The Basics Of Track Racing
Each and every Cycling track even is held in Velodromes. The shortest of the Velodromes are 200 meters and are very steep. The longest is 450 meters and very shallow. An Olympic standard Velodrome is 250 meters long inside, and has the track made of wood (most outdoor tracks are concrete).
The Equipment required for track racing is slightly different from other races. Almost all riders wear aerodynamic, one-piece skin suits to reduce heaviness. This makes the suit stick to your body and makes you lighter and does not let air accumulate inside the clothing.
Track bikes are incredibly stiff, strong and rigid. There are no brakes, and pedals are put directly on to the rear wheel. This ensures that the bike moves only when you pedal and not without it. The bikes for the Madison, Match Sprint, Olympic Sprint, Keirin, and Points races have fixed track frames and drop handlebars. The bikes for the 1 Kilometer Time Trial (Men), 500 Meter Time Trial, Individual Pursuit, and Team Pursuit have similar frames but aerodynamic handlebars. And that is the essential difference between them.
The Match Sprint held over 1000 meters are often thought of as the cleanest and purest of all track events. There are two riders; one is designated to lead the first lap, and the second one for the second lap. The two riders ride slowly around the track for the first two or three laps, before one of them starts their explosive sprint to the line. The one-kilometer time trial is a very fast and straightforward event, which ends quickly. Cyclists bike for four laps of an Olympic Velodrome. Fastest time wins. The present World Record for men is held by Arnaud Tournant of France, who covered the kilometer in just 58.875 seconds, for an average speed of over 60 kph. The Olympic sprint is a three lap event with teams of three riders each.
All three start together, but after each lap, the first rider pulls off of the track and the remaining riders take over and continue the race for him. This means that the first rider does one lap, the second two laps and the third three laps. Every team is timed and the fastest time wins. The Keirin is one of the weirdest and strangest track events you will come across in Cycling. The total distance to be covered is over 2000 meters (8 laps). The first 5 1/2 laps are paced by a small motorbike, which increases the speed from 25 kph up to 45 kph before it pulls off of the track.
The final two and a half laps are a crazy run to the finish, which often lead to a lot of serious accidents. The first rider across the line wins. The individual pursuit is for over four kilometers. Two of the riders start on opposite sides of the Velodrome, and the rider with the fastest time wins. The team Pursuit type has the basic principle of the Individual Pursuit except now in teams. Two great teams start on opposite sides of the track and the team with the least time wins.