Every individual 2007 World Champion will race the opening round of the 2007/08 UCI Track World Cup Classics being staged at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome from 30 November to 2 December.
The UCI (International Cycling Union) finalised the entry list this week and have confirmed 15 of the reigning 2007 track cycling World Champions will be in Sydney as the first step in their bids to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
"It simply doesn't get any better than this," said UCI Vice President and Sydney resident, Ray Godkin OAM. "The Sydney World Cup will be the most competitive ever and I believe the field assembled in Sydney boasts some of the riders who will win gold next year in Beijing."
The biggest field ever assembled for an international track competition, 395 cyclists representing 48 nations, will contest 17 events during the three days of intense competition.
"The importance of the World Cup series for Olympic qualification has seen an unprecedented number of nations and riders enter for both the Sydney round and the Beijing round to be contested a week later," Godkin said. "That's fantastic for local sports fans who are going to be treated to an absolute feast of sporting excellence right here at home."
Headlining the talent will be homegrown champions Anna Meares (Team Toshiba), who claimed the 500m time trial crown in world record time in Majorca in March, and Sydney's Kate Bates (T-Mobile) who came back from Spain with the points race gold medal. Athens Olympic Games gold medallists, Ryan Bayley, Graeme Brown, Brett Lancaster and Luke Roberts will also fly the flag for Australia against the foreign onslaught.
The reigning 2007 World Champions competing in Sydney are:
*Katherine Bates (AUS - T-Mobile) womens points race
*Gregory Bauge (FRA) mens team sprint
*Theo Bos (NED) mens sprint
*Mickael Bourgain (FRA - Cofidis) mens team sprint
*Edward Clancy (GBR) men's team pursuit
*Yumari Gonzalez Valdivieso (CUB) - womens scratch race
*Sarah Hammer (USA - Ouch Pro Cycling) women's 3km individual pursuit
*Chris Hoy (GBR) mens keirin and kilometre time trial
*Alois Kankovsky (CZE) men's omnium
*Juan Lllaneras Rosello (ESP) - mens points race
*Anna Meares (AUS - Team Toshiba) - women's 500m time trial
*Victoria Pendleton (GBR - Science in Sport) - womens sprint, team sprint and keirin
*Arnaud Tournant (FRA - Cofidis) mens team sprint
*Bradley Wiggins (GBR) men's team pursuit, 4km individual pursuit
*Kam Po Wong (HKG) men's scratch race
The reigning Olympic Champions competing in Sydney are:
*Ryan Bayley (AUS - Team Toshiba) - keirin and sprint
*Anne Meares (AUS - Team Toshiba) - 500m time trial (no longer an Olympic event)
*Chris Hoy (GBR) kilometre time trial (no longer and Olympic event)
*Bradley Wiggins (GBR) 4km individual pursuit
*Stefan Nimke (GER) mens team sprint
*Graeme Brown (AUS) mens teams pursuit and madison
*Brett Lancaster (AUS) mens teams pursuit
*Luke Roberts (AUS) mens teams pursuit
*Mikhail Ignatiev (RUS) mens points race
*Olga Slyusareva (RUS) womens points race
The opening round of the UCI World Cup Classics series will be staged at Sydney's Dunc Gray Velodrome from 30 November to 2 December. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased online.
© BikeRadar 2007