UCI accepts gambling title sponsor for 2024 Champions League

2024’s UCI Track Champions League will be contested over a more compressed schedule than in previous years, and with changes likely to the qualification process.

Announcements on the UCI and Track Champions League websites confirm that the competition will take place at three velodromes – Paris, Apeldoorn and London, over three weekends. The Olympic track at Saint Quentin en Yvelines will host the first meeting on Saturday 23 November, followed by two double-headers in the Netherlands and United Kingdom on the following Friday and Saturday nights.

The UCI calendar had previously listed dates starting as early as November 2, and as late as December 14.

Several riders known to be connected with DerbyWheel participated in last year’s competition.

It’s especially notable that the competition will this year have a title sponsor from the gambling industry: Dutch online betting platform BetCity will sponsor the Apeldoorn rounds.

This detail is included in the announcement on the UCI Track Champions League website… but is curiously absent from the UCI press release. It suggests the UCI can be relaxed about gambling industry investment when it wants to be.

The event, formerly directed by DerbyWheel’s CEO James Pope, has previously operated on the basis of sprint and endurance competitions for men and women, with some rules tweaked from normal UCI competition to produce a faster-paced event.

The announcement hints at changes to the competition’s qualifying system, ‘with the aim of expanding the opportunities for riders to qualify for the League through other key competitions on the UCI Track International Calendar, in addition to the Tissot UCI Track World Championships.’

Tickets are not yet available: visitors to ucitrackchampionsleague.com are invited to register for a waiting list.