(Reuters) – A new World League will make its debut on the track cycling calendar in the 2021-22 season as the sport’s governing body UCI hopes to attract larger TV audiences with a fast-paced, short format.
The league, which will run from November 2021 to February 2022, will have six rounds, with each running for around two hours.
The competition program will feature four events for men and women riders — individual sprint, keirin, elimination race and scratch race.
Athletes will be kitted out in jerseys inspired by their national flags, while the reigning world champions for the events will wear rainbow jerseys.
As part a revamped track cycling calendar, the UCI said a Nations Cup will replace the multi-race World Cup tournament, with three rounds to be held between March and September.
It also means the world championships will be moved from its traditional February start to October.
The UCI are organizing the new league format with American media giant Discover, and has promised riders attractive prize pots on top of their participation bonuses.
“I am thrilled and delighted that Discovery will be by our side to help launch and promote our new UCI Track Cycling World League,” UCI president David Lappartient said in a statement.
“Their expertise and recognized know-how in the fields of organization and TV production and broadcasting will contribute significantly to the development and popular appeal of track cycling.
“With this new UCI circuit, the discipline will have a packed and attractive annual calendar that offers variety and will meet the expectations of new audiences while also appealing to existing cycling fans.”
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)