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UCI Track Champions League kicks off new season

The second season of the UCI Track Champions League kicked off in Mallorca on November 12th, before heading to Berlin on 19th November and racing this weekend will be in St-Quentin-En-Yvelines. Rounds 4 and 5 will take place on successive days next weekend in London at the Lea Valley Velodrome used in the 2012 Olympics. That means the Champions League occupies a relatively small period in the calendar, helping to ensure that all the riders are able to take part in all of the rounds rather than having to drop out.

The racing sees riders split in Endurance and Sprint categories, with events like the Keirin, Sprint, Scratch and Elimination all taking part in one night. 72 riders, split equally into 36 men and 36 women contest the races. With points available in each race for the standings, the best and most consistent all-round racers will find their way to the top of the tables. With 20 points available for a win, consistency is key with the points gaps kept small across all of the rounds.

After 3 rounds, Martha Bayona Pineda of Colombia leads the women’s sprint with Dutch rider Harrie Lavreysen on top on the men’s side. The women’s endurance sees a battle between American Jennifer Valente and Brit Katie Archibald. With Canadian Mathias Guillemette ahead of Brit Mark Stewart in the men’s endurance standings.

The competition’s eye-catching skinsuits are made by Santini, who also make the yellow jersey of the Tour de France. All 72 skinsuits are custom-made for each rider, with designs inspired by the nationality of each rider. The entire batch of kits for the competition is made in just 2 weeks by Santini in their own factory in Bergamo, with the qualifiers for the Champions League dictating who will actually get to take part in the 5 rounds.