UCI Track Cycling World Championships: facts and figures
In Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines next week, 19 world titles will be awarded to the best track cyclists in the world. These new World Champions will follow in the footsteps of a long line of athletes who have dominated the sport at different times over more than 120 years.
A brief history:
• The first Track Cycling World Championships were held in 1893 in Chicago, USA.
• Founded in 1900, the UCI took over the organisation of the World Championships the same year. They were held in Paris.
• The UCI Track Cycling World Championships are cycling’s oldest World Championships (the first UCI Road World Championships were held in 1921).
• The 1939 edition in Milan, Italy, was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II.
• 1958 was the year that women first competed in the UCI Track Cycling World Championships… in Paris.
• That year there were 3 events for professional men and two for women. Today there are 19 titles up for grabs.
• France hosts the UCI Track Cycling Championships for the 15th time in 2015. The last time was in 2006 in Bordeaux.
• Amateurs and professionals competed in separate events until 1993, when the first “open” World Championships were held in Hamar, Norway.
The most titled:
• Since 1993, 38 nations have won medals.
• French athlete Arnaud Tournant heads the men’s medals table with 14 gold, three silver and two bronze between 1997 and 2008.
• Tournant is followed by Great Britain’s Chris Hoy (25 medals of which 11 were gold) and France’s Florian Rousseau (16 medals, 10 gold).
• Australian Anna Meares dominates the women’s medals table with 23 medals (10 gold, 8 silver and 5 bronze) since 2003 and still counting.
• Between 1994 and 1999, French athlete Félicia Ballanger also won 10 gold medals, as well as one silver.
• Great Britain’s Victoria Pendleton is third in the medals table with 16 (9 gold, 5 silver and 2 bronze) between 2005 and her retirement in 2012.
The 2015 UCI Track Cycling World Championships take place in Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, France, from February 18 to 22.
Another chapter in the history of track cycling…