LONDON (Reuters) – The UCI Track Champions League will culminate with a double this weekend in London after the final round scheduled for Israel on December 11 was canceled because of the Omnicron coronavirus variant new.
This is the second round of the newly canceled competition, after the Paris leg was also canceled for reasons related to COVID-19.
London will host two sold-out rounds with one on Friday followed by a finale on Saturday.
Israel has imposed tight restrictions on movement into the country in response to concerns about the new variant.
Francois Ribeiro, head of Discovery Sport Events, in partnership with UCI in the Champions League, said: “It’s a pity that we have no choice but to remove Tel Aviv from this year’s calendar.
“We were getting ready to celebrate our four series winners at the Sylvan Adams National Velodrome but the events of the pandemic have taught us the importance of adapting when necessary.”
The Champions League track features 72 of the best male and female drivers competing in sprint and endurance competitions. Points and prize money are accrued from each race, with the overall winners of each of the four categories earning 25,000 euros ($28,200).
Against London, Olympic champion Harrie Lavreysen led the men’s sprint group after dominating rounds in Mallorca and Lithuania, while Germany’s Emma Hinze led the women’s sprint. British Olympic doubles champion Katie Archibald leads the women’s endurance group with Spain’s Sebastian Mora topping the men’s endurance group.
Despite the cancellation, British cycling giant Chris Hoy says the new condensed, TV-friendly, fan-friendly format has been a huge success. “I think it started very well and will continue to pick up momentum as the rounds go on,” Hoy said.
“The racing is fierce and the riders seem to be enthralled with this new, non-stop condensed action format.”
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(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Mark Heinrich)
https://whbl.com/2021/12/03/cycling-israel-round-of-track-champions-league-cancelled-london-prepares-for-finale/ Cycling-Israel Champions League Qualifier Canceled, London Prepares for Finals