The opening leg of the new Revolution Champions League series has been cancelled just 10 days before it was due to take place in France, with organisers giving no clear reason as to why, simply citing 'logistical issues'.
The original Revolution series, which sees trade teams racing in velodromes across the UK, has been well-established and popular for a number of years, but for this season the organisers partnered with Velon to create the 'Champions League' system.
As well as increasing the number of WorldTour teams, the change was meant to take the racing across the channel, with the first of the three rounds to be held at the Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines velodrome on the outskirts of Paris. Riders such as Olympic Omnium champion Elia Viviani, Geraint Thomas, Giacomo Nizzolo and Dylan Groenewegen had already confirmed their participation.
"While the Revolution organisation was excited to launch the first event outside of the UK, the difficult decision was taken not to proceed with the first round of the Revolution Cycling Champions League in Paris," read a statement from the organisers on Tuesday.
"The arrival of the competition in France has been delayed to the 2017 season, and will this year take place in the UK only. We are still keen to contribute to the development of track cycling in France, and will aim to come back next year in more favourable conditions, to present the Revolution Series to the French audience."
It has been suggested that a lack of interest in the event - and the prospect of swathes of empty seats in the velodrome - lies at the heart of the decision, with the Direct Velo website, where the news was first broken, noting that over the past few days ticket prices had been slashed by up to 50 per cent.
Contacted by Cyclingnews on Tuesday, the organisers denied this was the case, stating the decision was due to difficulties in logistics and planning.
The Revolution Champions League will now consist of just two rounds on UK soil, the first being held in Manchester from 25-26 November, and the second in London from 2-3 December.
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