Six Founding Riders Set To Bring The Vision Of The UCI Track Champions League To Life

Olympic Champions, UCI World Champions and World Record holders join the new track cycling competition debuting in November 2021

The UCI Track Champions League is delighted to announce that six of the world’s leading track athletes will be taking part in the competition’s inaugural year as ‘Founding Riders’. The Founding Riders will bring the human story behind the event to life in the build up to and during the UCI Track Champions League.

The hopes and dreams of each athlete will play out on the world stage in a way that has never been attempted in the sport of track cycling before. Fans will be able to follow the journey of each athlete in detail across the UCI Track Champions League’s channels as well as via Eurosport and the Global Cycling Network – two broadcasters among many providing coverage of the exciting new event. 2021 is set to be an electrifying year for track cycling, with the Founding Riders battling it out at the Tokyo Olympics and UCI World Championships before taking on the brand new UCI Track Champions League.

Three men and three women, each at different stages of their careers, have been chosen as Founding Riders. It is an international mix, with six riders hailing from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, UK and Lithuania. Racing alongside their fellow competitors at six international rounds, the Founding Riders have been chosen as talented representatives of the sport’s major track cycling nations.

These riders have been pre-selected as part of a qualification process that will see the first 12 places in each category – Sprint and Endurance – qualify from the UCI World Championships and the remaining six places allocated to the world’s best track riders – this will be determined by a range of criteria including UCI rankings, Olympic performance and previous results at major events. All will be setting their sights on being crowned either the Endurance or Sprint Champion as they emerge from six back-to-back rounds of competition.

François Ribeiro, Head of Eurosport Events, promoter of the UCI Track Champions League said: “When you’re invested in an athlete or a team, watching sport becomes instantly more captivating. And as our mission is to grow the fanbase of track cycling across the world, our Founding Riders will play a crucial role in getting new audiences invested in the drama on the track each week and throughout 2021. We’re thrilled to have on board six extremely talented and professional athletes who, between them, have amassed more than twenty UCI Track Cycling World Championships titles and Olympic gold medals. We’re looking forward to them sharing with us their passion for track cycling, the hours of preparation they put into training and the incredible skill they have perfected.”

 

The Founding Riders of the UCI Track Champions League are: 

Ed Clancy (UK) 

In addition to six UCI Track Cycling World Champion titles, Clancy’s illustrious career has featured triumphs at the Beijing, London and Rio Olympics as part of a gold medal-winning team pursuit quartet. 2021 will be the 36-year-old’s sixteenth year as a Team GB team pursuit cyclist as he aims for Tokyo 2021. Clancy could also potentially be the first track cyclist in the world to get four gold track medals across four consecutive Olympics if successful in this year. In November, Clancy will be vying for the Endurance Champion title at the UCI Track Champions League.

Emma Hinze (Germany)

Last year Hinze cemented her trailblazer status when she was crowned triple UCI World Champion at Berlin 2020. The 23-year-old landed her titles in the Keirin, Sprint and Team Sprint disciplines and will be looking to outpace her competitors in the Sprint category at the inaugural UCI Track Champions League.

Harrie Lavreysen (Netherlands)

24-year-old Lavreysen will be putting up a fierce fight for the Sprint victory at the UCI Track Championships. The Dutch athlete has six UCI World Champion and three European Champion titles under his belt and is the reigning Sprint, Keirin and Team Sprint UCI World Champion and current Team Sprint world record holder.

Mathilde Gros (France)

France’s rising star is the youngest Founding Rider at 21-years-old and will be competing to be the women’s Sprint Champion. Gros began her career in track cycling in 2015 when she was invited to take part in the Chariloto Cup in Japan. She has since gone on to win two golds at the European Championships as well as a bronze at the 2019 UCI World Championships.

Sebastián Mora (Spain)

Mora not only knows his way around the track but has also been competing professionally on the road as part of Movistar team since 2020. The 32-year-old Spaniard is multiple European champion across Scratch, Points and Madison and former Scratch UCI World Champion (2016). Mora will race against fellow Founding Rider Ed Clancy for the UCI Track Champions League Endurance victory.

Simona Krupeckaitė (Lithuania) 

Krupeckaitė is a former holder of two world records on the track as well as numerous victories in the UCI World Championships, UCI World Cups and European Track Championships. Her success on the track has also earned her three Lithuanian Sportsperson of the Year awards. The 38-year-old will be taking part in her fifth Olympic Games this summer ahead of the UCI Track Champions League.

The UCI Track Champions League will take place during November and December 2021. For more information please visit ucitrackchampionsleague.com.

