Dutch riders excluded from Champions League London track events due to COVID-19

Dutch riders Shanne Braspennincx, Laurine Van Riessen and Jeffrey Hoogland will miss the final two rounds of the Track Champions League Track Series in London after Braspennincx and Van Riessen tested positive for COVID-19 after a final Wednesday workout. According to The team, Hoogland was considered a close contact case and is therefore isolated and unable to travel to Britain.

Braspennincx won the women’s keirin at the Tokyo Olympics and placed sixth in the women’s sprint competition. Hoogland, the current world keirin and team sprint champion, was third in the men’s sprint standings ahead of the final two rounds in London on Friday and Saturday.

Health restrictions introduced in Israel due to the emergence and spread of a new variant of the coronavirus known as Omicron triggered the cancellation of the fifth and final event on December 11, and the London races will go therefore raise the curtain on the new innovative series.

Two Champions League track rounds have already taken place in Mallorca, Spain on November 6 and Panevėžys, Lithuania on November 27. However, the event in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, near Paris scheduled for November 20 was canceled because the velodrome is used as an essential community center for vaccination against COVID-19.

Despite the loss of events, organizers said the points, final standings and total prize pool of € 500,000 would not be affected.

Germany’s Emma Hinze and Britain’s Katie Archibald lead the overall standings in the women’s sprint and endurance categories, respectively, after the first two heats. Spaniard Sebastian Mora rose to the top of the men’s endurance standings after the second round last weekend in Lithuania, while Harrie Lavreysen of the Netherlands extended his lead in the men’s sprint standings.

The London events will take place in the Lee Valley VeloPark which hosted the 2012 Olympics. Both evenings are said to be sold out despite the high number of COVID-19 cases in Britain. Under the new rules, spectators are required to wear a face covering at all times, except when seated, eating or drinking.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Archibald will be joined by three other British runners in London, with Ed Clancy returning to the Olympic velodrome alongside world championship bronze medalists Rhys Britton and Sophie Capewell.

“There is something special about the track and although it goes back a long time now, I still have so many fond memories of London 2012. I love the place and always look forward to it. come, ”Clancy said.

“I’ll do my best this weekend but I’m not in great shape at the moment. I’ve trained well and my back is in a better position than it was in the first lap, but it’s going to be hard for me to ignite the crowd! Luckily we have Katie, as well as young Rhys and Sophie who will all do well.

Friday’s Track Champions League starts at 8:00 p.m. CET and will be broadcast via Eurosport, GCN + and a host of international broadcasters.

Cyclingnews will feature reports and photo galleries from both evenings.

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