World Cup com­ing

Waikato News - - FRONT PAGE -

Cy­cling New Zealand will host the Tis­sot UCI Track World Cup in 2019, bring­ing the best of in­ter­na­tional track cy­cling back to Cam­bridge.

The New Zealand event at the world-class Avan­tidrome will link with one in Hong Kong in Jan­uary 2019, which will be the only Track World Cups in the south­ern hemi­sphere next year.

Ar­guably New Zealand’s big­gest ever cy­cling event, the UCI Track World Cup was wel­comed in 2015 by sell-out crowds and high praise from UCI and in­ter­na­tional teams. Build­ing on that suc­cess, Cy­cling New Zealand CEO An­drew Math­e­son says the foun­da­tions and proven ca­pa­bil­ity are in place for 2019 to be an­other suc­cess­ful event.

“The bench­mark is set, and we’re ex­cited to be giv­ing track cy­cling and gen­eral sports fans across the coun­try an­other op­por­tu­nity to see our world­class and world cham­pion rid­ers tak­ing on their in­ter­na­tional ri­vals here at home.

“For our elite rid­ers them­selves, it’s a rare chance to take on their big­gest ri­vals in front of a home crowd, which will no doubt drive some im­pres­sive per­for­mances and ex­cit­ing rac­ing as we saw in 2015.”

Host­ing a World Cup also pro­vides strate­gic ben­e­fit for the Van­tage Na­tional Elite Team as coaches look to­wards Tokyo 2020.

High Per­for­mance di­rec­tor Martin Bar­ras said rac­ing a World Cup at home will mean there is op­por­tu­nity for more Kiwi rid­ers to get ex­pe­ri­ence at this level.

“Firstly our team will be able to com­pete on the track they train on every day and with home­town sup­port, which is a clear ad­van­tage,” he said.

“It also means we can fo­cus on per­for­mance with­out the added pres­sures of travel and our rid­ers can sleep in their own beds each night.

“We will also po­ten­tially have the op­por­tu­nity to add a Trade Team to the com­pe­ti­tion which will mean we can give more rid­ers not only ex­pe­ri­ence at this level, but the chance for very im­por­tant UCI rank­ing points to­wards the World Cham­pi­onships and the Olympics.”

The UCI Track World Cup is likely to at­tract up to 550 com­peti­tors, staff, of­fi­cials and me­dia from over 40 coun­tries. The 2015 event gen­er­ated sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic re­turns for the Waipa and Waikato re­gions.

Photo / Dianne Man­son

Ac­tion at the Avan­tidrome in Cam­bridge at the UCI Track Cy­cling World Cup in 2015.

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