-ENDS-
 
About the UCI
Founded in 1900 in Paris (France), the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is the worldwide governing body for cycling. It develops and oversees cycling in all its forms, for all people: as a competitive sport, a healthy recreational activity, a means of transport, and also just for fun. The UCI manages and promotes the eight cycling disciplines: road, track, mountain bike, BMX Racing, BMX Freestyle, cyclo-cross, trials and indoor cycling. Five of these are featured on the Olympic Games programme (road, track, mountain bike, BMX Racing and BMX Freestyle), two in the Paralympic Games (road and track) and four in the Youth Olympic Games (road, mountain bike, BMX Racing and BMX Freestyle). For more information: www.uci.org.

About Eurosport Events
Eurosport Events is the Discovery-owned Eurosport Group’s event management division. It expertly delivers a full spectrum of event management services in two- and four-wheel sport under long-term agreements with the world governing bodies of both categories. The broad range of service provision includes promotion, television production, media rights distribution, press office management, sponsorship acquisition and client servicing. On four wheels Eurosport Events promotes the WTCR – FIA World Touring Car Cup, the ERC, FIA European Rally Championship and the PURE ETCR, the world’s first multi-brand electric touring car series, which will be upgraded to FIA World Cup status from 2022. The following year, 2023, Eurosport Events will expand its reach to undertake an all-encompassing promotional role in the all-new FIA Electric GT Championship in partnership with the FIA.  On two wheels, Eurosport Events promotes the FIM Endurance World Championship for motorbikes as part of a multi-year alliance with the FIM, which will expand to include FIM Speedway globally from 2022.  In 2021, a new track cycling competition is being launched and promoted by Eurosport Events, the UCI Track Champions League, under long-term agreement with the UCI.

About Eurosport
Eurosport is the number one sport destination in Europe, fuelling the passion of fans and connecting them with the greatest sports events in the world. As the Home of the Olympic Games in Europe, Eurosport delivered the ultimate Games experience for PyeongChang 2018 reaching both record linear and digital viewership across localized Eurosport services. Firmly established as the Home of Cycling, Grand Slam Tennis and Winter Sport, Eurosport channels – Eurosport 1, Eurosport 2 – reach 246 million cumulative subscribers across 75 countries in Europe, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. Eurosport.com is Europe’s No 1 online sports news website with an average of 30 million unique users per month and, along with the Eurosport app (available on iOS and Android), the only place to watch Eurosport anytime online, on mobile and on tablet devices. Eurosport Events specializes in the management and promotion of international sporting events. More information is available by visiting corporate.eurosport.com.

About Play Sports Group & GCN
Play Sports Group is the world’s leading creator of cycling digital video distributed on YouTube and Facebook. We are a digital sports media company focused on the world of cycling. Combining our deep love of the sport with world-leading expertise in video and digital distribution, we have built a leadership position in the market. We operate eleven market-leading YouTube channels: Global Cycling Network, Global Cycling Network en Español, Global Cycling Network Italia, GCN Japan, Global Cycling Network en Français, Global Mountain Bike Network, Global Triathlon Network, Electric Mountain Bike Network, GCN Tech, GMBN Tech and GCN Racing with over 8.2 million followers across associated social media platforms. Together they have accumulated over 12,180 years of watch time, 17.6m video likes and an average of 100 million monthly views, creating the world’s largest online video cycling community. Subscribe to GCN via YouTube and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Headquartered in Bath, England, Play Sports Group is a subsidiary of Discovery Inc. For more information about the Play Sports Network visit www.playsportsnetwork.com.

About Discovery
Discovery, Inc. (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is a global leader in real life entertainment, serving a passionate audience of superfans around the world with content that inspires, informs and entertains. Discovery delivers over 8,000 hours of original programming each year and has category leadership across deeply loved content genres around the world. Available in 220 countries and territories and nearly 50 languages, Discovery is a platform innovator, reaching viewers on all screens, including TV Everywhere products such as the GO portfolio of apps; direct-to-consumer streaming services such as Eurosport Player, Food Network Kitchen and MotorTrend OnDemand; digital-first and social content from Group Nine Media; a landmark natural history and factual content partnership with the BBC; and a strategic alliance with PGA TOUR to create the international home of golf. Discovery’s portfolio of premium brands includes Discovery Channel, HGTV, Food Network, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Travel Channel, MotorTrend, Animal Planet, Science Channel, and the forthcoming multi-platform JV with Chip and Joanna Gaines, Magnolia, as well as OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in the U.S., Discovery Kids in Latin America, and Eurosport, the leading provider of locally relevant, premium sports and Home of the Olympic Games across Europe. For more information, please visit corporate.discovery.com and follow @DiscoveryIncTV across social platforms.

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