The UCI Track Champions League was unveiled on Thursday as the name for cycling's governing body's new, six-round series of track events organised in partnership with Eurosport Events, with the series set to run on consecutive weekends in six different venues in November and December 2021.
While the six European host cities are yet to be revealed, it was announced that each track meeting will consist of four events for both men and women: the individual sprint, the Keirin, a scratch race and an elimination race.
Thursday's press release stated that riders – who will represent their nations – will qualify for the new Track Champions League via next year's UCI Track World Championships, with the top-nine finishers in the individual sprint and Keirin, and the medallists in the bunch races, being invited to compete in the series.
Both Eurosport and GCN will broadcast the events, with all six rounds each enjoying two hours of coverage.
The UCI first announced its eight-year partnership with Eurosport and GCN parent company Discovery in March for a series that was initially set to run from November 2021 until February 2022, but that has now been streamlined so that the six rounds will run over six consecutive weekends between November and December next year.
"The UCI Track Champions League will bring together the world's best sprinters and endurance specialists over six closely spaced weekends in short formats, with the aim of broadening the discipline's audience to a new, thrill-seeking public," said UCI president David Lappartient in the press release.
"With its strong visual identity, its legendary ambassadors, and its compact calendar, the new track competition promises to bring a breath of fresh air to a historic discipline of our sport and the Olympic and Paralympic Games," he said.
Cycling's governing body unveiled its ambassadors for the UCI Track Champions League to be former track riders Kristina Vogel and Chris Hoy, who each won 11 world titles during their careers.
"The new UCI Track Champions League aims to place an emphasis on the experience of the riders themselves, so it's humbling for me to be consulted as part of the development of the inaugural season as an ambassador," said Vogel, who won Olympic gold in the team sprint in 2012 and in the individual sprint in 2016. "I'm very much looking forward to the action on the track kicking off next year."
Hoy – who won a total of six Olympic gold medals in the sprinters' events at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Games – added: "After a long career on the track, experiencing that adrenaline rush first hand, I'm pleased the cycling discipline is being recognised by Eurosport Events as one to promote on a global level."
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