Categories

Track Cycling Endurance Events

Track cycling events fit into two broad categories, Sprint races and Endurance races. Riders will typically fall into one category and not compete in the other. Riders with good all round ability in the junior ranks will decide to focus on one area or another before moving up to the senior ranks.

Endurance races are held over much longer distances. While these primarily test the riders endurance abilities, the ability to sprint effectively is also required in the Madison, Points Race and Scratch Race. The length of these races varies from 12-16 laps for the Individual and Team Pursuit races, up to 200 laps for a full length Madison race in World Championships or Olympic Games.


..........................................................................................................

Track Cycling Events - Individual Pursuit

The individual pursuit (4km Men, 3km Women) is an endurance event and is conducted as a knock out tournament. The goal is to ride the fastest time over the distance. The riders are seeded based on their times in the qualifying round. In qualifying all riders complete the distance to post a time but in the finals if a competitor overtakes his rival he is declared winner. The fastest two cyclists in the first round qualify for the gold medal race and the next two fastest contest the bronze medal final.

A cool head is needed in a pursuit as coaches and cyclists must determine how fast to ride to make it through to the next round and still have fuel in the tank for the medal race. Body position is also important, as an aerodynamic position will limit the amount of air resistance that in turn increases the cyclists speed.

In the event of a false start from the gate a rider is permitted another start. Only two starts are allowed.


..........................................................................................................

Track Cycling Events - Points Race

This is an event where the final placings are determined according to accumulated points won by riders during sprints or by taking laps on their opponents. Points (5,3,2,1) are awarded to the first four across the line in the intermediate sprints held every ten laps and at the finish.  20 points are given to a rider who laps the main field and any rider who drops a lap on the main field loses 20 points.

At the end of the race if two or more riders are equal on points the places in the final sprint determine who wins.

The Points Race is a numerical challenge for riders who must know where they are placed throughout the race to enable them to develop tactics to win. Speed, endurance, concentration and the ability to react quickly are the hallmarks of a successful points racer.


..........................................................................................................

Track Cycling Events - Madison

The Madison, or Americaine, is derived from six-day-races which began in 1899 in New York's Madison Square Gardens. Teams comprising two riders work together to amass sprint points or try to take a lap. Sprints are held every twenty laps with points awarded for sprints are 1st - 5pts, 2nd -“ 3pts, 3rd - 2pts and 4th - 1pt sprints.

Only one member of the team is racing at any one time while his team-mate rides around the top of the track banking until it is his time to race. The race is conducted as a tag team format where the racing rider must touch his incoming team-mate to effect the changeover. This is usually done by way of a hand sling where the racing cyclist grabs his team-mates hand and slings him into the race.

To win the Madison, distance covered (laps taken) scores higher than points won and in the event of a tie at the end of the race if two or more teams are equal on points the places in the final sprint determine who wins the race.


..........................................................................................................

Track Cycling Events - Team Pursuit

The (4km Men, 3km Women) Teams Pursuit is a real test of technique and teamwork. Four endurance cyclists comprise a pursuit team and their success relies on how well they work together. The rider on the front of the quartet must keep the pace as high as possible but must not ride so fast that he drops any of his following team mates. The cyclists within a team must ride as close as possible to the rear wheel of the rider in front of them to gain every possible aerodynamic benefit. The front rider will swing up the track at the end of his “turn” and must smoothly rejoin his team in the fourth wheel position. The pace is then set by the rider now on the front of the quartet.

The time is taken on the front wheel of the third rider across the line and it is often the case that only three riders will finish. Sometimes this is due to an extraordinary effort put in by the fourth rider before he pulls out or it can be because a rider has been unable to maintain the pace of his team mates.

In the qualifying round each team shall ride alone on the track against the clock.  For the finals, one team starts on each side of the track and they race each other and the clock.  In the finals the winner is determined by either catching the other team or recording the fastest time.

In the event of a false start the team is permitted another start. Only two starts are allowed.


..........................................................................................................

Track Cycling Events - Scratch Race

Scratch racing was introduced to the World Championships and World Cups in 2002.  The Scratch Race is one of the most exciting events, it begins with a massed start of competitors who race the assigned distance with the placings determined during the final sprint, taking into account laps gained.

Tactics are important in this event with endurance riders keeping the pace fast and furious in an effort to eliminate the sprint specialists who in turn will try and shelter within the group to conserve their strength for the final laps.  The final 10 laps are where courage, skills, positioning and tenacity of the competitors comes to the fore as the fast sprinting field surges to the finish line.


..........................................................................................................

Track Cycling Events - Omnium

An omnium is a multiple race event in track cycling. Historically the omnium has had a variety of formats. Currently, and for the 2012 Olympics, the omnium as defined by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) consists of the following six events:

1) Flying lap (against the clock)
2) Points race - 30 km for elite men, 20 km for elite women, 15 km for junior men, 10 km for junior women
3) Elimination
4) Individual pursuit - 4000 metres for elite men, 3000 metres for junior men and elite women, 2000 metres for junior women
5) Scratch race
6) Time trial: 1km men, 500 metres women

Points are awarded in reverse order. The rider who finishes first in an event receives one point, the second rider will get two points and so on. The rider with the fewest points after all events is the winner. When two riders are tied on points, the combined time of the three time trials will break the tie amongst the riders. A rider must have completed every event in the omnium.

The omnium was re-introduced into the World Championships as a five race format for men in 2007 and for women in 2009. The omnium was changed in 2010 by the UCI to include the elimination race in 2010 and the distances of the events were lengthened to favor endurance cyclists.

The omnium will replace the individual pursuit, the points race, and the madison at the Summer Olympic Games beginning in 2012.


..........................................................................................................

Track Cycling Events - Elimination/Devil/Miss and Out

The Miss and Out or Devil Take the Hindmost is a race run for individual competitors or, more rarely, for teams of two relaying each other as in the Madison. At the end of every lap or every set number of laps the last rider to cross the line is eliminated from the race. When just a handful of riders remain, they sprint for the finish.

Tactically, the real racing in a "devil" happens at the back of the field. With riders at the front riding steadily and those behind moving up on the elimination laps to find a safe spot, the race favours riders with nerve and track-craft. The telescoping of the field means crashes are more common than in other races, especially among inexperienced riders.


..........................................................................................................

Track Cycling Events - Win and Out

The Win and Out is similar to the Miss and Out, however, rather than the last rider being eliminated the first rider to cross the line is removed from the race. The first rider removed wins first place, the second rider removed wins second place, and so on.


..........................................................................................................

Track Cycling Events - Course des Primes

The Course des Primes is usually a hotly contested race at local Track Leagues where prizes are given for the first rider across the line each lap, prizes can range from money, league points to gifts.


..........................................................................................................

Track Cycling Events - Handicap

Handicap Track Cycling events involve riders being ranked according to ability and ranking, i.e. the lower the ranking/ability of the rider the less they have to complete of the race, for example in a Handicap race of 500m, the best riders will start at the 500m mark, whereas the lower ranked/ability riders will perhaps start at 450m, 400m, 300m depending on the difference in ability at that race.