Latest confirmed riders are unveiled, ten athletes across eight nations, with five Olympic gold medals and 25 UCI Track Cycling World Championship titles between them
October 19 2021 – Paris, France: Tokyo 2020 gold medalist Katie Archibald (Great Britain), eight-time UCI World Champion Kirsten Wild (The Netherlands) and current points race UCI World Champion and 2022 Israel Start-Up Nation rider Corbin Strong are among a star-studded list of pre-qualified ‘endurance’ riders for the upcoming UCI Track Champions League.
Following last week’s announcement of the 12 pre-qualified sprinters, today the league confirms a truly international mix of five male and five female ‘endurance’ riders set to battle it out from November. Joining a list of 22 pre-qualified riders, they will compete for equal prize money in the innovative new series, set to elevate the sport to new levels with short format, high adrenaline racing, broadcast to millions.
In the men’s line up: Current UCI World Champion in the points race and 2022 Israel Start-Up Nation rider Corbin Strong (New Zealand), Ed Clancy (Great Britain), six-time European Champion Sebastian Mora (Spain), two-time team pursuit UCI World Champion Kelland O’Brien (Australia) and Yacine Chalel (Algeria) – current leader of the UCI Men Elite Elimination Rankings.
Commenting on his pre-qualification for the league Corbin Strong said: “Track cycling is an incredibly exciting spectacle, and the UCI Track Champions League has done a great job of designing an event that will showcase this to a large audience. For a long time we’ve been missing an event like the Champions League and I feel very grateful to have qualified.”
In the women’s line-up: Tokyo 2020 gold medalist Katie Archibald (UK) will go head-to-head with eight-time UCI World and European Champion Kirsten Wild (The Netherlands), three-time UCI World Champion Annette Edmondson (Australia), Olympic silver medalist Yumi Kajihara (Japan) and Norwegian National Champion Anita Yvonne Stenberg.
Commenting on her pre-qualification, Katie Archibald said: “I was so excited when I first heard about the UCI Track Champions League – a thrilling new track competition and a great addition to the cycling calendar. I was even more pleased to have pre-qualified for the inaugural event when I found out just after the Olympics this summer. After 18 months with no racing, it’s fantastic to get back into the rhythm and the UCI Track Champions League will provide a chance to test myself against the best of the best and to travel and race all over Europe again in a matter of weeks – I can’t wait!”
Today’s list of 10 will be joined by an additional 2 pre-qualified riders to be announced soon. Selection is determined by a range of criteria including past results from the Tokyo Olympics and other major events including the UCI Track Cycling Nations Cup in Cali (Colombia) and European Track Championships. Previous palmares and general status in the sport are also considered. The 24 pre-qualified Sprint and Endurance riders will join a further 48 who will qualify for the league during the UCI Track World Championships taking place in Roubaix (France) this week*.
It means that the UCI Track Champions League will feature the very best talent coming together in a way never seen before, battling it out across five rounds in four countries. For riders, selection represents a ‘golden ticket’ to the most exciting series in track cycling. For millions of fans around the world, it is another step closer to an action-packed, technology-driven sporting experience whether watching live in the velodrome, via an innovative, premium TV broadcast, or online.
The 48 riders yet to qualify and remaining 2 pre-qualified riders will be revealed prior to the first round in Mallorca, on November 6th.
Corbin Strong (New Zealand) – Current points race UCI World Champion and team pursuit silver medalist at the 2020 UCI Track Cycling World Championships
Ed Clancy (Great Britain) – Three-time Olympic gold medalist, six-time UCI World Champion and five-time European Champion
Sebastián Mora (Spain) – Former UCI World Champion and six-time European Champion
Yacine Chalel (Algeria) – Current leader of the UCI Men Elite Elimination Rankings
Kelland O’Brien (Australia) – Two-time team pursuit UCI World Champion and Olympic Games bronze medalist
Katie Archibald (Great Britain) – Two-time Olympic gold medalist, three-time UCI World Champion
Kirsten Wild (The Netherlands) – Eight-time UCI World and European Champion, Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist
Annette Edmondson (Australia) – Three-time UCI World Champion and two-time Commonwealth Games gold medalist
Yumi Kajihara (Japan) – Olympic silver medalist in Tokyo and reigning UCI World Champion
Anita Yvonne Stenberg (Norway) – Norwegian National Champion
François Ribeiro, Head of Discovery Sports Events said: “The fact that riders of this calibre are attracted to the UCI Track Champions League is a testament to the quality of this innovative new series. Endurance track cycling events are some of the very toughest in the sport, and draw the very best to compete. Securing these highly-talented individuals is key in Discovery Sports Events’ mission to produce an ‘edge-of-your-seat’ spectacle. We look forward to announcing more world-class riders before the start of the season.”
Round 1: November 6, Mallorca / Velòdrom Illes Balears, Spain
Round 2: November 27. Panevézys / Cido Arena, Lithuania
Round 3: December 3, London / Lee Valley VeloPark, Great Britain
Round 4: December 4, London / Lee Valley VeloPark, Great Britain
Round 5: December 11, Tel Aviv / Sylvan Adams National Velodrome, Israel
Tickets on sale soon: here
For more information about the UCI Track Champions League, visit www.ucitrackchampionsleague.com.
*Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Championships Qualification Places
Qualification places for the final 48 riders will be awarded based on results in the following races (men and women):
SPRINT – top 6 from:
Sprint (6 riders)
Keirin (6 riders)
ENDURANCE – 3 medalists from:
Elimination (3 riders)
Omnium (3 riders)
Scratch (3 riders)
Points (3 riders)
Photo Credit: SWPix.com