UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships return to Montichiari
The 2017 UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships get underway in Montichiari, Italy, on Wednesday and run through until Sunday. It is the second time, after 2010, that Montichiari hosts this event, and the fifth time that they take place in Italy.
A town in the northern Lombardy region, Montichiari is approximately two hours east of Milan. The Velodrome Fassa Bortolo, the only indoor velodrome in Italy, opened in 2010 and has also hosted the 2011 and 2016 UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships as well as the European Championships.
More than 100 women and nearly 200 men from 42 countries are entered for the five days of competition across team and individual events, in sprint and endurance racing.
While many athletes who won titles last year have moved up to the Elite ranks, a few will return to defend their titles. The only returning Junior Men UCI World Champions are Pavel Rostov and Dmitry Nesterov of Russia, who made up two-thirds of the winning team sprint squad in 2016. On the women's side, there are a few more, including Maria Novolodskaya of Russia who won the individual pursuit title, Chiara Consonni and Letizia Paternoster of Italy from the team pursuit and points race (Pasternoster), Ellesse Andrews of New Zealand for the team sprint, and Jade Haines of Australia in the Madison.
Competition opens Wednesday with the team events - team sprint and team pursuit - plus the women's scratch race. Three medal finals will take place: the women's scratch plus the team sprint for both men and women. On Thursday, the finals will take place for both women and men in the team pursuit, as well as the men's scratch and keirin. The women will begin their individual sprint competition.
Friday will see four medal ceremonies: the Omnium and individual sprint for the women, and the Omnium and points race for the men. The men will also begin their individual sprint competition. On Saturday, a total of five world titles will be awarded: the 500 metre time trial, individual pursuit and Madison for the women, and the Omnium and individual sprint for the men. Last year, the women's Madison was introduced at the UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships as a demonstration event, and was met with great success.
The Championships conclude on Sunday with the points race and keirin for the women, and 1000 metre time trial and Madison for the men.