By Nigel Wynn
The 2011-12 Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) Track World Cup commences this weekend (November 4-6), with the first of four rounds taking place in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan hosts a round of the track World Cup for the first time in the capital's newly-built velodrome. After visiting Kazakhstan, the second round takes place in Cali, Colombia, in December.
The final two rounds take place in the 2008 Olympic Games venue in Beijing (January 2012) and the 2012 Olympic Games venue in London (February 2012). It will be the first time that the London 2012 velodrome will be used for top-level competition, and is being hosted as a test event for the Olympics.
This season's track World Cup has particular resonance for many of the
riders as the races represent the last chance for London 2012 Olympic
The Olympic disciplines of team sprint, sprint, team pursuit, omnium and keirin will be augmented by several other non-Olympic events, which in the opening rounds includes women's points race and 500m TT and men's individual pursuit, scratch race and Madison.
The UCI has unveiled Korean electronics giant Samsung as sponsor for the series. "UCI Track Cycling World Cup presented by Samsung will now be the official title of the series, whose development potential will be increased thanks to this collaboration agreement between the UCI and the large Korean company," said a UCI statement issued on Tuesday.
UCI Track World Cup 2011-12
4-6 November 2011: Astana, Kazakhstan
1-3 December 2011: Cali, Colombia
13-15 January 2012: Beijing, China
17-19 February 2012: London, Great Britain
Round one finals: Astana, Kazakhstan, with British riders
Friday, November 4
Women team sprint - Jess Varnish and Becky James
Men scratch race
Women team pursuit
Men team sprint - Jason Queally, Jason Kenny, Ross Edgar and Matt Crampton
Women 500m time trial
Women points race
Men team pursuit
Saturday, November 5
Men individual pursuit
Men omnium final - Ed Clancy
Men keirin - Jason Kenny, Sir Chris Hoy (riding for Sky Track Cycling)
Women sprint - Jess Varnish, Becky James
Sunday, November 6
Women omnium final - Dani King
Men sprint - Matt Crampton, Jason Kenny, Sir Chris Hoy (riding for Sky Track Cycling)
Cycling Weekly's Olympic Games news section
CW's Dummies' Guide to Track Racing
Driver cleared of killing cyclist after claiming 'no recollection' of fatal crash
The crash occurred in 2018, with the jury's verdict delivered yesterday
By Ryan Dabbs •
Here are six riders moving down from the WorldTour in 2022
Some pretty big names will be taking the step down as more teams look to build to a WorldTour licence in the coming years
By Tim Bonville-Ginn •