Minsk added as UCI takes Track World Cup to new markets

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has finalised the calendar for its 2017-18 Track Cycling World Cup, with the addition of a new event in Minsk taking the series to five rounds for the first time in nearly a decade.

The UCI last month revealed an initial schedule, with Poland, Canada and Chile announced as new host countries. Pruszków in Poland will make its Track Cycling World Cup debut when the BGŻ BNP Paribas Arena plays host from November 3-5. The venue hosted the European Championships in 2008 and the UCI World Championships in 2009.

The Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, Canada will stage an event on December 1-3. The venue was built ahead of the 2015 Pan American Games multi-sport event. The Parque Peñalolén velodrome in the Chilean capital of Santiago will host a leg on December 9-10. The arena was built for the South American Games multi-sport event and staged the Pan-American Championships the following year.

Returning host Manchester was initially due to complete this season’s four-leg schedule. The English city’s National Cycling Centre will stage an event from November 10-12, a week after Pruszków’s leg. The venue last staged a Track Cycling World Cup event in 2013-14.

However, in the finalised calendar the Belarusian capital of Minsk has been handed the final round from January 19-21. Opened in 2008, the Velodrome Minsk-Arena hosted the European Track Cycling Championships the following year, then the Track Cycling World Championships in 2013.

The UCI said Minsk joins the 2017-18 Track Cycling World Cup thanks in large part to the efforts of eight-time world champion Natallia Tsylinskaya, former specialist of the sprint disciplines, who is now president of the Belarusian Cycling Federation.

With the exception of Manchester, all the organising cities of the 2017-18 World Cup are new to track cycling’s leading international series. The World Cup calendar has grown consistently in the last few years, from three rounds in 2015-2016, to four in 2016-2017 and now five for next season – a number that has not been reached since the 2008-09 edition of the series.