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Highlights from 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Cup and World Championship

photo credits @ UCI

Track cycling in 2019 provided high-octane thrills, with the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup and the UCI Track Cycling World Championship presented by Tissot being the biggest events, and much more entertainment coming from velodromes around the world in between. The World Cup straddles the calendar year so 2019 began with the two final back-to back rounds (V and VI) of the 2018-2019 series.

2018-2019 Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup

After four Northern Hemisphere rounds – France, Canada, Germany and the UK – the action hit the Southern Hemisphere. In Cambridge, New Zealand, the individual sprint golds went to Nathan Hart (Australia) and Lee Wai Sze (Hong Kong), repeating her French and Canadian wins. The men’s team sprint was won by New Zealand, ahead of Australia, and the women’s by the Chinese UCI Continental Holy Brother Cycling Team. New Zealand also won both team pursuit events – Canada taking both silvers.

Keirin winners were Eddie Dawkins (New Zealand) and the irrepressible Lee Wai Sze. Switzerland’s Claudio Imhof won the men’s Omnium by one point from Raman Tsishkou of Belarus and Australia’s Annette Edmondson won the women’s. The Scratch Race went to Fjristos Volikakis of Greece and Italy’s Martina Fidanza. In the Madison, New Zealand’s men took gold as did Belgian women powerhouse duo of Jolien D’Hoore and Lotte Kopecky, 12 points clear of Italy.

A week later in Hong Kong the individual sprints were won by Tom Clarke (Australia) and, bringing the house down, Lee Wai Sze. The team sprint saw victory go to Australia (men) and a hugely popular win for China’s women. Italy won both the team pursuit golds.

The Keirin went to the experienced former UCI World Champion Theo Bos (the Netherlands) and – yes – Lee Wai Sze for her second keirin win and sixth gold of the 2018-19 UCI World Cup.

Australian Cameron Meyer and the Netherlands’ Kirsten Wild won the Omnium events. The Scratch Race went to Guo Liang (China) and Martina Fidanza (Italy) took her second gold in as many weeks. The Madison saw New Zealand win the men’s race, and the Dutch women – Wild and Amy Peters – overcome the Belgians for their first win of the UCI World Cup.

At the 2019 UCI Track Cycling World Championships in Pruszków, Poland, the battles for rainbow jerseys created some thrilling viewing.

In the keirin, Hong Kong’s Lee Wai Sze stepped up from her 2018 second place to claim her first rainbow jersey since 2013 when she won the 500m time trial. Rio Olympics silver medalist Matthijs Büchli claimed keirin gold to match his Dutch team sprint medals.

The Madison saw German pair Roger Kluge (Giro d’Italia stage winner, Beijing 2008 Olympic silver medallist in the points race) and Theo Reinhardt repeat their 2018 win while Dutch women Wild and Pieters turned 2018 silver into gold. Wild then won the Omnium, echoing her three golds from Apeldoorn 2018. New Zealand’s Campbell Stewart won the men’s Omnium.

In the individual pursuit, Italy’s hot property Filippo Ganna repeated his 2018 gold while Australia’s Ashlee Ankudinoff upgraded her 2017 silver to gold. Australia’s collection of rainbow jerseys continued to grow in the team pursuit, where they beat Great Britain into second place in both the men’s and women’s events.

The Scratch Races saw success for Eli Barker of Great Britain and Sam Welsford of Australia. His compatriot Alexandra Manly won the women’s points race, and Tte Netherlands’ Jan-Willem van Schip the men’s. In the time trials, French 2017 silver medalist Quentin Lafargue won the men’s Kilo, and the women’s 500m went to 2018 silver medalist Daria Shmeleva of Russia. The individual sprints saw young Dutchman Harrie Lavreysen win ahead of his team-mate Jeffrey Hoogland while the Lee Wai Sze show continued!

In the team sprints it was glory for the Netherlands’ men and Australia’s women. Those two nations were clear in the medal table, each on six golds but the Dutch edged it, with one more silver. Hong Kong’s two golds – both for Lee Wai Sze – ranked them in third place ahead of Germany, France and Great Britain.

Pain and pleasure

It left the 2018-2019 Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup ranking with Australia in first place on 28041.0 ahead of Great Britain (26790.5) and Germany (25229.5). Australia also topped the medal table (16 golds amongst a total of 34 medals), followed by the Netherlands second (11 / 20), and Great Britain third (10 / 27).

UCI Track Cycling World Championships presented by Tissot

In March, hot on the heels of the UCI Track Cycling World Championships presented by Tissot came the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. Then, in April, we watched a Belgian man take himself to Hell and back… 27-year-old Victor Campenaerts set a new UCI Hour Record timed by Tissot in Aguascalientes, Mexico, with a distance of 55.089km.

In August we saw the future – in the form of the UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships with a super-strong showing from host nation Germany. At October’s UCI Masters Track Cycling World Championships, rivalries and friendships were reignited at the Manchester Velodrome.

2019-2020 Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup

Following rounds I, II, III and IV in Minsk (Belarus), Glasgow (United Kingdom), Hong Kong (China) and Cambridge (New Zealand) the fifth of six events in the 2019-2020 Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup, was held in Brisbane, Australia, mid-December.

Poland’s Mateusz Rudyk (winner un round IV) beat New Zealand’s Sam Webster in the individual sprint; Colombia’s 21-year-old Kevin Santiago Quintero repeated his Round IV keirin win, while New Zealand’s Aaron Gate beat Germany’s Roger Kluge (Round III winner) in the Omnium. Japan won the team sprint (as in round IV), New Zealand the team pursuit and Australia the Madison.

Hong Kong’s Lee Wai Sze repeated her rounds II and III wins to beat Australia’s Steph Morton in the individual sprint, and Morton also had to settle for second in the keirin, behind Colombia’s Martha Bayona. The Omnium went to Jennifer Valente (USA) as in Minsk. Poland won the women’s team sprint, and the home crowds loved watching Australia win both the team pursuit and, as in rounds I, II and IV, the Madison.

With the final round to come in Milton, Canada, in January, the UCI World Cup rankings and the Olympic rankings are still close in many events. Find the UCI World Ranking and Olympic qualification ranking here and the Tissot UCI Track World Cup ranking here. Like every other cycling discipline on the Olympic programme, track is looking forward to its biggest worldwide audience in Tokyo.

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