The World Cup Classics series consists of four or five meetings, held in different countries throughout the world during the winter track cycling season. These meeting include 17 of the 19 events (excluding the omnium for men and women) that take place in a World Championship over three days.
The 1995 World Cup had six rounds, this was reduced to four in 1998, 1999-2001 compromised of five rounds before returning to four in 2002 and back to five in 2008. Previously, the track cycling world cup was held in the Northern Hemisphere summer, but in 2004, the racing season was altered and the event now runs from November through to February on an annual basis.
Events won and points scored by the riders throughout this series count towards qualification places individually and for their nation in the World Championships at the end of the season. The overall leader in each event wears the white points leaders jersey at each race, with the overall winner at the end of the season keeping the jersey and wearing it at the World Championships. Riders compete for either national teams or trade teams.
As World Championship qualification is at stake, the events attract a top field of riders. However, it is common for top riders not to compete at all the events of the series, with teams often using the events to field younger riders or attempt different line-ups at some events. Top riders can still win the series, or obtain good a placing for qualification points for their country, without competing at every event.