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Track Cycling

The sleek, polished walls of the velodrome allow powerful cyclists and para-cyclists to reach eye-watering speeds in this energetic display of timing, precision and highly-refined technique. 

Track cycling at Birmingham 2022 will consist of the following event formats: 

Sprint/Para-Sport Tandem Sprint 

The Sprint takes in three laps of the track, while the Tandem Sprint is conducted over five laps. Following a 200m time trial qualifier, riders are seeded into heats of two riders, with the winners going through to the next round of the competition. From the quarter-finals onwards the winner is determined from the best of three heats. After lots are drawn to determine riders’ starting positions, the rider who draws the inside starting position must lead the first half lap of the race. At this stage, riders assume the optimum position on the track, before a dramatic sprint to the finish line.  

Time Trial 

In this event, cyclists ride alone in a race against the clock. With a distance of 1,000 metres for men and 500 metres for women, the fastest finish time wins. 

Birmingham 2022 will also feature a Time Trial Tandem para sport event. Both the men’s and women’s events will take place over a distance of 1,000 metres. 

Individual Pursuit 

Starting on opposite sides of the trackcyclists race not only against each other, but against the clock. The two fastest riders will go through to the Gold medal event, with the third and fourth fastest competing for Bronze. The men’s race is 4,000 metres, while women will compete over a distance of 3,000m. 

Team Pursuit 

In this event, teams of four race over a distance of 4000m. In qualifiers, each team begin alone in a race against the clock. The time of the team is taken on the third rider, but all four riders play an equal part, with the lead rider staying at the front for around one lap before dropping to the back 

The two fastest teams will go through to complete for the Gold, while a Bronze medal race will also be contestedLike the individual event, opponents in the finals start on opposite sides of the track. The first team to cross the finish line wins, but the race can end earlier if a team is adjudged to have caught their opponent – this occurs if they come within one metre of that team. 

Scratch Race 

Cyclists compete over a distance of 15km for men, and 10km for women. The first across the line wins. Riders lapped by other competitors must leave the race. 

Points Race 

A field of up to 24 riders will compete over 40km in the men’s event and 25km for women. The object of the event is to accumulate points over the course of the race. Sprints will occur on every 10 laps with first place receiving five points, second place three points, third place two points and fourth place one point (with these points doubling in the final sprint). Riders who lap the field will be awarded 20 points, while those who are lapped will lose 20 points – making it possible to finish with a negative point total. The rider with the most points at the end of the race will claim the win. 

Team Sprint 

This event sees teams of three riders ride across three laps of the track. After the first lap, the leading rider leaves the track and plays no further part in the race, with a second rider departing after lap two. The third rider remains on the track to finish the race for their team. The two fastest teams will compete for the Gold medal. 

Keirin 

Taken from the Japanese word for fight’ this race sees riders initially line up in a pre-drawn order behind a pacesetter on a motorcycle, known as a dernyRiders are not allowed to pass the derny until it leaves the track with three laps to go. At this point, riders will sprint, with the first one across the line sealing the win. 

Previous Commonwealth Games appearances

Cycling debuted at the second edition of the Games in 1934 and has been an ever-present since. 

Venue 

The Lee Valley Velopark, built for the London 2012 Olympics, will host track cycling at the Games. 

Fun Fact 

Before it became the home of Aston Villa Football Club, Villa Park (then known as the Aston Lower Grounds), was a track cycling venue. Cycling continued at the stadium even after Villa took up residency in 1897, with regular meetings hosted there until the removal of the track in 1914. 

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