Posted by Editoress on 03/1/20
The UCI has finally announced some details of the massive changes they will be making to track cycling. At this point, they have not answered many questions that were posed during the announcement press conference with UCI President David Lappartient.
As an overview:
• The World Cup series is gone
• New Nations Cup series with three events between March and September each year. These will have the events (Sprint, Keirn, Pursuits, Omnium, etc.) that take place at the Worlds and Olympics, and the Nations Cups will be used to qualify for Worlds. No word on how they will determine locations (some rumours that it will be one in the Americas, one in Europe and one in Asia/Oceania, but no confirmation). Trade teams are gone.
• New World League series of six events in the Fall/Winter. These are more of a Six Day style format designed for television, and the press conference focussed on this series and the new multi-year agreement signed with Discovery Channel (which owns Eurosport). The medal winners from the previous Worlds will be the only riders invited - a total of 72 athletes (36 men and 36 women) consisting of 18 Endurance, 9 Sprint and 9 Keirin. Riders will have expenses covered and lots of prize money. Each event will only be two hours long, with a number of made up events. Riders will receive some qualifying points for Worlds.
• Worlds moves to October.
Moving the Nations Cups and Worlds to the Road season will potentially damage the possibility of riders doing both disciplines; especially for pro road riders. It is also likely to take attention away from track cycling, since Road commands more interest and the Nations Cups will certainly be going head-to-head with WorldTour events.
As to why the UCI would do it, the answer is pretty obvious: they want no conflict with their new flashy World League series.
Feedback from the national track programs and riders is just trickling out, since this is the most detail that the UCI has provided to-date, however, initial comments we have heard are mostly negative.
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