Champions League adds live-data app, cancels last round for Covid

Live telemetry data available during this weekend's racing at London rounds of the UCI Track Champions League.

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In its ongoing bid to make track cycling more accessible and more exciting, the UCI today launched a Track Champions League App that promises to deliver live power, heart rate, speed, and cadence data from racers.

The third and final fourth rounds of the new UCI Track Champions League are Friday night and Saturday at the sold-out Lee Valley VeloPark in London. Tel Aviv was slated to be the fifth and final round on December 11, but that was canceled as Israel closed its borders to all non-citizens in response to the new Omicron Covid variant.

The €500,000 prize pool remains unaffected, with sprint and endurance overall competitions on tap for women and men.

After the second round in Lithuania, Harrie Lavreysen, Emma Hinze, Sebastian Mora, and Katie Archibald lead their respective competitions.

New for 2021, the Champions League features a short program with evening racing. All the riders have telemetry units fixed to their bikes, to capture and transmit their data.

The new app promises to show power, speed, heart rate, and cadence for every rider. With the app, you can look at live data, averages and maximums, and side-by-side comparisons of two riders.

With a ‘Feel Heartbeat’ function, viewers can use their phones’ vibration function to ‘feel’ the live heartbeat of a racer.

The app also has information on each racer’s standings in the event and career history.

The UCI Track Champions League live action can be watched in the U.S. on the GCN app. Coverage of round three begins Friday at 9:30 a.m. EST.

Of note to road racing fans, the fifth round in Tel Aviv was to be hosted by the billionaire cycling supporter Sylvan Adams, who funds the Israel Start-Up Nation WorldTour team, among many other projects. The Tel Aviv track, for instance, bears his name, as the Sylvan Adams National Velodrome.

“It is with regret that we were forced to withdraw from hosting this year’s Track Champions League Grand Finale. The new restrictions made it impossible to bring the riders, staff, and technical crews into Israel on December 11th,” Adams said. “Until we know more about the nature of the Omicron variant, I believe Israel’s preemptive measures are prudent, and will ensure the safety and health of all concerned. I wish all of this year’s competitors good luck, and may the best four riders win!”