Some of the world’s most prolific track sprinters are set to make history in November, as the UCI Track Champions League announces the first pre-qualified riders to be confirmed for the inaugural season.
With less than four weeks until the first round on November 6, the six male and six female sprinters will compete for equal prize money in the all-new series, set to elevate the sport to new levels with short format, high adrenaline racing, broadcast to millions.
In the women’s line up, Tokyo Olympic champion Kelsey Mitchell (Canada) will be joined by current UCI world champion Emma Hinze (Germany), Olympic silver medallist Olena Starikova (Ukraine), European Championship podium finisher Mathilde Gros (France), UCI top 10 ranked Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania) and Olympic keirin champion Shanne Braspennincx (Netherlands).
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Commenting on her pre-qualification for the league, Mitchell said: "I am so excited to be pre-qualified for the UCI Track Champions League and I can't wait to experience the thrill of racing against the best in the world, week after week.
Fast-paced and action-packed, this league will be an incredible experience for not only the riders, but the fans as well!
In the men's, current keirin and individual sprint UCI world champion Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands) will line up alongside Olympic team sprint champion Jeffrey Hoogland (Netherlands), Tissot UCI Track Nations Cup gold medallist Nicholas Paul (Trinidad & Tobago), UCI top 10 ranked Vasilijus Lendel and top six Olympic sprinters Maximilian Levy (Germany) and Denis Dmitriev (Russia).
Commenting on his pre-qualification, Lavreysen said: "I'm delighted to have pre-qualified for the UCI Track Champions League. I think the racing format will enable us to connect with existing fans and hopefully help introduce new people to the sport too.
It's going to be my biggest focus straight after the World Championships, and I'm really looking forward to getting started.
The 12 are among 24 pre-qualified riders across the Sprint and Endurance categories, and will join a further 48 who will qualify for the league. Selection is determined by a range of criteria including past results from the Tokyo Olympics and other major events including the Cali UCI Track Nations Cup and European Track Championships. Previous palmares and general status in the sport are also considered. Further riders will be selected on their results in the upcoming Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Championships later this month.
It means that the UCI Track Champions League will feature the very best talent coming together in a way never seen before, battling it out across five rounds in four countries. For riders, selection represents a ‘golden ticket’ to the most exciting series in track cycling. For millions of fans around the world, it is another step closer to an action-packed, technology-driven sporting experience whether watching live in the velodrome, via an innovative, premium TV broadcast, or online.
The remaining 12 pre-qualified riders and 48 riders yet to qualify will be revealed prior to the first round in Mallorca, on November 6th.

Dutch compatriots Jeffrey Hoogland and Harrie Lavreysen

Image credit: Eurosport

Men’s Sprint

  • Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands) - Two-time Olympic gold medallist, six-time UCI world champion and three-time European champion
  • Nicholas Paul (Trinidad & Tobago) - Pan American Track Championship gold medallist and flying 200m world record holder
  • Jeffrey Hoogland (Netherlands) - Olympic gold medallist, four-time UCI world champion and eight-time European champion
  • Vasilijus Lendel (Lithuania) - European Championship bronze medallist and UCI World Cup gold medallist
  • Maximilian Levy (Germany) - Four-time UCI world champion, six-time European champion and three-time Olympic medallist
  • Denis Dmitriev (Russia) - Four-time European champion, former UCI world champion and Olympic bronze medallist

Women’s Sprint

  • Emma Hinze (Germany) - Olympic silver medallist and three-time UCI world champion
  • Mathilde Gros (France) - UCI World Championships bronze medallist and two-time European champion
  • Simona Krupeckaite (Lithuania) - Two-time UCI world champion and three-time European champion
  • Kelsey Mitchell (Canada) - Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medallist
  • Shanne Braspennincx (Netherlands) - Tokyo 2020 Olympic gold medallist
  • Olena Starikova (Ukraine) - Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medallist
François Ribeiro, head of Eurosport Events, said: “The calibre of the riders announced today clearly illustrates our intent to bring together the best of the best male and female track cyclists in the world. Securing such high quality talent combined with an explosive, unpredictable racing format, is a key step in Discovery Sports Events’ ambition to create the most compelling series in track cycling. We look forward to announcing more great riders before the start of the season.”

WHEN IS IT?

The series takes place over five rounds in four countries.
  • Round 1: Mallorca, Spain - Saturday 6 November
  • Round 2: Panevezys, Lithuania – Saturday 27 November
  • Round 3: London, UK – Friday 3 December
  • Round 4: London, UK – Saturday 4 December
  • Round 5: Tel Aviv, Israel – Saturday 11 December
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The UCI Track Champions League is coming and you can watch all of the action live on the Eurosport app, eurosport.co.uk and discovery+. Find out more about the "mind-blowing" new era for track cycling, with the first event on November 6 in Mallorca.
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