Track Champions League last season and I’m happy to be back. I feel like I have unfinished business after being unable to ride the final two rounds after coming into close contact with two of my team-mates who contracted COVID-19.
“The series has really helped take track cycling to another level and it’s going to be great to compete against the best athletes in the world again, week after week.”
‘Can’t wait to get going’
Pauline Grabosch, who is also a current European Champion, said: “I’m really excited to be riding the UCI Track Champions League for the first time. I’ve heard the competition is super hard but also hugely enjoyable at the same time, and there’s a real camaraderie between the riders who compete in it.
“Being a German rider, I’m particularly looking forward to the Berlin round on Saturday 19 November, but I’m sure all five rounds will be really fun, and I can’t wait to get going.”
‘A who’s who of global sprint talent’
François Ribeiro, Head of Discovery Sports Events, promoter of the UCI Track Champions League said: “It’s credit to the success of the first UCI Track Champions League campaign that we’ve been able to amass such an impressive list of Sprint riders for the 2022 season.
“The roster reads like a who’s who of global Sprint talent and the athletes we’ve confirmed are sure to guarantee some spectacular racing across the five rounds.”
‘Guaranteed a fantastic show’
David Lappartient, UCI President, said: “With eight reigning UCI World Champions competing in the sprint events at the upcoming UCI Track Champions League, we are guaranteed a fantastic show.
“Indeed all 18 women and 18 men who have made the final Sprint roster are athletes who have proven their worth on the world stage over the last year. This quality line-up of sprint athletes will ensure there is high-paced and intense competition across all five rounds of the 2022 UCI Track Champions League.”
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The UCI Track Champions League is almost here and you can watch all of the action live on the Eurosport app, eurosport.co.uk and discovery+