Track Racing - a brief description of the events.
The Sprint : Between 2 and 4 riders race over three laps of the track (750m), first over the line wins. The event is only timed over the last 200 metres and tactics before this can involve standstills. Often very exciting and gladitorial.
The Time Trial : Each competitor rides on their own against the clock either from a standing or a flying start. Distances are usually quite short 200 metres to 1 kilometre. (10 secs to 1 minute Olympic standard).
The Pursuit : Two competitors start on opposite sides of the track and ride against each other from a standing start over 4 kilometres. The idea is to catch your opponent or failing that to complete the distance in the shortest time. Variations include team pursuits and Italian pursuits.
The Scratch Race : A "bunch" of 15 to 25 competitors start together, first over the finish line after a set number of laps is the winner.
The Points Race : Another "bunch" race, this time points are awarded at regular intervals (4 or 5 laps) to the first 3 riders over the line at these intermediate sprints and on the final lap ( sometimes double points). The rider with the most points accumulated during the race is the winner. If a rider gains a lap over the field then this lap gain takes precedence over points scored.
The Madison : A points race for teams of 2 riders. Several teams all start together with one rider from each team racing whilst his partner rides more slowly "resting" higher up the track. As the pair comes together the "racing" rider will relay the "resting" rider into the race, usually by a handsling, and then when it is safe move up the track for his "resting" period, i.e. until his partner comes around and relays him in. (For video click here. (Will take some time to load.))
The Course de Primes : A variation of the points race used in many track leagues. A "prize" (usually in the form of a point towards a seaon tally of points ) is awarded to the winner of each lap.
The Devil take the Hindmost : A scratch race where the last man over the line each lap is eliminated rom the race until only three riders are left to contest the final lap. (For video click here. (Will take some time to load.))
The Keirin : An event for six or seven riders who follow a small motorbike which leaves the track with two and a half laps to go when the riders sprint flat out.