CHAMPIONS LEAGUE AND BACK ON TRACK. LAPPARTIENT: “DREAM REALIZED!” HOY: “LIKE FORMULA 1”

Many prominent personalities who took part in the premiere of this afternoon at the Soho Hotel in central London Back on Trackthe UCI and Discovery documentary on the track cycling Champions League held in November-December 2021 and the stories of the participating athletes.

These are their statements:

DAVID LAPPARTIENT (UCI president) – «The Champions League is a dream that has come true. When I was in the electoral campaign five years ago I thought about what we could do for track cycling: I am a big fan of this discipline, which unfortunately “expired” after the Olympics and World Championships, so I really thought I had to produce something suitable for TV to keep the enthusiasm of the public for the track was high. We got the idea in March 2020, we had to wait for the idea to come true but we did a good job. We want the track not only to be followed by experts in the specialties, but also for the layman to be passionate about it, we want to enrich and renew the public. There is a whole “specific life” inside the velodrome, something that is little known and understood outside perhaps, moments of intense emotion often and willingly. AND Back on Track wants to show all this. “

GILLES PERUZZI (head of the UCI slope) – “Compared to Formula 1, there are more riders and the scenario is more changeable so this guarantees more variety in the rivalries.”

FRANCOIS RIBEIRO (Head of Eurosport Events) – «We wanted to invest many technologies and efforts in the Champions project, we activated a quality dialogue with the UCI by promising them not to renew track cycling in and of itself, but to renew the way in which this sport is presented. We wanted to create a competition that was a real event to immerse yourself in, full of interactive and digital experiences. The Champions League name takes us to high levels of sports entertainment, we had great doubts about how much the public would appreciate but we were sure we were increasing the power of the track cycling storytelling. In Mallorca the first evening we immediately received the Thanks from the runners for the project we had put together: in over twenty years of career no athlete had ever thanked me! We are now engaged in organizing the second edition of the tournament, which will include new competition venues and in the future we have the firm intention of exporting it outside Europe as well, both to America and to the East, helped by the merger of Discovery + with HBO. Max. E Back on Track in a way it will act as a trailer for the next Champions League, developing the stories behind the competition. The Federation gave us carte blanche and so we were inspired by Drive to Survive, which had a crazy impact and there are kids who know Formula 1 only from what is shown there, showing the personal challenges of the athletes, their friendships and rivalries, all the difficulties in psychophysical preparation … We have shown some track cycling stories that normally only friends and family of riders know. Let’s show something that the TVs that broadcast competitions don’t normally show. I remember my first time in track cycling in 2018: it was very difficult to really understand what was happening, I then told Gilles Peruzzi that there was so much work to do … and here we are! How to avoid the risk of artificiality and forcing in the stories? We will always try to maintain and seek authenticity in everything we are going to tell, without retouching of any kind. And in our story we give ample space to the affairs of women. In any case, even if someone criticizes Drive to Survive, however, is promoting Formula 1 (winks, ed). The title Back on Track was chosen almost immediately, it very well expresses our desire to show the … back (back, ed.) of our sport. And we show it for real: in cycling we don’t have things like footballers putting their hand in front of their mouth so as not to show the cameras what they’re saying, and the day that happens I’ll worry. Just to mention as well The Last Dance as a model that inspired us in our storytelling. In conclusion: I was not a super fan of cycling, especially the track one, but I became one with Back On Track. “

CHRIS HOY (6 Olympic gold medals, Track Champions League ambassador) – “There were athletes who came from participation in important events who showed desire and motivation to take part in the Champions League, and they did not regret it: they were enthusiastic and amazed by the atmosphere, and it was not easy to set up the competition taking into account both from the point of view of the spectators and the runners. It was truly a tremendous success, and I can only imagine how much we will be able to further improve the competition in the next editions. Back on Track for its part, it allows you to really take as a model and identify with the great athletes who participate in the Champions League and the top cycling competitions on the track. In my life I have met people who really didn’t know track cycling existed! I am a big fan of motors and one of the typical accusations against those sports is that they are boring, I disagree with this but only with Drive to Survive many have become passionate about issues relating to all teams and drivers, from Red Bull and Mercedes to Haas. With the Champions League and the documentary we do something very similar for track cycling. Of course, it is difficult to put everything that happens in every lap into it, but the final result is more than satisfactory. The velodrome is a fantastic setting to host cycling races, but the real added value that gets you passionate about the track by watching Back on Track it is the impact with the personalities of the runners. The Italian track? I remember your successes in the 90s and as a young man I was inspired by you more than by other British riders. Then the cycles change and it is difficult to explain, it is not just a matter of money and investments, then there are new countries that advance and make the competition tougher: but now we have seen the excellent chase quartet led by Filippo Ganna, on the ‘endurance you are having a good time. “

GUY VOISIN (Discovery cycling manager) – «We at Discovery are storytellers, the commentators tell us in real time exactly what is happening on the track but we have taken a further step. We wanted to do two things basically: make the track accessible to a wider audience and develop the characters and characters of these gladiators and gladiators. Slowly we will make everyone fall in love with this discipline! “

EMMA HINZE (active pistard, winner of the Champions sprint category) – “I had goosebumps from watching the two episodes you just showed us, I can’t wait to watch the other three. All the work with music and slow-motion was extraordinary, it fully captures our feelings. This series has allowed family and friends to finally understand exactly what I am doing on the track. At the Olympics, I didn’t cope well with the pressure of presenting myself there as a three-time world champion, in the Champions League I was so focused that I didn’t even notice the cameras! Cameras that were however delicate in showing my relationship with the other athletes in the correct way. Thanks also to races like the Champions of the track we really feel gender equality in cycling: here we are really equal to men. “

GAVIN HOOVER (active pistard, winner of the Champions category endurance) – “I really hope that Back on Track can excite new fans to the sport we practice and love so much. In the Champions League I tried to observe how an Olympic champion like Canadian Kelsey Mitchell trained. The US movement, which has a very strong Olympic tradition in general but not so much on the track, is growing and I am happy to be part of this growth. “

OLIVIJA BALEISYTE (Lithuanian pistard, last year he ran on the road at the Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano) – “I’m not used to seeing myself on screen like this, it was really hallucinating! Also because on the road it is normal to see cameras and media interest, but the track has always been “in the shadows”. The relationship with the opponents? As soon as we finish running we are very good friends and I am happy to have participated in the race and in the documentary even if I have not won medals. War? I have both Ukrainian and Russian teammates, I understand the feelings of both. We all want the war to end and through our sporting life we ​​want to show peace and friendship. My experience in Italy? Great environment, I wouldn’t mind going back one tomorrow, but this winter I moved to Dubai to be able to train in the increasingly better weather conditions. “

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