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Tel Aviv to host inaugural cycling finale

CM 19/05/2021

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At an event on Tuesday unveiling the brand new UCI Track Champions League, it was announced that the six-round track cycling competition will culminate in a final round at the Sylvan Adams National Velodrome in Tel Aviv, where the male and female winners of the competition will be crowned.

Details of the innovative new series were announced via a live digital event, streamed from Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, near Paris, and Bath, UK. President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), cycling’s world governing body, David Lappartient, Eurosport & Discovery Global Sports Rights & Sports Marketing Solutions President, Andrew Georgiou and Francois Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events revealed all aspects of the competition.  They were joined by ambassadors, track cycling legends Kristina Vogel and Sir Chris Hoy MBE, plus key figures, including Israeli-Canadian businessman and philanthropist Sylvan Adams.SYLVAN ADAMS poses at Tuesday’s launch event for the inaugural UCI Track Champions League (trophy inset), the finale of which will take place in December in Tel Aviv (Photo Credit: Courtesy).SYLVAN ADAMS poses at Tuesday’s launch event for the inaugural UCI Track Champions League (trophy inset), the finale of which will take place in December in Tel Aviv (Photo Credit: Courtesy).
“I’m just thrilled that the Sylvan Adams Velodrome in Tel Aviv will host the finale of the UCI Track Champions League that will see the winner crowned in Israel,” said Adams.“Our velodrome, the first such facility in the Middle East, is just over a year old, and we already have developed some real track talents, both men and women, who will get the opportunity to race against the world’s best on their home track. In a way, this will be our coming out party to the rest of the track cycling world, who will get to see our world class facility, as the event is beamed into living room TVs around the globe by Eurosport. Looking forward to welcoming everyone to the great, exciting city of Tel Aviv.”
The elite competition featuring the world’s highest profile riders, is designed to build the global profile of track cycling beyond the four-year Olympic cycle. It will debut on November 6 with the first of six events. The competition, which will be broadcast worldwide, will include gender-equal participation and prize fund.

The competition will begin in Spain, continuing with rounds in France, Lithuania, two rounds in London and culminating in the competition finale on December 11 at the Sylvan Adams National Velodrome in Tel Aviv. The velodrome is the most advanced cycling facility in the Middle East, funded by Adams as part of his vision to nurture homegrown cycling champions in Israel. The venue will also host the 2022 UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships.
“The name Champions League says it all,” said Ribeiro. “It’s an ambitious name for an ambitious project.”
The sprint category will feature sprint and keirin while elimination and scratch races form the endurance events. Four riders will emerge as champions: the best male and female sprint riders and the best male and female endurance riders.
Riders will wear custom-made speed-suits complete with their national flag while a special ‘leaders’ jersey will be worn by the leaders of the standings.
Each round of the series will last around two hours with TV viewers treated to a range of innovative features such as 3D-mapping and live rider data to bring them closer to the action.
“It’s not re-inventing the sport or the rules but it’s re-inventing the way that it’s presented to the fans in the velodrome and the viewers on TV,” Ribeiro said.
“It will be a mind-blowing mix of entertainment and sport. Two hours and a half… bang, bang, bang!”
Adams is the co-owner of the Israel Start-Up Nation cycling team, which competes on the World Tour, the highest level of professional road cycling. He was also the driving force behind bringing the Big Start of the prestigious Giro d’Italia to Israel in 2018.
The UCI Track Champions League is a league format where every round will feature the same race program. Riders score 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. Eighteen riders will compete in each category, totaling 72 riders – equal numbers male and female.
The 36 male and 36 female riders competing for victory in the League’s Sprint and Endurance categories will be motivated by a prize pot totaling more than €500,000. Furthermore, the allocation of prize money will be equal for both male and female riders as part of the League’s commitment to gender equality in the sport, and in line with the UCI’s equal prize money policy across all its events.
Prize money will be awarded for places 1-10 in every race throughout the series, with race winners receiving €1,000. The overall winner of each category will also receive €25,000, with prize money allocated for each place in the overall standings.
Rankings within the UCI Track Champions League will be determined by points allocated to riders from their performance in each race. Points will accrue in a league table and the overall winner in each of the categories will be the rider with the most points at the end of the series.
Tuesday’s launch comes as part of a new eight-year partnership between the UCI and Discovery alongside its dedicated event promotion business Eurosport Events, with the objective to develop a year-round narrative for track cycling and further grow engagement around the sport.
“The launch of the UCI Track Champions League marks an important milestone in the history of track cycling, one of cycling’s historic disciplines and one that has been part of the Olympic Games since the first modern Games in 1896,” noted Lappartient.“Thanks to our strategic partnership with Discovery, a dynamic, fast-paced, television-friendly circuit will reach a new audience of track cycling fans.
“I am very much looking forward to seeing this inaugural edition of the UCI Track Champions League take place in these iconic venues revealed today, and to seeing the first four men’s and women’s winners of the 2021 UCI Track Champions League, celebrated in December in Tel Aviv, Israel.”
Reuters contributed to this report.

Source: Jerusalem Post

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