World's Best Cyclists Arrive in Olympic Park

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With one day to go until the start of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup presented by Samsung, the world’s best track cyclists have arrived in London and begun training in the London 2012 Velodrome.

World's best cyclists arrive in Olympic Park

World's best cyclists arrive in Olympic Park

We are excited to be able to have such a prestigious competition with the world's best track cyclists as our test event prior to the Games.

With one day to go until the start of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup presented by Samsung, the world’s best track cyclists have arrived in London and begun training in the London 2012 Velodrome.

Download images of one of the training sessions in the Velodrome

Five Olympic champions and 16 world champions, including Olympic gold medallists Sir Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton will head up a world class field for the event which takes place from 16-19 February and doubles up as a London 2012 test event.

340 riders from 48 nations and 18 trade teams will compete in the four day competition as they get the opportunity to test the Velodrome in competitive conditions. Alongside Hoy and Pendelton, the Great Britain team has more strong medal contenders including Jason Kenny, Geraint Thomas and Ed Clancy. The competition will also feature current Sprint World Champion Anna Meares (Australia), Guo Shuang (CHN), Maximilian Levy (GER) and Robert Forstemann (GER) who is currently ranked World Cup number one in Sprint and Team Sprint.

The event is vital for the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) as they test operations for the Games. Key testing elements include the track, athlete facilities, results, timing and scoring systems, as well as how up to 1000 workforce and volunteers work together less than six months before the Games.

The opportunity for the world's best track cyclists to test the Velodrome in competitive conditions has contributed to the strength of the field, with many riders eager to compete in the London 2012 venue. With more than 25,000 spectators over six sessions set to enjoy the action and atmosphere, the event will be a real taste of what to expect in the Velodrome over the summer.

Debbie Jevans, LOCOG Director of Sport said of the event: "We are excited to be able to have such a prestigious competition with the world's best track cyclists as our test event prior to the Games. The standard of athletes is excellent and with the event counting towards Olympic qualification we have no doubt that the atmosphere in the Velodrome will match the level of competition on the track. With over 1000 volunteers and workforce at the event as well as 350 athletes and television coverage, this is will be one of the biggest events that we have delivered as part of our test event programme”.

Pat McQuaid, President of the UCI said: “The stakes will be extremely high in London this weekend. First and foremost, it is the final of the World Cup series, with athletes vying for the overall title. This London event is also one of the last occasions to gain points towards the UCI Olympic Track Ranking, so important for those nations still trying to secure starting spots for London 2012. And of course, as a London 2012 test event, this weekend is a vital test for the organisers and for the athletes wanting to get a feel for the Velodrome. With all these factors combined, I am in no doubt that the final round of the 2011-2012 UCI Track Cycling World Cup presented by Samsung will be unforgettable.”

Liz Nicholl, UK Sport Chief Executive said: “UK Sport invests £3.5 million of Lottery funding a year into the bidding and staging of major events on home soil, and the UCI Track Cycling World Cup in London will be the 12th cycling event we have supported since 2007. The opportunity to compete at the Olympic venue, in front of a large and enthusiastic home crowd, will be invaluable for our athletes, coaches and support staff, who will take vital experience from this as they head towards their first Home Games.”

The iconic Velodrome, with its distinct double-curved roof which has been designed to reflect the geometry of the cycling track, will host Olympic and Paralympic indoor track cycling events on the 250 metre track during the Games. After the Games the Velodrome will form part of a facility which will include a BMX Track, one-mile long road cycle circuit, 6km of off-road mountain bike tracks and storage for over 300 bikes. It will also include a café and a 360 degree concourse level offering views over the Olympic Park and the London skyline.

The UCI Track Cycling World Cup presented by Samsung is supported by UK Sport’s World Class Events Programme. The schedule and full lists of teams and riders can be viewed on the UCI Track Cycling World Cup presented by Samsung rider list.

For further information please contact the London 2012 Press Office.

Notes to editors:

About the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI):
Founded in 1900, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is the world governing body of cycling. Headquartered in Aigle, Switzerland, the UCI is the International Federation of Cycling uniting the National Cycling Federations of 178 countries.

UK Sport - World Class Events Programme:
UK Sport’s World Class Events Programme distributes approximately £3.5 million of Lottery funding each year to support the bidding and staging costs of major events on home soil, as well as providing specialist support to organisers. Over 100 events hosted by at least 35 different towns and cities will have been supported from 2007 until the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. These competitions will have attracted around 30,000 athletes and provided opportunities for over 27,000 officials and volunteers to gain international sporting experience and develop key skills ahead of London 2012.

About British Cycling:
As the national governing body for cycling, British Cycling is responsible for governing the development of the sport in England and is also the home to the GB Cycling Team which won 34 medals at the 2008 Beijing Games making it Britain's most successful Olympic and Paralympic sport. With London 2012 on the horizon, British Cycling has a once in a lifetime opportunity to inspire mass participation in the sport and together with BSkyB, its principal partner, aims to get one million more people cycling regularly by 2013. To facilitate this increase in participation, British Cycling manages a range of coaching qualifications and courses, from grassroots level to elite, and runs the Go-Ride development programme for young people to support their progress in the sport. It also underpins and co-ordinates the organisation of over 3,000 sporting and recreational cycling events every year. British Cycling has over 40,800 members who enjoy a range of benefits from retail discounts and special offers, to legal support and insurance. All membership revenue is invested back into the sport. The organisation also receives Lottery and Exchequer funding via UK Sport and Sport England.

London 2012 Games partners:
The Worldwide Olympic Partners who support the London 2012 Olympic Games and the National Olympic Committees around the world are Coca-Cola, Acer, Atos, Dow, GE, McDonald’s, Omega, Panasonic, Procter and Gamble, Samsung and Visa.

LOCOG has seven domestic Tier One Partners - adidas, BMW, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF and Lloyds TSB. There are seven domestic Tier Two Supporters – Adecco, ArcelorMittal, Cadbury, Cisco, Deloitte, Thomas Cook and UPS. There are now twenty-eight domestic Tier Three Suppliers and Providers – Aggreko, Airwave, Atkins, Boston Consulting Group, CBS Outdoor, Crystal CG, Eurostar, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, G4S, GSK, Gymnova, Heathrow Airport, Heineken UK, Holiday Inn, John Lewis, McCann Worldgroup, Mondo, NATURE VALLEY, Next, Nielsen, Populous, Rapiscan Systems, Rio Tinto, Technogym, Thames Water, Ticketmaster, Trebor and Westfield.

There is one domestic Tier One Paralympic Games-only Partner, Sainsbury’s and one domestic Tier Three Paralympic Games-only Supplier, Otto Bock. The London 2012 Paralympic Games also acknowledges the support of the National Lottery.

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