Final Israel round of UCI Track Champions League cancelled due to Omicron Covid-19 variant, London to now close the show

The final round will now take place in London on December 3 and 4

Track cycling
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The final round of the UCI Track Champions League has been cancelled as Israel closes its borders due to the new Covid-19 Omicron variant.

Organisers have therefore been left with no choice but to cancel the event, scheduled for December 11, as non-citizens are not permitted to enter the country.

This means that the back-to-back events at the Lee Valley Velodrome in London's Olympic Park will now be the final round of the inaugural competition.

François Ribeiro, Head of Discovery Sports Events, said: "It is with regret that we have been left with no choice but to remove Tel Aviv from this year’s calendar. 

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"We were ready to celebrate our four series winners at the Sylvan Adams National Velodrome, but the events of the pandemic have taught us the importance of adapting when necessary. 

"We must be led by official government guidance from host countries and ensure the safety of our riders, staff and fans. Whilst this is disappointing of course given the quality of the event prepared by Sylvan Adams, it places even more focus on this weekend’s sold-out event in London which is now set to be a thrilling grand finale."

This is the second cancellation the competition has faced after the French leg of the competition that was meant to take place on November 20 in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines but was called off due to the velodrome being used as a key Covid vaccination centre.

There have just been two rounds of the Track Champions League so far with it kicking off in Mallorca, Spain on November 6 followed by Panevėžys in Lithuania on November 27.

Sylvan Adams, the event's promoter and owner of WorldTour team Israel Start-Up Nation, said: “It is with regret that we were forced to withdraw from hosting this year’s Track Champions League Grand Finale. 

"The new restrictions made it impossible to bring the riders, staff, and technical crews into Israel on December 11th. Until we know more about the nature of the Omicron variant, I believe Israel’s pre-emptive measures are prudent, and will ensure the safety and health of all concerned. I wish all of this year’s competitors good luck, and may the best four riders win!"

The final two rounds will take place in London on Friday, December 3 and Saturday, December 4 with Katie Archibald and Sebastian Mora leading the endurance categories while Emma Hinze and Harrie Lavreysen dominating the sprint competitions.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.