Ten nations of the Americas are registered for the second phase of the Nations Cup, scheduled from March 14 to 17 at the Cairo velodrome, in Egypt, where a total of 50 countries and eight professional teams will compete, a figure greater than the first heat in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The delegations from our continent that will travel to the Egyptian capital are Argentina (with five runners), Barbados (3), Canada (10), Colombia (4), Jamaica (1), Mexico (16), Trinidad and Tobago (4) , United States (19), Suriname (2) and Venezuela (2), which will face a very unusual program for a competition of this type, since it will be from Tuesday to Friday and not on the traditional weekends.
It is necessary to remember that the program of all the heats is identical, with the same six Olympic tests together with the elimination in the same order. In the first phase, the best of Latin America was led by the Colombian Marta Bayona, eighth in the keirin.
As it happened in the inaugural race in Jakarta, Cairo makes its debut in a Nations Cup -or its predecessor, the World Cup-, which demonstrates the strength of Egypt in the international concert of cycling, and of the track in particular, although in the recent Continental Championship South Africa continued to lead the medal table.
The velodrome that will be used now was conceived in the middle of the last century, but construction did not begin until the beginning of this century and was inaugurated in 2019 with the Arab Championship. Since then it has hosted three African Championships and one Junior World Cup, in 2021. It is not closed, but rather covered, to allow the air flow to contribute to temperature control naturally, although at this time of year it is quite benign, with averages ranging between 13 and 25 degrees.
The only notable absence for this stop of the Nations Cup is Australia, whose riders have opted to hold the National Championship that is held on these same dates. At the name level there are some significant losses in the leading countries, which will be covered with other cyclists who will perfectly cover the file.
It must be remembered that the best results add to the qualification process for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The third phase will be in Milton, Canada, in the second half of April to speed up their Olympic options.