In a sprint, the qualifying rounds consist of
competitors covering 1,000 meters whereby only the final
200 meters are timed. The fastest qualifier will then
sprint against the slowest qualifier, second fastest against
second slowest, etc.
At the beginning of the race riders pedal slowly, carefully
watching one another waiting for an opening to strike.
The race demands more tactical skill than any other
cycling event. Competitors progress through a series
of heats, consisting of 1 to 3 rounds, leading to a
final head-to-head confrontation between the top two
riders for first place.
The Keirin is based on the famous Keirin cycle
racing which is one of the biggest betting sports in
Japan. Contested over eight laps, the field of three
to seven riders follows the Derny motor bike at an increasing
pace until two and a half laps to go. The riders jostle
for position behind the motorbike to gain the desired
position, depending on where their biggest rivals are.
As the motor bike pulls off the track with two and a
half laps to go, the battle begins to win the sprint.
The stronger riders will launch their effort early whilst
others will follow well into the last lap hoping that
they are behind the right wheel allowing them to propel
themselves to the line and victory at the last possible
moment. The riders will be flat out at speeds around
Dubbed "killermeter", the cyclist
races alone against the clock from a standing start.
A maximum effort, all out effort is required. The rider
with the fastest time wins.
The 500 meters is the women’s equivalent
to the men’s kilo; the cyclist races alone against
the clock from a standing start and the rider with the
fastest time wins.
Two riders begin pedaling from a standing start
on opposite sides of the track, "pursuing"
one another until the distance is completed; 4 km for
elite men, 3 km for elite women and junior men, 2 km
for junior women. The four fastest cyclists in the qualifying
round will move on to race for medals. The first two
fastest times will race against each other for gold
and silver, then the third and fourth fastest cyclists
will race for the bronze. If a one rider overtakes another
in the finals, then the race is stopped and the winner
The rules in team pursuit are the same as in
individual pursuit except that teams of four riders
for men, and 3 riders for women, compete against one
another. The time of each team's second to last rider
is used to determine placing. The team pursuit event
calls for precision teamwork each rider takes a turn
in the lead breaking the wind before swinging up to
the top of the banked track and dropping down to the
tail of the team for a brief rest.
The points race is contested over a distance
of 25km for women and 40km for men superbly demonstrating
the glittering spectacle and tactics of track racing.
With sprints every ten laps, the pace of the race varies
as each sprint approaches. The complete points race
rider must have the flexibility to adapt to the increases
in speed and changes of tactic as the race develops.
With 5, 3, 2 and 1 point/s awarded to the first four
riders in each sprint, the last two laps before each
sprint are highly animated as each rider tries to find
the best position to make his or her effort.
Despite the points amassed in the sprints, a rider can
win 20 points if he manages to lap the field. Riders
will attack individually or in small groups to try to
gain the decisive lap. Watch the main field battle to
resist a small group gaining a lap. The final result
will be decided by total points gained.
This race is contested by teams of two riders showing
bike handling skills at their best. One rider has to
be in the race at all times. The other team member takes
a short rest circling at the top of the track before
he rejoins the race with his team mate throwing him
into the action with a hand sling. As with the points
race there are sprints, in this case every 20 laps and
the teams will also be trying to gain a lap on their
opponents in this high speed race. The final is over
the distance of 50km.
The skills of the riders are vitally important as the
bunch reach speeds well over 50 km/h with riders throwing
their partners into the fray at key times of the race
aiming to win the sprint points or gain a decisive lap
on their competitors.
This is the simplest race in the championships. It’s
a bunched race event over a distance of 10km for women
and 15km for men and the first across the finish line
wins the gold medal. The action is non stop with riders
trying to break away from the main field and their adversaries
organising the chase behind. There’s no room for
hesitation in this high speed cat and mouse race.
The teams are comprised of three riders for men, 2 for
women, and each teammate must lead the team on one lap
before dropping out of the race. The winning team is
the one who completes the distance fastest.
The men’s Omnium is the pentathlon of track cycling.
Each competitor must ride in five events – 200m
flying time trial; 7.5km scratch race; 3km individual
pursuit; 15km points race and 1km time trial. In this
competition, points are awarded in reverse order. The
winning rider of each event gets one point and the rider
with the lowest number of points overall is the winner.
If there is a tie on points, the judges look back at
the timed events to determine who wins. You’ve
got to be good at sprinting, time-trialing and bunched
racing in this tough race series.
The women’s Omnium uses the same rules as the
men’s Omnium with different distances except for
the 200m flying time trial – a 5km scratch race;
a 2km individual pursuit; a 10km points race and a 500m
OLYMPIC TRACK EVENTS
The Olympic track events at the 2008 Beijing Olympic
- Individual Pursuit Men and Women
- Sprint indivual Men and Women
- Points Race Men and Women
- Keirin Men
- Madison Men
- Olympic Sprint Men
- Team Pursuit Men
Action Shot Photo: Don Ricker
Men's madison, the pair Bell and Gilbert
Jessica Spence (ON), 2006 Individual Pursuit National Champion, and Zach Bell (YK), riding for Alberta - 2006 Men's Points National Champion
© F.Bourg CCA
Symmetrics Team (from left to right): Cameron Evans (BC), Christian Meier (NB), Svein Tuft (BC) andZach Bell (YK, racing for Alberta), - 2006 Men’s Team Pursuit National Champions
© F.Bourg CCA
Women's Scratch race at Velodrome Caisse Populaire Dieppe
© F.Bourg CCA