Nearly 500 riders and staff from 40 nations have begun to descend on Cambridge for the Tissot UCI Track Cycling World Cup.
The fifth of six Track World Cups will be staged at the Avantidrome in Cambridge from Friday 18 to Sunday 20 January which will be a key qualifying event for the upcoming world championships and ultimately the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
A number of countries, including Canada, USA, Belgium, Italy and Hungary, have already arrived for some pre-competition training, taking advantage of the New Zealand summer.
Cycling New Zealand and Avantidrome staff are busy transforming the velodrome into race-ready mode to host the competition both for the riders and the fans.
The event involves significant logistics operations to convert the venue from a world class training facility to a world class competition venue. Both the organising team and the Avantidrome staff have been working a number of months in preparation with the in-field now cleared and set-up, the installation of television and timing equipment and the arrival of 50 team storage containers.
With the support of the local and cycling community the event has had no problems meeting its volunteer requirements who play a crucial part in the event.
“It is a busy and exciting time for all the staff of Cycling New Zealand and our high performance team – riders and staff,” said Cycling New Zealand Events Director, Janette Douglas.
“We have a terrific volunteer crew on board with many of them regular supporters of events here in Cambridge, we held the Volunteer briefing this week and we know the 60 strong team are looking forward to welcoming not only the international riders but also the spectators to the velodrome and to show off this amazing facility.
“The teams have also started to arrive and we know that the Cambridge businesses have enjoyed the international riders in and around the town. A majority of the teams will be landing over the weekend with official training on Tuesday and the first day of competition next Friday.
“It has been four years since we hosted some of the best riders in the world to the Avantidrome and to Cambridge. This is a very important competition, and many of the riders here will be competing for medals in Tokyo in 18 months.
“It is a special opportunity for cycling fans and for New Zealand sports fans alike to watch this world-class competition. In 2015 it produced some super-exciting racing and I am sure it will be no different this time.
“We know the Vantage Elite New Zealand team has been training hard for this and would welcome some enthusiastic local support with a full stadium.”
There are tickets still available for several sessions which can be purchased from www.ticketek.co.nz and from the gate if not sold out prior.