Track cycling is a fast, exciting and competitive discipline in cycling, usually held on specially built banked tracks or velodromes using track bicycles. The bicycles are fixed gear bikes with no brakes, the bike is propelled or slowed down by the pedal strokes of the cyclist.
Sprint in cycling involves the two riders starting side by side and is usually a one-on-one race over a short number of laps.
Usually involves three riders per team in the men’s event and two riders per team in women’s variation. Both teams start on each side of the track at the same time and after each lap one rider from each team drops off.
Originally from Japan, the keirin is a type of individual sprint event which involves riders jostling for a position behind a motorised bike, called a "derny". The pace increases gradually the first few laps and withdraws leaving the riders to dash for the line in the final two and a half laps.
Tract Time Trail
The track time trial pits riders solely against the clock as the cyclists race individually over a set distance from a static start with the fastest naturally being the victors.
The individual pursuit sees riders begin on opposite sides of the track from a standing start. If you catch your opponent you win, otherwise whoever completes the specified distance in the fastest time is the winner.
The team pursuit is an event which involves teams of 4 riders competing over 4 kilometres for both men and women. Like in the individual pursuit, the two teams start the race on opposite sides of the track and if one team catches and overtakes the other the race is over, otherwise the team who gets their first three riders across the line first are the winners.
The scratch race is a classic mass start race with the first across the line being the winner. Men’s scratch races at international level are 15 kilometres while women’s races are 10 kilometres.
The points race is also a mass start event take usually takes place over a long distance. Within this race there are a number of sprints held every ten laps or so with the first five riders across the line getting points. Riders can attain an extra 20 points if the overlap the main field and there is a bonus for crossing the line first at the end of the race.
The Madison is essentially a team points race where two riders compete over 50 kilometres. After a mass start, only one rider can race at any one time and for the riders to change over they must make contact with each other. This is done by performing a hand-sling in which one rider propels his teammate.
The Omnium is a multiple discipline event like a decathlon in Athletics. It consists of a scratch race, elimination race, points race, and the new tempo race, all taking place over one day. The rider with most points at the end of the 4 events wins with the places in the last event, the points race being used as a tiebreaker.
Elimination races involve competitors being knocked out throughout the race by a certain set of criteria. The most common type of elimination race is the “miss and out” variation which sees the rider in last place being eliminated every lap or second lap until one rider is left.
A track bike is designed for use on a velodrome. Road bikes are not permitted on the track. But don’t worry, you can hire track specific bikes at the tracks if you don’t have one.
Wear any cycling clothing, or shorts, well-fitted sports or gym clothing is also ideal. Jeans or other baggy clothing is not recommended. It is advised to dress appropriately for the weather, so layer up.
Helmets and Shoes
Helmets and Shoes are available to hire at the track on a first come first serve basis. Look Keo Cleats are compatible with the hire bikes but don’t worry, flat sole trainers or runners will also do the job.