This year's World Masters Track Championships will be held in Manchester, Great Britain between September 11-16. It will be the last time that the event will be hosted in Manchester for at least the next three years, as it will be run in Australia between 2007 and 2009. Manchester will see an alternative event next year as the organisers are working with the European Cycling Union to start a European Masters Championships.
A record 426 riders have entered this year's event, which organisers say is 100 more than usual. Not all the extras are from Britain either, as this year sees three new nations competing (Ukraine, Mongolia and Cyprus) with all the regular countries sending more riders than in previous years.
This will be the last year that the British riders will have the home advantage, and they will be doing their best to topple the Americans off the top medal spot. America has the best masters track riders in the world, and has won the medal count every year except for 2000, when Britain managed to finish on top.
Highlights of next week's racing should be the 45-49 years points and pursuit races and the Muratti Cup. The 45-49 Points race takes place on Wednesday and sees a full field including Shaun Wallace, Malcolm Elliott and Bernardo Figueroa. Sean Yates then joins Wallace and Figueroa on Friday evening in the pursuit race.
Saturday sees the famous Muratti Cup round off the competition. Already signed up for this race are Elliott, Wallace and Figueroa. Adrian Timmis, Sean Yates, Christophe Nicolle, Jean-Phillippe Meret and Mike Zwingenberger could join these.
The Championships are the official championships for riders over 30 years of age and riders are grouped in five year age categories with each age competing over four individual disciplines (time trial, sprint, pursuit and points race) with the men also competing in the team sprint.
The event features over 50 world Championship events in the six days and finals will be 7pm each weekday evening (with a further final session on Monday 11th at 1.30pm). Saturday 16th will see the last day of the Championships starting with heats and some finals at 12.00pm with the main finals session starting at 6pm.
Admission to the finals (heats are free) is £8 per day (£4 under 16's and over 60's).
More information: www.cyclingmasters.com