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Cycling Track Rules and Equipment

Rules

Sprint

The Sprint event is a two-cyclist event across 1,000 metres. Sprint cyclists use tactical skills in order to outsmart their opponents. The times are measured in the final 200 metres of the sprint.

 

Each cyclist has only three laps to build up speed and employ tactics to surprise their opponent such as changes in speed and stalling for the final 200 metres.

 

The eight fastest cyclists qualify for the finals.


Individual pursuit

 

This event is similar to an endurance race. The cyclists start and finish the race on the pursuit lines with one cyclist starting on either side of the track. Each cyclist is timed and the fastest eight are selected to compete against each other.

 

In the finals, time is not the only winning factor. If a cyclist in pursuit of a competitor catches up to them, they have won the race.

 

Team sprint

 

The team sprint is a three-lap relay event. Each team consists of three cyclists and there are two teams that compete simultaneously, each starting on opposite sides of the velodrome.

 

The cyclists line up three abreast on the start/finish pursuit line. Each cyclist must complete one full lap of the velodrome to set the pace.

 

The cyclists will each take a turn in the lead, completing one lap before swinging out and falling back behind the last person in their team.

 

The team to complete the three laps the fastest is the winner.

 

Time Trial

 

This event is a race against time as cyclists are timed for how fast they complete their distance. The men’s event is 1,000 metres while the women’s event is 500 metres.

Scratch race

 

This event begins with all competitors at the starting line. The track is 20km and the first cyclist across the finish line is the winner. Tactics are an important tool for success in this event. Endurance cyclists keep the pace fast right from the beginning to eliminate the sprint cyclists.


Points race

 

This event is similar to the scratch race, however every ten laps there is a sprint race for a chance to score points. Points are awarded to the top four cyclists in each sprint – 5 for first place, 3 for second, 2 for third and 1 point for fourth place.

 

In addition to scoring points the cyclists also attempt to lap their competitors. If successful, the cyclist wins the race. If multiple cyclists lap their opponents, then the decision relies upon the number of points scored by each cyclist during the race.

 

If multiple cyclists finish the race with an equal number of points, then the winner is determined by their placing in the final sprint.

 

The women’s event is 25km while the men’s event is 40km.


Keirin

 

Similar to the sprint event, this race comprises six cyclists and six laps. The cyclists line up in predetermined positions and wait for a motorcycle or derny to pace them. The cyclists fight for the best position behind the derny and must not pass it for the first four and a half laps. The derny increases speed to 60km/h.

Equipment

Helmet
All cyclists are required to wear helmets. They are aerodynamically shaped to improve air flow over the body and made of hard plastic with shock-absorbing materials to protect the skull.

 

Clothing
Cyclists wear a one piece lycra skinsuit cut to the shape of the cyclists riding position to aid the flow of air over their body.

Bike
The frame is made of fibre, Kevlar, ceramic, titanium, aluminium alloy or steel alloy. There is only one gear to accommodate the riders requirements and no brakes. The wheels are made of carbon fibre and the spokes are made of Kevlar or aramid fibre. 

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