The first round of the 2019 – 2020 Tissot Track Cycling World Cup opens on Thursday October 31st. The World Cup will kick off at 9:00 am CDT with qualifying rounds for the team pursuit in Minsk, Belarus.
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Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be full days of track racing action. Look for Team Pursuit, Team Sprints, Points and Scratch races on Friday. Saturday will host Sprint, Scratch, Keirin, Madison and Omnium Rounds. Sunday will feature Sprint, Individual Pursuit, Keirin, Madison and Omnium events.
Minsk marks the beginning of a significant season in track cycling. The 2019-20 season is the final season of track cycling prior to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This is also the final season of the UCI Track World Cup as we know it.
The Olympics Draw Near
With so many events housed within the discipline, track cycling represents an opportunity for nations to add a significant number of medals to their Olympic tally. More medals will be up for grabs in Tokyo than in previous editions due the reintroduction of the Madison and the first time inclusion of a women’s Madison.
As nations fine tune their Olympic rosters, the competition will increase and the times will get faster. Expect to see World Tour cyclists like Olympic Omnium Champion Elia Viviani competing in Minsk.
End of an Era
The 2019-2020 World Cup season will be its last. Track cycling will return, but it will look significantly different. After the Tokyo Olympics, UCI reforms announced earlier this year will go into effect. The World Cup will be rebranded as the Nations’ Cup and will be moved from the winter to the summer.
Perhaps the most notable change in store for track cycling after this season is that the Nations’ Cup will exclude successful trade teams such as Huub-Wattbike and Beat Cycling Club.
Huub-Wattbike has pushed the sport forward through innovations in aerodynamics since their inception in 2017. The ambitious team from Derby has since won national and world titles as well as a World Cup.
Huub-Wattbike intends to keep pushing the limits of what is possible in track cycling despite their uncertain future. However, with national programs entering the closing stages of their Olympic preparation, trade teams will be up against their stiffest competition to date.
Minsk will be the first of six final tests for trade teams in international track cycling.