CAIRO, March 14 (Xinhua) -- The second round of the 2023 International Cycling Union (UCI) Track Nations Cup began in Cairo on Tuesday with the participation of over 400 track cyclists from more than 50 countries and regions.
The Track Nations Cup, which runs from March 14 to 17, is the second of three competitions in 2023, with the first held in Jakarta, Indonesia in February.
The Cairo event is also a chance for participating athletes to progress in their bid to earn spots at the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
"We have exerted big efforts in hosting this competition and we're keen to highlight that Egypt is capable of hosting such world championships," Mohamed Wagih Azzam, president of both the Egyptian Cycling Federation (ECF) and Confederation of African Cycling (CAC), told Xinhua.
The first day started with women's and men's team pursuit qualifying competitions. Of 15 teams competing in the women's team pursuit, New Zealand came top of the qualified eight, followed by France, Germany, Italy, Canada, Britain, Ireland and the United States.
"It's part of the qualifications for the Olympics. We're fighting for points in the team pursuit, team sprint, omnium and Madison competitions, hoping to gather points that would make us safe for the Olympics," said Peter Muller, Germany's team manager.
As for the 16 teams competing in the men's team pursuit, the first qualified eight were Denmark, New Zealand, France, Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Canada and Japan.
"This is a very important competition for us. We expect to achieve a good team pursuit result first so that we can get sufficient points for Paris 2024," said Swiss cyclist Mickael Bouget.